Sweet November

Rated NR

Tearjerker movies are a neat encapsulation of America's attitude toward Hollywood, and celebrity in general; i.e., it's fun to watch the lives of people who are far more beautiful and wealthy than me, but it's far more enjoyable if one of them has a terminal disease. In this remake of a long-forgotten 1968 film, Charlize Theron stars as Sara, a life-affirming sexual libertine who takes a new lover each month, helping her charges find self-confidence, a renewed capacity for love and wonder, etc. World-renowned Dogstar bassist Keanu Reeves plays Nelson, a workaholic advertising executive/asshole and Sara's skeptical November appointment. Can they resist falling in love? The appeal of the film isn't its kitchen-sink approach to drama--cute kids, interfamilial tension and fatal illness all complicate Sara and Nelson's relationship--but the surprisingly graceful handling of all the involved elements. Unexpectedly strong performances by the leads and supple direction by Pat O'Connor turn what could have been a painfully manipulative film into a sweetly manipulative one, leaving no heartstring untugged but earning all the emotions it draws. Mainstream Hollywood tearjerkers don't get much better than Sweet November.

Film Credits

Director: Pat O'Connor

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jason Isaacs and Greg Germann

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