It’s Alabama, 1957, and cushy Randolph University senior Maggie Deloach (Ally Sheedy) has had a revelation: White Southern folk don’t like blacks and the world is full of injustices. Her newfound perspective moves her to forsake her Southern-belle sensibility, her Alpha Chi Delta sisters, and her fiance who promises a life of eternal mint juleps.
Her decision is supposed to be affecting. But Martin Davidson’s plodding, trivialized Heart of Dixie is filled with such shallow characters and small-minded dilemmas that it’s hard to take anything here seriously. You feel for Maggie, but you’d feel for anyone who had enough sense to want to escape this town full of frat boys and drawling, peroxide coeds whose idea of a perfect life is getting pinned and having a lot of real nice poodle skirts. Next to this crowd, Imelda Marcos would look principled. Maggie’s not coming of age, she’s running for her life.
To its credit, the movie does feature gorgeous Virginia Madsen as sorority sister Delia, who sashays through her role with sultry finesse. But with its lack of developed characters, real dialogue, and genuine tension, Heart of Dixie is just pretty sets and a lot of twits and lasses. D