Friday, July 27, 2007

Film on Friday - Sweet Home Alabama

Friday night is movie night – and here is our Natasha Oakley with her suggestion.

Sorry about that but I just had to get it out of my system. I’ve sold a book today!

As many of you will know my lovely mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October last year – just at the point I was beginning a new book. I tried to write (because I’m a very well behaved little author) but it was just impossible. Mum died in February and I miss her, miss her, miss her. Now my husband is mid chemo for his ongoing Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Tough days. Impossible writing.

BUT today I finished the book, sent it in and by mid-afternoon I had a call to say it’s gone through without revisions. How lovely is that!

Which means I’m ready to play. Large glass of wine in hand my choice of movie this evening is ….Sweet Home Alabama.

Reese Witherspoon stars as Melanie Carmichael, a New York fashion designer. Beautiful and successful, she really does have it all. Even a to-die-for proposal from her wealthy boyfriend Andrew, played by the very sexy Patrick Dempsey.

There’s just one little problem. Unknown to all her city friends Melanie is already married - to her childhood sweetheart, Jake, played by Josh Lucas.

In the seven years since she left him to find fame and fortune in the city she has tried to divorce him but Jake keeps sending the papers back.

Now it matters, particularly since Andrew is the son of the city mayor and their engagement is big news. So, with divorce papers in her hand, she returns to her Alabama hometown.

Jake still says he won’t sign. Actually he says it a much more evocative way but I’m giving this blog post a PG rating and won’t quote him. So Melanie tries another tack and I love this bit. She moves into his house and fills his fridge with diet beer and does a little redecoration. Think ‘mama’s home cooking’ and you’ll have the kind of look she goes for.

Jake: Whatever blows your dress up, darlin’. You go right ahead and spend your money.
Melanie: Oh, but darlin’, I thought you said we should think of it as “our money”.
Jake Stops!
Melanie: Just a guess: The words ‘joint checking’ are flashing in your head right now.

It turns out that Melanie had a pretty good reason for running away all those years ago – and Jake, who obviously still loves her, didn’t follow after her. Now she’s back she gets to rediscover all the things she left – and lots of them are good.

And then everything gets horribly complicated when Melanie’s fiance, Andrew, arrives for a surprise visit. Apart from the fact she has a husband she hasn’t mentioned she’s also misrepresented the kind of background she comes from.

Mayor Kate Hennings:
There is nothing wrong with poor people. I get elected by poor people.

It’s very funny and somehow you don’t feel worried for Andrew, which when you stand back and think about it is very clever.

As for movie trivia – this is the first movie to be shot in New York after the 11 September attacks. Charlie Theron was originally cast as Melanie but filmed ‘Trapped’ instead. And the ‘Deep South Glass’ Jake makes is actually hand-blown glass made by a company called Simon Pearce. They are based in Vermont if you want to track them down!

Goofs – there are plenty. My favourite: When the wedding guests are running from the rain, look in the top left-hand corner. You'll see a camera and the operator.

Sweet Home Alabama is just a lovely feel-good movie and I give it a Pink Heart Fuzzy rating of 8 out of 10.

With love

This July saw the start of a brand-new series - The Royal House of Niroli.

The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule?

Penny Jordan's book, 'The Future King's Pregnant Mistress' is out in NA and UK right now. Watch out for book 2, Melanie Milburne's 'Surgeon Prince, Ordinary Wife', out next month.

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride' will be in the shops in October but if you don't want to wait it's possible to buy the entire set right now by clicking here.


  1. I can be the first one to congratulate you, Natasha! Excellent news on your latest sale after all the pain along the way. Enjoy the celebrations.

    Good movie choice too. I enjoyed this one.


  2. Congratulations, Natasha. I'll look forward to reading the book.

    I hope all goes well with your husband's treatment.


  3. Oooooh, Natasha!!! I am soooooo beyond excited for you!!!!! Fanbloodytastic news my sweet.

    Raising a cup of decaf - ick - coffee to ya!!!


  4. Hooray for you Natasha!!!!

    And I think Sweet Home Alabama illustrates perfectly why sometimes a prologue is needed.

    It is a lovely lovely movie.

  5. Fabulous news Natasha and well done, really impressive stuff!
    You've certainly earned some play time, how about some luxuriously posh crisps (they only seem to do them in big bags) to go with that glass of wine?
    Have agreat weekend,

  6. Congrats on your sale! And on keeping writing through all the difficult times. Best wishes for your husband's full and speedy recovery.

    It sounds like a really fun movie!


  7. Natasha - Congrats on your sale - & no revisions either - fantastic! Hang in there with your husband's treatment - I know that it can be as hard on the spouse as it is the one undergoing treatment, having to carry the load. And my sympathies on the loss of your mom - I would miss mine horribly as well.

    I can't wait to pick up your new book!

  8. Congratulations Natasha.

    Love SWEET HOME ALABAMA. Oh heck! Love Reese Witherspoon movies.

  9. Have to say 'no revisions' is kind of nice! Also I'm very pleased to be starting something else.

    Reese Witherspoon is good isn't she? My daughter has a sleepover tonight and they've all just watched 'Sweet Home Alabama'. Definitely got the thumbs up.

  10. Yay, Natasha!! :) I love Sweet Home Alabama. It's one of my favorite movies!!

  11. Great news on the "no revisions", Natasha! And I love that movie, too!