"'November' Stripped of Steamy Scenes
Reeves-Theron remake toned down to get PG-13"


by Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 January 2001

Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron shot some sizzling love scenes while in San Francisco making "Sweet November" last spring. But don't look for them on the screen when this offbeat romance hits theaters next month. To qualify for a PG-13 rating — translation: bigger box office — the steamy stuff got cut out.

Reeves complained to us about the edits, calling them "bizarre." The Matrix breaker has a point. Theron's character runs a sort of one-woman sex clinic out of her Potrero Hill apartment, ministering to a different needy client every month. How do you sanitize that story without compromising it?

Reeves, who plays an uptight ad executive who's transformed by being Mr. November, described one tinkered-with scene of him and Theron in a bathtub. "I turn around and go underneath the bubbles, and then you hear Charlize laugh. Well, you can't have that because it makes it an R-rated picture. It's OK if you just see our heads above the water. But the breasts that we suckle as infants are R-rated, and showing a nice intimacy between two people is R-rated. "

While professing to love San Francisco, Reeves admits that he got out of town on his days off. "I went to maybe two restaurants. I had a motorcycle, so I kind of left and went north."

He did, however, spend a lot of time in Savannah, Ga., while making "The Gift," a thriller opening next Friday. Since he plays what Reeves calls "a redneck — and I don't mean that in a derogatory way," he was curious to see some rough Southerners up close. "I wanted to walk the walk and talk the talk. " So he got a pickup truck and went barhopping. Wasn't he recognized? "Sure. But that only lasts for a few minutes. If you hang out, you are just people after a while."

©2001 San Francisco Chronicle



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