Sweet November

Bomb Rating: 

I like a movie when all I have to do is look at a calendar to know there's something seriously wrong with it (the marketing people apparently lost track of time). Unless you're a pancake, this movie is so over-the-top syrupy it's about as much fun as being duct-taped to Richard Simmons on ecstasy.

As I sat through "Sweet November", listening to the women who cried during this kind of obvious, predictable, manipulative doggy poo, I wondered desperately what the rest of us could do to keep them from reproducing (along with those religious nuts who don't believe in medical treatment). Are women so desperate for emotional catharsis that they will let this kind of crap turn them into whimpering idiots?

I knew the second I sat down in the theater that Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) was going to end up in a hospital bed dying from some rare disease. For whatever reason, this didn't stop half the audience from sniffling up a storm. If I had a penny for each drop of snot that splattered the theater floor, I could have bought myself a large popcorn and maybe a drink. Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) seems to be the only person who doesn't notice that, about halfway through the film, the ever-perky Charlize is looking paler than John Ashcroft at his daughter's surprise interracial wedding.

Sara's ridiculous plan while she's dying is to pick up needy men, fuck them for a month, then dump them and hope that the experience of her warm, inviting... uh... personality, will make them appreciate nature, the Earth, and all the cute, fuzzy animals that roam its surface. Thus, once she's six feet under, there will be a few less people in the world kicking puppies, eating veal, carving their names into trees (they're living beings, for the love of God!) and voting Republican. Nelson is just such a man, an advertising executive who's so materialistic and mean that he makes Donald Trump look like a good candidate for Pope.

Usually I just accept Keanu's bad acting as a given, but in this film I started to wonder whether he had a titanium skeleton and was really just a robot some film executive developed as an alternative to paying those outrageous actors' salaries. The guy would be incapable of a fluid movement even if he ingested heroin for breakfast every morning. His emotional exchanges approximate those of someone with a neurological disorder.

There isn't a clich├ęd turn this movie won't take. The most obvious is the cancerous shift Sara's life takes (the movie plot equivalent of buying a fake Rolex from a guy on a street corner because he insists it's real). However, I truly joined the dark side when a potential competitive problem for Nelson with neighbor Chad (Jason Isaacs) is easily averted by the sudden appearance of Chad wearing a dress. You guessed it: HE'S THE AMAZINGLY PERCEPTIVE AND UNDERSTANDING TRANSVESTITE FRIEND!! They're ubiquitous now, you know? Somebody let Ken wear Barbie's clothes, and I think we've got the newest hot-selling toy.

Did I mention the Enya music? I mean, thank God I didn't have a chainsaw handy, because I would have cut my own head off the second I heard that Enya stuff. As far as romantic movies go, it's like the mark of Satan.

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