Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Candice Bergen, Patrick Dempsey
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Ending, Music Video

Reese Witherspoon is back in ’Sweet Home Alabama.’ It is another romantic comedy that gives her the chance to use her talent and looks to turn the screen upside down. This time she’s a successful, aspiring fashion designer in New York City who is engaged to the son of the mayor – portrayed beautifully by Candice Bergen as a stuck-up elitist with Martha Stewart’s psychopath tendencies. As it turns out however, she’s still married to her puppy love in her hometown in Alabama. So she returns home to draw a line underneath that part of her life in order to move on, but her visit back home turns out differently than she expected.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment is delivering ’Sweet Home Alabama’ in an anamorpic widescreen presentation on this release in the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is very clean and clear reproducing the warm color palette of the South, as well as the stark colors used in New York, very nicely. Colors are vibrant and naturally rendered and blacks are deep and solid. There are a few occasions where edge-enhancement is visible, but is never becoming obtrusive or distracting. The compression is without flaws and you won’t find artifacts here.

The audio comes as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track on this disc. Surrounds are used frequently, but are slightly understated, as you would expect from this sort of film. The track has a wide frequency response with deep basses and crystal clear high ends, making for a pleasant presentation that brings out the best of the Bluegrass music used throughout. The dynamic range is equally well instated and maintains all the subtle nuances in volume changes.

The DVD contains a commentary track by director Andy Tennant that is interesting and insightful. It is maybe not as light-hearted as you would expect but nonetheless conversational enough to remain entertaining.

An alternate ending, as well as a series of eight deleted scenes can also be found on the DVD, as well as the SheDaisy music video ’Mine All Mine.’

’Sweet Home Alabama’ is a typical romantic comedy that is unfortunately very predictable. A few plot twists wouldn’t have hurt this film, since the cast and the scenery is very well put together. Still, the film is very enjoyable and has some great moments, though it is not necessarily remarkable as a whole. You may want to rent this disc to see how you like the movie before you buy it.