Rating: PG-13 for language, adult situations
Run Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
Witherspoon takes a stab at recreating her “Legally Blonde” romantic-comedy
triumph, and nearly succeeds. This
classic fish-out-of-water tale features Witherspoon as upscale
every girl’s dream proposal? Yes, but there’s
a hitch. Melanie is married; to her
backwoods, redneck high school boyfriend Jake (Josh Lucas), who’s long since
been left behind in, you guessed it,
Give credit to Witherspoon, who can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse with just a smile. The film wavers between the trite – “You can’t have roots and wings”, “You can take the girl out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the girl”, blah, blah, blah – and some unexpectedly genuine moments that are delightfully restrained considering the dopey premise. The script intermittently wavers close to the dark side of comedy, keeping it in credible check.
Witherspoon is proving that she can live up to the $15 million paycheck she’ll be endorsing for “Legally Blonde 2”, but her co-stars work double-time at making her shine. Dempsey plays the NYC mayor’s son with privileged aplomb, his silver spoon lodged firmly south of the waist. Lucas is worth writing home about (and worth writing here about) – engaging, unexpectedly deep, and definitely making my end of the year Hunks list. His aw-shucks performance is pure sweet Southern charm, and it works like one to make this the feel-good movie of the Fall.