The Sweetest Thing Review

by Homer Yen (homer_yen AT yahoo DOT com)
April 23rd, 2002

"The Sweetest Thing" Is Hard to Find
by Homer Yen
(c) 2002

The sweetest thing about "The Sweetest Thing" is the collective performance of Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair who show us that women who are this liberated really leave men with no chance. Christina (Diaz), Courtney (Applegate) and Jane (Blair) are three close friends who console each other during breakups, talk candidly about men and sex, and frequent the local club for cute guys as a way of reinforcing their dominance.

Christina leads the pack as a 'have-fun-or-bust' girl whose siren-like beauty and vivaciousness mesmerizes all the men. In the opening sequence, those previously jilted by her lament about how their hearts and minds have been turned to mush. But to go after Christina is to set oneself up for heartache. She's more interested in Mr. Right Now rather than Mr. Right, and is as fickle as she is affable. Diaz is so good at playing a ditz, but what's impressive is that we know she's a very intelligent actress. She is so very close to finding a role that will garner her an Oscar nomination.

Her best mates include Courtney who is perky in spirit and has breasts to match. So alluring are they that in the nightclub's restroom, other women paw at them in amazement. As you've probably guessed, sex is a constant gag that appears in many forms. Actually, what was interesting about this scene is not the cheap thrill of seeing women cup her breasts but the suggestion that females are catty by nature and secretly gauge their competition. That would've probably been a funnier topic than what is presented in the film.

Jane, meanwhile is far from plain. She has sex in a clothing store dressing room with her lover, who is donning an elephant costume; she needs to extricate herself from an embarrassing sexual position; and she has an episode at a dry cleaners that would've been funnier if the manager wasn't so inquisitive about the mysterious Lewinsky stain on her dress.
Sure, we like this trio, who throw themselves into their roles with the giddiness of schoolgirls and the reckless abandon of a flasher. But there's nowhere for them to go. The vehicle sits idly in park for the entire 90 minutes, feeling as if it is revving up to go somewhere but never does.

There is a thin plot in which Christina finally feels more than fleeting attraction for a guy she met at a club. So, with the help of Courtney, they travel three hours to crash a party in the hopes of finding him. There's a good idea being nurtured here. As Christina says, "dating is all about boundaries. It's about self-preservation." But at some point they'll grow weary of the game. And instead of having men as pawns, they want them to be kings.

Sadly, its weighed down by insipid jokes about oral sex, semen, bodily fluids, compromising positions, and other antics that make this a cross between a Hispanic MTV video and the Girl Gone Wild videos. The brightest sequences, in fact, had no sex at all in them. One included a scene with a nervous bride (Parker Posey) and another was a 'movie montage' in which Christina and Courtney dressed up as movie characters (the Pretty Woman gag was very funny). These girls know how to have fun, and while the film is jovial, it's equally pointless.

Grade: C

S: 2 out of 3
L: 3 out of 3
V: 1 out of 3

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