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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 44 of 49)

Sterritt ** This ambitious drama sweeps through a Florida town with a skeptical eye, focusing on a civic booster with an artificial smile, an unhappy motel manager with too many men in her life, and an African-American woman revisiting her home after years away. Sayles has assembled an impressive cast, but he's so busy orchestrating these lives into a symphony that he doesn't manage to give each person the details a persuasive portrait needs.

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Staff *** Down-to-earth, insightful, leisurely.

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes, including implied sex. Violence: 3, including arson. Profanity: 24 harsh expressions. Drugs: 20 scenes with smoking and drinking.

Sweet Home Alabama (PG-13)

Director: Andy Tennant. With Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Fred Ward. (102 min.)

Sterritt ** A young New York fashion designer visits her Southern hometown to divorce her husband, sparking bittersweet reunions and a chance to rediscover her roots. This glossy romantic comedy doesn't have a speck of authentic heart or soul - you can bet its Hollywood creators wouldn't move to Alabama if their lives depended on it - but it provides a colorful setting for Witherspoon's charm.

Staff *** Funny, light-hearted, dreamy.

Sex/Nudity: Some innuendo. Violence: 2 mild scenes. Drugs: 7 scenes with alcohol.

The Sweetest Thing (R)

Director: Roger Kumble. With Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Thomas Jane. (87 min.)

Staff * Best friends Christina (Diaz) and Courtney (Applegate) claim to love a life of one-night-stands. Until one finds her true love, that is, when they abandon the single life to chase him down. This unoriginal comedy is nothing more than a recitation of platitudes and stereotypes. By Katie Nesse

Swept Away (R)

Director: Guy Ritchie. With Madonna, Adriano Giannini, Jeanne Tripplehorn, John Turturro. (92 min.)

Sterritt * A fisherman is stranded on a deserted island with the rich, obnoxious woman he works for, and both succumb to their worst instincts before inevitably falling in love. Giannini makes a promising English-language acting debut. Madonna gives the most tiresome performance of her career. The material girl is running out of material!

Swimfan (PG-13)

Director: John Polson. With Jesse Bradford, Erika Christensen, Kate Burton. (85 min.)

Sterritt ** "Fatal Attraction" goes to high school, as a pretty psychopath stalks a swimming-team hunk with deadly results. Polson's well-filmed thriller swims down the usual lanes for this genre, and everyone looks way too old for senior year. But many of the suspense scenes work fine, and Bradford is terrific as the endangered hero.

Sex/Nudity: 4 instances of sex and innuendo. Violence: 10 scenes. Profanity: 16 mostly mild expressions. Drugs: 1 party scene with drinking, smoking.

Swimming (Not rated)

Director: Robert J. Siegel. With Lauren Ambrose, Joelle Carter, Jennifer Dundas, Jamie Harrold. (98 min.)

Sterritt *** The setting is a South Carolina resort town, and the main characters are a discontented working girl, her party-girl best friend, and a sexy new girl who's just arrived on the scene. Sprightly acting, understated emotions, and lovingly detailed ambience make this amiable comedy-drama an easygoing indie pleasure.

Sex/Nudity: 12 instances, mostly innuendo. Violence: 2 scenes. Profanity: 28 harsh expressions. Drugs: 8 scenes with drinking. 1 with drugs.

Tadpole (PG-13)

Director: Gary Winick. With: Sigourney Weaver, John Ritter, Bebe Neuwirth, Aaron Stanford. (78 min.)

Sterritt * A precocious prep-school student falls in love with his stepmother and has an affair with one of her best friends. The dialogue rarely rings true, and the only well-rounded performance is Neuwirth's as the middle-aged seductress.