The Sweetest Thing Movie Review

Trying perhaps a little too hard to prove women can be every bit as bawdy as men, "The Sweetest Thing" is a raunchy romantic comedy in the "There's Something About Mary" vein, focused on a female protagonist.

Cameron Diaz -- "Mary's" Mary -- plays a confirmed, no-commitments party girl who unexpectedly meets a guy that makes her heart go all aflutter. It's a movie with likable characters and a take-no-prisoners comedic free spirit, but its plot never develops much beyond its function as scaffolding to hang racy jokes upon.

As usual, Diaz is a delight playing a club-hopping, bed-hopping beauty who lives by the philosophy of looking for Mr. Right Now. In the process, she and her best friend (Christina Applegate) tease their way through the San Francisco singles scene, giving fake phone numbers to guys who buy them drinks all night and leaving behind libidos in limbo and even some broken hearts.

So our heroine is really thrown for a loop when she gets in an argument with a cute guy (Thomas Jane, "Deep Blue Sea") in a bar -- she pinched his butt as a conversation starter -- then can't get him out of her mind. She can't get him out of her dreams either, especially not the one in which he's under her bed sheets, pleasuring her while she chows down on ice cream.

Egged on by the trouble-making Applegate (who gets that "Married With Children" monkey off her back with a sublime -- but not scene-stealing -- comedic performance), Diaz goes hunting for this unforgettable fellow, even crashing a wedding he'd mentioned in passing once they'd stopped sniping and started flirting that night.

Ripe with abundantly askew comedic dialogue and moments of memorable absurdity, "The Sweetest Thing" rings true from its women's point of view, thanks to the wicked writing of Nancy M. Pimental. (Her kinky cachet includes a stint as a "South Park" writer and her gig co-hosting the wry cable quiz show "Win Ben Stein's Money.")

The friendship she's written between the two leads benefits from so much authenticity that they even share in jokes that aren't explained to the audience. The picture has hilarious perspectives on such subjects as breast implants (Applegate carries on a normal conversation in a nightclub ladies' room while flat-chested admirers feel her up) and the use of the men's room in an emergency (the sight of Applegate using a urinal is a perfectly played preposterous moment).

Yet for all its attempts to balance the risqué and the romantic, "The Sweetest Thing" has little to say on the subject of love. Its sincere side seems to have been left on the cutting room floor along with a whole slew of other story elements. Part way through the film, for example, Applegate gets a long-term boyfriend, who turns up for 30 seconds before disappearing completely. Then there's poor Selma Blair ("Legally Blonde," "Cruel Intentions") who does her best with the forgotten role of a third best friend -- Diaz and Applegate's more commitment-friendly gal pal -- who exists only to up the movie's off-color ante with superfluous, long-running scenes about oral sex accidents involving body piercings.

In the process of trimming the movie to an expeditious 84 minutes, director Roger Kumble (who helmed "Cruel Intentions") seems to have dumped a whole lot of plot (not to mention almost every scene shown the TV commercials) in favor of such outrageous gags. But he does have an irreverent sense of humor ("Do we have time for a movie montage?" asks Applegate during a dressing room scene that then spoofs about 15 other films with quickie wardrobe changes). He also shows a talent for getting maximum personality out of minimal characters. Blair is great, what little there is of her, and other supporting performances by Parker Posey and Jason Bateman are just as memorable.

What he can't seem to do is edit together a version of this movie that doesn't feel as if it's been run through a cheese grater. If you stick around to watch the credits, you'll see just how much footage never made it into the finished film from the surprisingly lame out-takes.


Comments

The Sweetest Thing Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, Opened: Friday, April 12, 2002

Editors Recommendations

Jodie Foster Is Now A Married Woman! Wait, When Did That Happen?

Congratulations to Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison, who just tied the knot this week!...

Jodie Foster Is Now A Married Woman! Wait, When Did That Happen?

Olivia Wilde And Jason Sudeikis Welcome Baby Otis Into The World

Babies, babies everywhere! The latest addition to the Hollywood brood is little Otis...

Olivia Wilde And Jason Sudeikis Welcome Baby Otis Into The World

Adventurer And "Bachelorette" Contestant Dies After Paragliding Incident

Eric Hill, a Bachelorette contestant, who was severely injured in a paragliding accident...

Adventurer And

Richard Gere's New Lady Love, Who Is Padma Lakshmi?

Actor Richard Gere and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi are allegedly an item...

Richard Gere's New Lady Love, Who Is Padma Lakshmi?

Tom Hardy secretly weds?

The 'Locke' actor has praised long-term partner Charlotte Riley - who he started dating in 2009...

Tom Hardy - Tom Hardy secretly weds?

Laura Prepon Squashes Speculation Claiming She Is Dating Tom Cruise

Laura Prepon and Tom Cruise and not dating, despite numerous rumors that suggest they are...

Laura Prepon Squashes Speculation Claiming She Is Dating Tom Cruise

Joan Rivers Said What? Comedienne's Latest Scandal Gets Ariel Castro Kidnapping Victims Involved

People are once again outraged at something Joan Rivers said – what else is new? The 80-year-old...

Joan Rivers Said What? Comedienne's Latest Scandal Gets Ariel Castro Kidnapping Victims Involved

Lupita Nyong'o Is Crowned People Magazine's Most Beautiful Women

The 31 year-old actress, who was virtually unknown when cast in Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave'...

 Lupita Nyong'o Is Crowned People Magazine's Most Beautiful Women

Wow, Mean Girls Could Have Been A Very Different Movie. Casting Changes and Alternate Endings

Amazingly, it's been a decade since the release of Mean Girls, the movie that has become...

Wow, Mean Girls Could Have Been A Very Different Movie. Casting Changes and Alternate Endings


More recommendations