The Sweetest Thing Movie Review

Cameron Diaz proved to have a knack for booty-shaking as she hustled her way through Charlie's Angels, and the good news is The Sweetest Thing gives her ample opportunity to shake her sweetest thing in every damn scene. The bad news is that what is being sold as a "sweet" romantic comedy is anything but. In fact, it's really just an overstimulated sex comedy with plenty of raunch and crudeness... and a stifling lack of humor.

Diaz stars as Christina, an oversexed, under-committal, zeroes kind of gal living in San Francisco. Her two roommates, Courtney (Christina Applegate) and Jane (Selma Blair), are similar poster children for Gen X. In what might have become an interesting spin on the genre, it's the girls who don't call back the guys and the guys who end up whining and crying over their heartache.

But Christina wants to change her ways, driven by a chance encounter with a Nice Guy named Peter (Thomas Jane). Only she's too afraid to meet up with him later that night, so she figures her one shot at love is blown. Fortunately, a couple of juicy details have been left behind -- she knows his name and that he's attending a wedding in a nearby town that weekend -- enough to spur an impromptu road trip with Christina and Courtney attempting to track down her would-be soul mate.

While that's the official plot, the story is hardly anything more than a rickety device to deliver gross-out humor, Farrelly brothers-style. For most of its running time, The Sweetest Thing jumps from one contrived gag to the next: We get a barrage of rude jokes about mysterious stains, dirty underwear, maggot-infested leftovers, public toilets, glory holes, and breast implants -- all without a shred of female nudity! And none of it relates to Christina's quest for love, either.

Porky's-style naughtiness can be fun, but the delivery vehicle needs to be more in touch with its vulgarity. There's Something About Mary didn't take its love story seriously, an irony that actually strengthened the film. But Diaz's soliloquies just don't play in The Sweetest Thing, and a maddeningly drawn-out final act, which abandons comedy altogether, drives the final nail into the bored audience's skull.

The talent behind The Sweetest Thing is inexplicable and deserves mention. Writer Nancy Pimental is best known as the lovely co-host and announcer on Win Ben Stein's Money. Director Roger Kimble wrote and directed both Cruel Intentions and Cruel Intentions 2. And Jason Bateman (who I'm thrilled to see working again) even has a supporting role.

With such an, ahem, eclectic cast and crew, I had far higher hopes for this Thing than it paid out. But I think most of the problems could have been fixed by simply recasting the lead with someone much less wholesome. After all, wouldn't this raunchy road trip have been better with Christina Applegate and... Jenny McCarthy?



The Sweetest Thing Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2002


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