5.8/10
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16 user 2 critic

Southern Belles (2005)

R | | Comedy, Romance | 2005 (USA)
Bell and Belle want to break out of their trailer park lives and get up and out to the "Big City" of Atlanta. Just when they think they are on their way to getting a nest egg Bell falls for a handsome police officer named Rhett Butler.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bell Granger
...
...
Tracy Hampton
...
Margery
...
Duane
David Wheir ...
Bob-Oh
Jack McCarthy ...
Officer Les Franck
Naima Lena ...
Claudette
...
Kevin
Laurel Ullman ...
Jenny
Craig Myers ...
Captain Willard
...
Jane Willard
Blake Cohen ...
Yankee #1
...
Yankee #2
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Storyline

In the Georgia town of Johnson's Mark, where they take hunting seriously, Belle and Bell are best friends, housemates in a trailer. On the day Bell dumps her boyfriend and Belle quits her job, they decide to take their dreams to Atlanta. They'll need about $2500, so they set out to find the money. Belle has various schemes (bingo, karaoke), and Bell, who tends bar, offers to dance with the highest bidder. Then, she starts to fall in love with that guy, a local deputy sheriff named Rhett Butler. Love, friendship, loyalties, and the need for cash may be on a collision course. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sex references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bellezas del sur  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Belle Scott: I quit. That rhymes with shit. I quit this shit!
See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very diverting
17 June 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

A simple unpretentious bit of fun that is carried mostly on the strength of the incredibly appealing cast.

The two lead actresses are adorable and funny. They both have natural comedic timing that rises above the material they're given. Don't get me wrong, the writing is not bad, and is far more entertaining and fresh than most predigested pap coming from the big studios and starring Robin Williams or Jim Carrey, but it's undercut by the shove-it-down your throat direction.

It seems as the filmmakers' motto was: "When in doubt, abandon all subtlety." For example, during one character's dialogue, they actually use a snare drum and cymbal on the soundtrack to punch up the joke! I'm not kidding. I didn't hear an actual rimshot, but probably only because the sound designer didn't have it in his FX library. It's from the horrid "Scrubs" school of comedy where they use cartoon sound effects to scream at the viewer: "THERE'S A JOKE HERE, PEOPLE!" It was odd, because the movie didn't deserve that sort of treatment at all, and the script was smarter than that. It's too bad the filmmakers didn't trust the material more and let the jokes live on their own. They also overused music - another sign of low confidence in the film. (An old rule of film-making is that the more music a movie has, the worse the script is. Music should enhance the moment, not try to manufacture a moment that ain't there. Think of any WB show like "The O.C." or "7th Heaven" and how they overuse the cheesy music.) If I'm using TV shows to compare to this movie, it's because this film was shot rather like TV. It was very dialogue-driven, and not very cinematic. The directors were also overly fond of using short lenses (giving the look a very wide feel). Short lenses can induce a sense of extreme closeness to characters, to the point of distortion. They are also used to give a sense of immersion in a world, but when the world they created is not very cinematic, then the technique is counterproductive.

They were also fond of having actors look almost directly into the camera. A lot. I mean really a lot. The end result is that it reinforces the shove-the-movie-down-the-viewer's-throat feeling. The characters feel as though they are taking to the audience instead of each other.

The strength of the film is the cast, especially the 2 leads, who have a joy of performance that's contagious and a real treat to watch. And the rest of the cast shines as well.

Which is where the directors really did their jobs - they were smart enough to give their cast a big movie playground to run free in, and we as audience members benefit.

If you like the TV show "My Name is Earl" or films where character's ambitions are comedically out of touch with their reality like "Raising Arizona", then you would most likely enjoy this diverting film.

It's fast-paced, energetic, and has a cast that never disappoints, even when the script does.

One odd side note, the film is set in the South, and the filmmakers put Confederate flags everywhere. I don't remember that many Confederate flags in the South, and it felt too goofy and kind of racist. But there were zero black people in the film, also unrealistic for the South.

But then again, they also said grace before they ate, something I never see either. Maybe I'm just out of touch with Jesus and racism.

Anyway, this is a good rental just for the performances.


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