“Sweet November” is about as clich a movie as you can get. There are times when it is a little interesting and enjoyable but for the most part “Sweet November” is filled with sweet nothings wrapped up in a story we have all seen a million times before.
The film”s characters were your typical one-dimensional characters that you only see in the movies. First off you have Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) the ad executive that does nothing else but work. He is so into his job that he jumps out of bed in the morning after a quick romp with his girlfriend chanting “Who”s the best dog? I”m the best dog!” in hopes of coming up with a tagline for his new client”s hotdog business. Nelson is not a mean guy like workaholics are often portrayed, he is simply self-involved and driven to succeed.
Then you have Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) the mystery girl who breaks into buildings to save helpless animals, walks dogs for free because she enjoys it and is living a perfectly frolicsome life with all the amenities (except a television, because she turned it into a planter),yet she has no job.
Sara is very persuasive and always knows the perfect things to say, and yet at times I found myself wondering what exactly was so moving about her. Perhaps Reeves says it best when Sara explains to him “You live in a box. I could lift the lid.” He replies sarcastically “Wow, that”s deep.” Indeed it is.
Sara and Nelson meet at the DMV where Nelson tries to cheat by asking Sara a question on a driving test. She gets caught talking and is simply kicked out of the testing room. Trying to seek a little revenge on Nelson, Sara hunts him down and harasses him into driving her somewhere. At this point she proposes that they live together for the month of November “no more, no less.” Conveniently Nelson gets fired and dumped by his girlfriend the very next day and suddenly has the whole month free. Hmmm, was this meant to be? I think so.
Where “Sweet November” went way off track was not in the movie itself but, in its choice of marketing. We are all supposed to go into this movie knowing nothing about charismatic Sara except that she”s a little kooky, quite gorgeous and wants to help the workaholic Nelson by having him spend a month with her, no questions asked. Of course anyone that has seen any of the commercials for this movie knows that Sara is sick and dying so the surprise shocker towards the end of the movie is not all that surprising. The only one that ends up clueless is poor Keanu.
Overall “Sweet November” is something that has been done before and, frankly, done better. I have seen the “I love you and I”m dying” movie too many times and except for the classic “Love Story” none have been too good. In fact most of them have been downright wretched. I will have to give “Sweet November” snaps though for being ten times better than this.