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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that seeing Sara's health worsen is upsetting, as is the scene in which she asks Nelson to let her go. It's painful to watch Sara's young neighbor Abner anxiously look for a father figure. Sara's neighbors are transvestites. Mature themes include death and terminal illness. Occasional mild to moderate profanity. We see Nelson in bed with his girlfriend. Mentions of hookers, flashers, and dominatrixes. Nelson's ad campaign is sexually suggestive. Lots of passionate kissing, touching, and lovemaking. It's implied that Sara was promiscuous. Sara and Nelson share a bubble bath (no nudity).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SWEET NOVEMBER revolves around beautiful Sara (Charlize Theron), who lives by the rule of having a new boyfriend for each month of the calendar. She may seem fickle, but Sara always manages to help her current boyfriend learn an important lesson or become a better person before she moves on to the next guy. In November, she begins seeing Nelson (Keanu Reeves), a ruthless businessman. Hanging out with Sara begins to have an effect on Nelson – his sharp edges soften, and he actually finds himself falling in love. But there's a reason for Sara's approach to dating – she's extremely ill.
Is it any good?
For teens who haven't seen Love Story or any of the other "disease-of-the-week" movies popular in the '70s, this movie will be an intensely emotional experience. Older viewers, however, are more likely to notice the movie's implausible plot--doesn't Nelson know that bad things can happen to people who spontaneously move in with strangers? A few of the movie's scenes get a little syrupy, but some much-needed humor counters the sugar shock. And, supporting characters help lighten the somber theme.
Charlize Theron proves that she can do more than decorate the screen as someone's significant other. She's goofy and carefree one moment, solemn and vulnerable the next. On the other hand, Keanu Reeves' transformation to "sensitive guy" isn't quite believable because he conveys little emotion even when saying lines such as "November is all I know or want to know."
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