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"SWEET NOVEMBER"
(2001) (Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Heavy None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Mild Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Drama: After being fired and then dumped by his girlfriend, a busy and self-centered man finds that there's more to life when he moves in for a month with an odd, but sweet woman who promises to show him the right way to live.
PLOT:
Nelson Moss (KEANU REEVES) is a busy and self-centered, but successful advertising executive who, like his business associate, Vince (GREG GERMANN), doesn't have time for anyone else, let alone his girlfriend beyond a few moments of sex. When he has to take time out of his hectic schedule to renew his drivers license at the DMV, he runs into Sara Deever (CHARLIZE THERON) and then ends up being responsible for her losing her permit to drive for a month.

Although he offers to pay her for her troubles, Sara decides to leech onto Nelson, much to his dismay. Threatening to make repeated public scenes if he doesn't humor her, Sara gets Nelson to drive her around town and then return to her apartment where she offers to help him improve his life. The only condition is that he must move in with her for the entire month of November and do everything she says.

He thinks she's crazy and leaves, but when he's suddenly fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend, he decides to return and the two end up in bed together. When he then meets Chaz (JASON ISAACS), a close friend of hers, and Abner (LIAM AIKEN), a young, fatherless neighbor boy, and both wonder if he's this month's "flavor," Nelson realizes it's time for him to leave.

Sara eventually convinces him, however, that he has nothing to go home to and that she has her reasons for her apparent promiscuousness, and so Nelson stays with her. As they spend more time together and Nelson soon begins to loosen up and fall for her and her laidback and seemingly carefree ways, he must choose between his old and new lifestyle all while dealing with an unexpected revelation that challenges his convictions.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teenage girls might want to see it for the love angle, as might fans of Reeves or Theron.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • KEANU REEVES plays a cocky but successful advertising executive who has little time for anyone else's needs. That changes when he's fired, his girlfriend dumps him and he reluctantly moves in with Sara for a month for her to help him. He sleeps with her and eventually realizes his fast-paced world wasn't the only way to live. He also uses some profanity.
  • CHARLIZE THERON plays a woman who encourages and/or manipulates different men to move in with her and become her lovers every month of the year. She does so to psychologically compensate for a serious condition that's revealed later in the film. She also breaks into a building to free some dogs apparently earmarked for lab testing and briefly uses some profanity.
  • JASON ISAACS plays a close friend of Sara's who turns out to be a transvestite. He uses some profanity.
  • GREG GERMANN plays Nelson's business associate who remains self-centered and is upset with Nelson's change from that condition. He uses some profanity.
  • LIAM AIKEN plays a young, fatherless neighbor boy who takes a liking to Nelson as a father figure.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated romantic drama. Several sexual encounters are partially seen (and heard) or occur off camera (with some movement and a little bit of brief nudity), and the main female character is noted as taking different lovers each month. Some sexually related dialogue is also present, as is the sight of a woman in her bra and panties and we see the main couple together in a bubble bath and bed several times. Several men are noted and seen as being transvestites.

    Profanity consists of at least 7 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and we learn that a character has cancer as well as a strained relationship with her family due to circumstances related to that. Various characters drink in several scenes, while some minor violence is present.

    If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may wish to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Nelson has a beer.
  • Nelson and Sara have wine with dinner.
  • They do so again in a later scene.
  • Vince says that Nelson and Sara should join him with another woman and "get drunk and nasty."
  • Nelson and Sara bring a bottle of wine over to Chaz's place. There, they have drinks with Chaz and another man and then have wine with dinner.
  • Nelson and Chaz have drinks in a bar, as do others.
  • We see a bottle (empty or not) of alcohol of some sort in Nelson's shoe on the floor.
  • Various characters have wine with Thanksgiving.
  • Various people have drinks in a club.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Nelson has a little bit of a bloody cut on his hand (and we later see a bandage with some blood soaked through it from that wound).
  • We see some vomit on the floor from Sara.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some may see Sara's inviting of different men into her home (and bedding them) each month as having both types of attitudes (although her behavior is later explained as a ways of having control over the malady she's facing).
  • Nelson is initially a self-absorbed, busy man who doesn't have time for his girlfriend (beyond sex) or getting together with her parents due to his self-imposed busy schedule.
  • Nelson whispers for help from Sara on his drivers license renewal test, and in doing so, causes her to be accused of cheating and be without a car for at least the next month.
  • Sara makes Nelson drive her to a building at night that she breaks into (so that she can free some dogs, apparently from some sort of testing lab).
  • Nelson loses control when a company executive turns down his ideas for the latest ad campaign and gets a bad attitude toward him (insulting him and his product) and then his own boss (which gets him fired).
  • Some other kids make fun of Abner, calling him a girl.
  • Nelson pays a guy to use his remote control submarine to knock over some remote control sailboats that are racing against Abner's boat.
  • Nelson also has a self-absorbed attitude and can't even remember the name of the woman he's with (on a date).
  • An advertising executive that Nelson and Vince meet is egotistical and then extremely condescending toward a waitress (as is Vince who joins in by saying that if you stated you'd give her a penny for her thoughts, you'd get back change).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "That sucks," "Nuts" (crazy), "Screwy," "You little punk," "What the hell happened?" "Screw a vacation" "Pissed off," "What the hell is it?" "Where the hell are you?" "Loser," "Who the hell was that?" "Laid," "Scares the living hell out of me," "Screw up," "What the hell is wrong with you?" "Balls" (testicles) and "You are a freak" (said playfully).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 7 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 7 hells, 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 craps, 1 damn and 6 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "God" and "Oh my God," 2 each of "G-damn" and "Jesus" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Oh Christ" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear sexual sounds as an alarm clock goes off in Nelson's bedroom. Nelson then says "That was good" as we see part of his girlfriend's bare butt as he gets up and heads into the shower (we don't see any additional nudity - just him from the waist up). We do see the girlfriend, however, in her bra (with cleavage) and panties.
  • Nelson checks some ad artwork and says, "What is this, porno?" but we don't see any of it.
  • Trying to create a scene outside of Nelson's building to embarrass him, Sara asks another resident if she wants to get naked with them, saying that they have a tub full of fudge.
  • Nelson shows some executives his revamped and now sexy and "dangerous" campaign for their hot dogs. During this, he asks what women really want, and answers that they want a hot dog (some sexual innuendo). He then says that men are hot-blooded and that they need sex and a sinful food (the hot dogs) and we see various drawings that depict voluptuous woman showing cleavage as well as that of a man and woman sensuously eating a hot dog.
  • Sara somewhat sensuously takes off Nelson's shirt, and the two then kiss. He starts to take off her top, but she tells him to wait. He then gets down on top of her on her sofa still kissing her. He starts to work on her pants and she tells him to wait again, and that he should go slow. He gets mad about that and says, "The absolute last thing I need is you telling me what to do in the sack." Moments later, however, and they've made up and she puts his head down between her clothed breasts. Then there's more sensuous kissing between them and we see her lying on top of him (still fully clothed) and the scene ends there, but it's implied that they have sex.
  • The next morning we see Nelson in his boxers as he looks for his clothes.
  • Once Nelson realizes that Sara takes monthly lovers, she asks if he'd prefer she were a virgin and he says considering the alterative, he would.
  • Nelson mentions that Sara's "project" (of helping different men each month) feels like an excuse to "get laid."
  • Sara puts a blindfold on Nelson, telling him that it will sharpen his instincts. He then playfully puts his arms behind him to reach for her, and she tells him "not those instincts."
  • After Nelson jokingly says that if she wants to be the dominatrix so bad, they should go buy the leather, Sara says that she's "strangely aroused."
  • Vince says that Nelson and Sara should join him with another woman and "get drunk and nasty."
  • During various quick shots in a montage, it appears in one that we can see down Sara's shirt as she's bent over and partially see her bare breasts.
  • We see Sara and Nelson together in a bubble bath (but nothing happens between them) with her behind him. We occasionally see parts of the tops of her bare breasts among the bubbles. Moments later, Chaz comes in and comments on both Nelson and Sara's "pecs" (telling Sara that hers are ample).
  • Nelson tells Sara that he doesn't want to waste his night with Chaz, but instead wants to get naked with her. Later, Sara tells him that it's a good time to get naked with her (but does so to skirt the issue of something more important).
  • We see Nelson and Sara cuddled together in bed under the covers asleep.
  • Sara tells Nelson that she are her family argue about religion and sex.
  • We see a head and shoulders shot of Nelson and Sara having sex with him on top of her (with slight suggested movement but no sounds or nudity).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Nelson briefly mentions that his parents are dead.
  • We learn that Sara doesn't get along with her family (but we later learn that it's due to them not agreeing with her refusal of medical treatment). However, we don't see any direct interaction between her and any family members.
  • Abner tells Nelson that if wants to adopt him, he can (it turns out Abner's father isn't around).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The unusual way in which Sara has responded to her personal dilemma.
  • Sara makes Nelson drive her to a building at night that she breaks into (so that she can free some dogs, apparently from some sort of testing lab).
  • We see that Chaz and a male friend of his are transvestites and thus see them dressed in women's clothing.
  • Cancer.
  • Whether Sara or Nelson's view of how to live life is correct, or whether there's a happy medium between the two.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Upset at being fired and his girlfriend dumping him, Nelson violently slides his many awards off his mantle (and slightly cuts his hand in the process).
  • Upset at him for blowing a deal, Vince violently grabs at Nelson.
  • Nelson breaks down a door to find out what's wrong with Sarah.
  • Upset at him for discovering her secret, Sara throws various prescription bottles at Nelson and then halfheartedly tries hitting him.



  • Reviewed January 30, 2001 / Posted February 16, 2001

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