The Sweetest Thing

on April 12, 2002 by Tim Cogshell
   The underlying premise of "The Sweetest Thing" is that girls can be gross and lewd, too. It's not a particularly original notion, though one can hardly remember it being captured on film quite so explicitly. Of course, there's a good reason for that: The idea of otherwise perfectly normal girls doing the things that slightly sub-human boys do isn't particularly ingratiating. Nevertheless, helmer Roger Kumble--who wrote and directed "Cruel Intentions"--and scripter Nancy Pimental (a writer on TV's “South Park”) attempt to apply a Farrelly-esque dynamic to their feisty romantic comedy. This means tapping the basest sources of humor, only from a distaff point of view. It all pretty much works out the same.

   Christina (Cameron Diaz) is a 21st-century girl not hung-up on traditional relationships. She dates often--seldom the same guy twice. She stumbles upon a handsome, sassy guy named Peter (Thomas Jane of "Boogie Nights") who challenges her notion of men and relationships, then runs off to a wedding. At the urging of her friend, Courtney (Christina Applegate), she takes a road trip to find Peter and see what this "relationship" thing is all about. Meanwhile, another girlfriend, Jane (Selma Blair), stays home, ostensibly to work out some relationship issues of her own. Actually, it's just an excuse to have Blair play all the lewd scenes that the road trip wouldn't logistically allow, including one intricate moment involving a huge cast of extras, oral sex and body piercing. In fact, the entire film is one big excuse to play one lewd scene after another. About half of them are funny, a few are sexy and none are useful in telling the story, which is paper-thin and decidedly unoriginal.    Starring Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Thomas Jane, Selma Blair, Jason Bateman and Parker Posey. Directed by Roger Kumble. Written by Nancy Pimental. Produced by Cathy Konrad. A Columbia release. Comedy. Rated R for strong sexual content and language. Running time: 84 min.

Tags: Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Thomas Jane, Selma Blair, Jason Bateman, Roger Kumble, Parker Posey, Nancy Pimental, Cathy Konrad, Columbia, Comedy, relationships, wedding, humor

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