Sweet Novemberis a 2001 American romantic drama film starring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron . The film is based on an earlier version made in 1968 and written by Herman Raucher . Due to the poor response the film received from critics it was nominated forWorst Remake or Sequeland both Reeves and Theron nominated forWorst ActorandWorst Actressat the 2001 Golden Raspberry Awards .
Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) works in advertising and devotes his life to his career. He unexpectedly meets Sara Deever (Charlize Theron), a woman very different from anyone else he has ever met. His arrogance and ignorance leads to her failing her DMV test and she decides to track him down to make him pay for what he did. She subsequently beguiles him and continually asks him to spend a month with her, to be her "November", on the promise that she will change his life for the better. That night she sleeps with him and the next day Chaz, (a close friend of Sara's) arrives in the apartment and is able to identify Nelson as Sara's "November". Nelson believes, quite rightly, that something strange is going on and leaves. Sara then runs after Nelson and finally convinces him to stay with her for a month.
Throughout the course of November the two experience very happy times together and fall in love. Sara also has two dogs and gives them up (to a new family) within the month that Nelson stays with her. Apparently this is what she does to help the dogs. At this point the viewer becomes aware of Sara's commitment to doing as much good as she can to a variety of subjects, be they human in Nelson's case or canine in the dog's case, but only for a limited period of time. During the month Nelson examines his life and his past in great detail. During their adventures Nelson befriends a fatherless child called Abner ( Liam Aiken ). Eventually Nelson realizes that he is deeply in love with Sara and asks her to marry him. This sets in motion a sudden chain of events that reveal Sara's terminal cancer ( Hodgkins Lymphoma ). Because Sara cannot bear to have Nelson experience her decline in health and eventual death, she asks him to leave and breaks up with him. Sara tells Chaz that Nelson proposed to her. Chaz (who is a close friend of Sara) says that it was not the first time that a man had fallen in love with her and proposed. This implies Sara has had numerous "months". Sara confirms this but claims that it was the first time she had wanted to say yes. But she decides she will not continue the relationship to protect Nelson from getting hurt in the event of her death due to her cancer. For a time Nelson complies with her wishes, but then stages a surprise return during Thanksgiving dinner giving her gifts that remind her of their happy times together.
They stay together for one more day; he posts November calendars all over her apartment walls and is saying he does not want to leave her and it can always be November for them meaning he wants to be with her forever and get married. They make love and he spends the night. When Nelson wakes up the next morning, he finds that Sara is awake and dressed and asks him once again to leave, with all his calendars taken down, he becomes confused and heartbroken. Sara starts to run away and Nelson runs after her. Eventually he catches up to Sara and in the tearful scene that follows Sara once again asking Nelson to leave and let her go so that he will always have happy and strong memories of her rather than staying with her, dealing with her cancer and death. Sara explains that she needs to know this is how she will be remembered by Nelson, she tells Nelson that she will return home to her family (who she had been avoiding due to her health condition) and will face her last days in life. Ostensibly, there will be no further "months". The movie ends with Sara blindfolding Nelson (a revisitation of an activity they had done earlier in the month), giving him one last kiss and then walking away. Nelson then takes off the blindfold in tears, then walks away in sadness and is later shown at a park they attended on one of their dates.