By George Rose
October 14, 2009
The Sweetest Thing (2002)
A few nights ago I was visiting my friend's dorm at a nearby college. As we were hanging out and watching TV, he invited a few girls over. I could have cared less but my friend wanted to impress them so he said they could bring over any movie they wanted and he would watch it with them. Is impressing a girl really that simple? It seemed so, right up until they whipped out The Sweetest Thing. I really didn't want to watch that movie. There are a million chick flicks they could have forced upon us, a genre I actually quite enjoy. Because New Moon is right around the corner I was aching to watch Twilight but, in an effort to be a good wingman for my friend, I put a smile on my face and agreed to watch The Sweetest Thing, a movie I had only previously seen bits and pieces of on TV.
Maybe it's because I was only 17 when the movie came out and, therefore, too young and sexually inexperienced to get some of the jokes, but The Sweetest Thing really wasn't as bad as I remembered it. In fact, it was quite funny. Cameron Diaz stars as Christina, a woman who enjoys life and casual sex in equal measure. She thinks she has men all figured out until she meets Peter (Thomas Jane) in a club one night and realizes she might have some real feelings for him. Yes, I understand the first mistake of this movie is giving the audience hope that love is found while drunk at a dance club but that's hardly the point the movie is trying to make. With the help of her equally whorish friends Courtney (Christina Applegate) and Jane (Selma Blair), Christina continues to encounter sexual hilarity and searches for her Mr. Right, the man that got away.
I almost have a hard time recommending this movie because it's 25% on RottenTomatoes, has an extremely bland poster, has a cast that makes it feel like a direct-to-DVD movie, portrays attractive women as nothing but shallow, and falls completely flat with some jokes. There's one song and dance number (oh yes, it breaks out in the middle of a restaurant) about how women fake arousal and lie to men about the size of their penis that's truly disturbing. "Too big to fit in here!" chanted repeatedly now haunts my thoughts. Only because it's so unrealistic (realism is present when those nearby give dirty looks at the girls, but quickly fades when those same onlookers help create background music using utensils) is it a distraction, but the rest of the scenes more than make up for it. When the movie uses a bit more subtlety to hint at the women's hormones, real comedy begins to shine. When Jane brings a dress "stained" by a man from the night before into the dry cleaner and finds herself surrounded by a school field trip and her childhood priest, I really couldn't help but laugh out loud. While not a comedy classic or the stepping stone the three leads were hoping it would be, it's one of the few female driven sex comedies that remotely compares to the quality of Sex and the City. If nothing else it's only gotten better with age, and isn't that just about the best compliment you can give a shallow woman?