Witherspoon stars as Melanie Smooter, a New York City fashion designer who hides her Pigeon Creek, Alabama, origins by using the last name “Carmichael.” After getting engaged to Andrew Hennings (Patrick Dempsey) — the son of New York City mayor Kate Hennings (Candice Bergen) — Melanie discovers she’s still married to her childhood sweetheart, Jake Perry (Lucas), as he never signed their divorce papers. Upon returning to Pigeon Creek, she realizes her heart may lie with her hometown and first love.
Having been born in Louisiana and raised in Tennessee, Witherspoon found it easy to relate to her character. When I read the script I was like, ‘Do these people know my life story?’” the actress said during a Town Hall event in 2018. “Because no matter how much you love where you’re from, when you get a little bit older, you get nostalgic for it.”
She continued: “When I was going through Sweet Home Alabama, I was like, ‘This is exactly how so many young people feel. You want to leave home and then you realize that there’s so many important things about the closeness of family or people who knew you before. And I feel really like that movie really encapsulated those ideas.”
Keep scrolling to see where the cast of Sweet Home Alabama is today: