Super cute, very quirky, and pretty clichéd. That’s The
Sweetest Thing in a nutshell. So ignore the hype and ignore
the film’s tagline, “a romantic comedy without the sugar.”
Let’s be honest—at the core, it’s a formulaic Hollywood romantic
comedy, the kind we all know and love.
When it comes to dating, Christina Walters (Diaz)
seems to have a problem with commitment, although the film
never mentions her past relationships. One night at a club
she most briefly meets Peter (Jane), but naturally
doesn’t give him her phone number. No, then the movie would
be over. Instead, they part ways after exchanging a mere three
paragraphs of dialogue. Here’s my issue with this, and most
mainstream romantic comedies: Where is the love? You’ve got
to build something at the beginning for the audience to believe
that these two characters have fallen in love.
So we suspend our disbelief and assume that talking at a
dance club equals love at first sight. Peter happened to mention
his brother’s (Bateman) wedding the following weekend,
so Christina and her wild’n’crazy best friend-since second-grade,
Courtney (Applegate) go on a road trip to find him,
encountering wild and hee-larious misadventures along the
way. Another note, about the writing here. The best friend
thing is done a little over the top. I mean, I get it, they’re
close. This doesn’t mean they have to prance around in their
underwear for half the movie. I guess that was thrown in for
the male audience members.
Anyway, they crash the wedding and flee immediately once
they find out that the groom is Peter, not his brother. Just
after they run from the church, wouldn’t you know it, the
bride (Posey) and groom mutually decide to call the
whole thing off. And the rest is history.
Despite this cynical analysis of the plot, I say, kudos to
The Sweetest Thing for being notably un-sappy. There
are some funny scenes—for example, Jane (Blair), another
girlfriend of Christina’s, having sex with her new boyfriend,
who happens to be wearing a purple hippo suit because he works
at a children’s hospital. There are some Farrelly Brothers-esque
gross-out scenes—like Jane getting stuck on said boyfriend’s
piercing while performing oral sex. We’ve come a long way
since the first toilet ever shot in a movie, kids (that was
in Psycho in 1960).
For the low, low price of $15 million, Cameron Diaz can carry
a movie. Though she’s gorgeous, funny, and brilliant, and
such an easy target of hateful envy, I give her a lifetime
of credit for her frizzy-haired role in Being John Malkovich.
"I think every third generation has an actress like
Cameron Diaz—someone who is beautiful and is also incredibly
gifted with comic timing," says Director Kumble.
I don’t see The Sweetest Thing as a film we’ll want
to watch over and over, but if you’re in the mood for a mindless,
quirky chick-flick, this one’s for you.
— Michelle Fajkus