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Melanie Carmichael, Witherspoon, is hitting the heights in the Big Apple - she's just launched her first design collection of clothes to acclaim even though they're surprisingly ugly as is the costume design in the film generally - and she's received an extravagant marriage proposal from Andrew, Patrick Dempsey, the son of New York's Mayor, Candice Bergen. She says yes, of course yes, but there's business to attend to down home in Pigeon Creek Alabama first. Like getting her husband Jake, Josh Lucas, to sign the divorce papers. Back home Mel touches base with her parents, Fred Ward and Mary Kay Place - and with the locals she grew up with, but there's no denying her frustration with Jake being difficult about signing the papers. This is very much a cliched romantic comedy - more cliche less comedy actually - and yet, It avoids demonising or making a mockery of either Andrew or Jake which is a major plus because you don't know who you'd rather see her end up with - the rich nice guy or her first love. Not a lot is demanded of Josh Lucas beyond seething sexuality but he does that well. Andy Tennant who made Anna and the King makes an undistinguished effort here, but Witherspoon has charisma and it's a formula that's tried and fairly true. Not great but enjoyable.

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