The Sweetest Thing
Yet another gross-out comedy reaches us. Damn those Farrelly brothers for starting this trend! Unfortunately as with most trends, the initial pieces are great, but towards the end of the line the standards become old and worn. The Sweetest Thing is no exception.
Cameron Diaz stars as Christina Walters, an over-sexed, under-committal man-eater whose fast approaching the big 30(ish). She’s left a wake of men in her wash, all who are suffering from heartache. She preaches about not finding Mr Right, but Mr Right Now.
Most of her preaching is aimed at her two flatmates, Courtney (Christina Applegate) and Jane (Selma Blair). Courtney is much in the same mould as Christina, more interested in having fun and enjoying life (and men). Jane, on the other hand, has just been dumped by her boyfriend and is now back on the market. She’s the least glamorous and confident member of the trio.
So life revolves around partying and breaking hearts for Courtney and Christina, with Jane unwillingly in tow.
One day, in a club she meets Peter (Thomas Jane) who is attending a bachelor party. His momentary indifference acts as an aphrodisiac to her and she then believes that he is the one for her.
Unfortunately for her, the next day she is still infatuated with Peter, but with their only contact a brief argument, she has no idea how to find him except that she knows he’s attending a wedding the next day. Luckily Courtney knows which town and off they set on an impromptu road trip. The plan is to get to the town, find the wedding (there can’t be that many they rationalise) and then Christina and Peter can fall in love.
All things being equal, that’s the gist of the plot and it is blatantly an excuse for one gross-put joke after another. For a film that has zero female nudity, there is plenty of flesh being bared. At every opportunity Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate are prancing around in tiny underwear (which is not a bad thing!). It does border on soft porn at times.
The characters played by the two leading ladies are completely shallow and for want of a better word, tarts. However, they seem to be having fun during filming, which is nice. They can start getting a little grating and annoying after a while (how many times can you stand whining voices?). Selma Blair, although the quietest of the trio, has some of the more memorable scenes – two in particular involving a Monica Lewinski style dress stain and a mishap involving oral sex and genital piercing (see it to believe it!).
Ironically neither scene has anything to do with the plot whatsoever. Which leads to another point – the film is really just a collection of sketches interlinked with the thread of the road trip. It does sink to some unbelievably crude levels and even has a musical number included for no reason. The aforementioned Penis Song was cut from the USA version of the film. However, crude for crude sake doesn't always make it funny.
Performance wise, the cast does seem to be having fun and are cutting loose. Cameron Diaz is in full on hyper energetic mode and grins insanely for most of the film. Surprisingly Christina Applegate, more famous as her role as Kelly in the TV show Married…With Children shows that she can do racy comedy well.
Overall, the film is funny and extremely coarse, but lacks the charm and wit of similar films such as There’s Something About Mary and American Pie. It is writer Nancy M Pimental’s first feature film screenplay and director Roger Kumble has executed it badly. With only two or three really funny scenes, the film does feel like a few sketches knocked together at times. It looks like the Farrelly brothers are safe this time round.
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