As she proved in last year's Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon is one of those extremely talented actresses who can rise above the deficiencies of the material she has to deal with and still give a good performance. She manages to do just that in Southern Belle comedy Sweet Home Alabama, but unfortunately there's not much else to recommend the film, and Witherspoon's resolve and superhuman determination to make the film work is not enough.
Witherspoon plays Melanie, a Southern girl who has re-invented herself in New York City as a fashion designer. After she accepts her politician boyfriend's proposal (played by an all grown up Patrick Dempsey), Melanie is forced to do a legger back to her home town to try and obtain a divorce from her high school sweetheart, Jake (Lucas) who she left some seven years previous. Problem is, Jake hasn't stopped loving his wife.
Without a doubt, Witherspoon is the best thing about Sweet Home Alabama. A game performer, she's got an instinctive understanding of the comedy genre and uses every weapon in her arsenal to make Sweet Home Alabama work. The fact that the idiotic script and the other performers, a likeable Lucas aside, don't match her in the boundless enthusiasm stakes means that it's essentially a wasted effort.