Sweet Home Alabama: 10th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Melanie Carmichael, an up and rising fashion designer in New York, has gotten almost everything she wished for since she was little.  She has a great career and the JFK-like fiancée of New York City.  But when he proposes to her, she doesn’t forget about her family back down South.  More importantly, her husband back there, who refuses to divorce her ever since she sent divorce papers seven years ago.  To set matters straight, she decides to go to the south quick and make him sign the papers.  When things don’t turn out the way she planned them, she realizes that what she had before in the south was far more perfect than the life she had in New York City.


Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) has a great life. She is an up and coming fashion designer living in New York City. She has a rich, successful and handsome boyfriend Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) proposes on the night of her big show. After accepting Andrew’s proposal, Melanie dashes off to Alabama. She claims that she wants to tell her parents in person. She really wants to take care of some unfinished business before Andrew and his mother, the Mayor (Candace Bergen). Though she has been in New York for years, she still has a husband Jake (Luke Wilson). Melanie and Jake were childhood sweethearts. They shared their first kiss on a beach during a lightning storm where they find an interesting glass-like structure made when lightning hits sand.

Back home, Melanie confronts Jake and tells him to sign the papers which he refuses. She runs into an old friend at the bank who alerts her to a joint account that she and Jake share. She empties the account, cleans and redecorates his house, and attempts to force him to grant her the divorce. Melanie promises to return his money when she gets her papers signed. Jake begins to agree and remembers he has a date. Melanie follows him to the local bar where she drinks too much, “outs” and old friend and has to be taken home by Jake.

At first Melanie appears to be a slick New Yorker who doesn’t belong in small town Alabama. The longer she is there, the more she reconnects with old friends and starts to see a whole new side to Jake. Melanie learns that he wanted to ask her to come back but felt he needed to conquer the world first. He has been trying to be the man he thinks she deserves, and has been stalling on signing the papers for that reason. Jake has become a successful business man making amazing glassware.

A reporter from New York is doing a story on Melanie and threatens to unravel the secret that she is actually Melanie Smooter – a small town girl who married her first love and left abruptly. At the same time her fiancée Andrew shows up looking for Melanie Carmichael. He runs into Jake who tells an endearing story about a young Melanie Smooter, eventually taking him to his bride to be. Andrew is rightfully furious when he realizes Melanie has lied about her past and that she in fact, already has a husband. Andrew forgives her and the wedding is planned. Melanie walks down the aisle but the ceremony is stopped when she is told that she didn’t sign all of her papers and is still married to Jake.

Sweet Home Alabama is a chick flick that belongs in every woman’s collection.  I love everything about Sweet Home Alabama as it’s by far one of my favorite chick flicks. It has a few memorable scenes and lines like “you’ve got a baby….in a bar.”  I don’t always care for Reese Witherspoon as an actress but in this role, she’s perfect. The character Melanie Carmichael is a lucky lady with the actors Luke Wilson and Patrick Dempsey as her two love interests. What’s unique about this film is that the viewer really wants her to end up with either guy. Both are good men and they each love her dearly.   In my case, I was rooting for Like Wilson but I really would not have complained either way.  The movie has some really sweet moments, and not the ones you’d expect.  The most heartfelt moment of the film comes when Melanie finds herself at a dog’s grave apologizing for leaving him behind.  It’s a little obvious and the surprises aren’t that surprising but this is the kind of movie you can just go with – suspend reality a little bit and sit back and enjoy.


Sweet Home Alabama is presented on Blu- ray in 1080p high definition with a widescreen 2.35:1 ratio.  It’s not the type of film that you use to show off your high definition TV, but it’s certainly an improvement over the DVD release.  The film looks good in the dark bar interior and the bright sunlight of Alabama.


Sweet Home Alabama’s English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is sufficient for a film of this type.  It doesn’t have the usual sound effects and explosions that would rock your living room.  It does have clear and consistent dialogue throughout the film and some memorable music.


I certainly wished for more special features, but what is provided is more than I expected.

  • Off the Cutting Room Floor – 8 deleted scenes with Introduction with Director Andy Tennant. Most scenes were properly cut, but the director’s comments are interesting and give a bit of background and shows that test screenings matter.
  • Alternate Ending – An alternate ending to the film including commentary. The ending not chosen is a grown up version of the beginning of the film that shows Melanie and Jake struck by lightning. I definitely prefer the ending that made it in the film.
  • Commentary – Director Andy Tennant provides some interesting audio commentary. He’s not the most dynamic speaker but is worth listening to.
  • Music Video – SHeDAISY’s “Mine All Mine” music video. I like the song less when watching the video.


Sweet Home Alabama is the type of chick flick I never get tired of seeing.  It’s sweet and well cast for both the primary actors and smaller parts.  All the big personalities that make up the group of friends and family Melanie left behind are a big part of why this movie works so well.  The tag-line reads “sometimes what you’re looking for is right where you left it.”  Whether or not you figure out from the very beginning where the plot is headed, the journey the story takes is still a pleasure to watch.

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