Keanu Reeves (Nelson) plays a workaholic advertising man who has lost his focus on life and living. Charlize Theron (Sara) is a woman who fears commitment but that’s because she is carrying a secret that prevents her from planning her future. When the two meet Theron asks Reeves to live with her for the month of November and claims she’ll “cure him” of his behavior. After he (conveniently) loses his job and girlfriend in the same day, he agrees to the plan (nothing better to do) and together they uncover many unresolved emotional issues and, of course, fall in love. Frank Langella, Liam Aiken, Greg Germann, and Jason Isaacs.
THE GOOD:…First of all I have to warn you I am going to reveal a secret plot point that’s necessary for me to include in warning the parents of teens and kids. With that said, Reeves and Theron have definite romantic chemistry together which makes this story entertaining despite the fact that the script is weak. The two have worked together before and their comfort level in the romantic department probably helped Reeves in his discomfort with playing a romantic lead. I know critics bash the guy, but there’s something about his awkward performance in vulnerable situations that actually works and makes him likable. Women will probably enjoy this movie the most. We tend to gravitate to impossible love stories that end up working, especially when there’s a terminal illness that makes this a 2001 “Love Story”. THE NOT SO GOOD:…The premise of a woman taking a perfect stranger into her home for a month to; romance, coddle, support and “fix” him, is not only dangerously stupid and unhealthy, but ridiculously unrealistic. If any woman sees this movie and gets the idea to start doing that herself, she’d have to take on almost the entire single male population in America over thirty. Many have probably already tried. SO setting aside the unhealthy sex message and tearing away the layers of reality that would make this situation unrealistic, what we have left is a movie with two likable people who fall in love in one month and have to walk away from it because she’s dying of cancer. Issues about death, sex, fears in life, commitment, etc.are explored but end on a sad note. I am not homophobic and this is not a bashing statement. But why does Hollywood always feel they need to throw a gay or transvestite character into the mix, somehow making it “politically correct” for a story that takes place in the Bay area? Aside from the fact that they use the fact, that her friend is a transvestite (who happens to dress straight during the day and has an advertising career) and surprise Nelson with this in one scene. Other scenes show Sara’s good-looking cross-dressing pal (Jason Isaacs) providing the maternal, female, emotional support for the sickly girl. The guy pal cooks, baths and takes care of her while a confused Nelson (who’s been living with her 24/7 for a month) doesn’t seem to meet that need and feels out of the loop. Moral of the story seems to be – if you get a deadly disease, your gay or cross-dressing friend can meet those needs better than a man. To me, that side plot defeated the whole point of the story.