The Sweetest Thing
1 out of 5 stars
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After the Dangerous Liaisons adaptation Cruel Intentions, director Kumble takes a rather large step down the teen movie food chain with this lowbrow comedy. Starting with a thin rom-com premise, then adding extraneous scenes that try to be funny, but rarely draw a smile. It's about three friends in San Francisco who talk incessantly about their love lives, Sex and the City style. Christina (Diaz) is the fun-loving man-killer, Courtney (Applegate) is the sexy-sensible lawyer, and Jane (Blair) is the lovelorn moper. Then Christina meets a guy (Jane) at a nightclub, and in just a few minutes she's sure he's something special. But her fear of rejection keeps her from telling him how she feels. She knows he's attending his brother's (Bateman) wedding on Saturday, so she talks Courtney into an impromptu road trip. Antics ensue.

The problem is that after the setup, everything that comes next is completely irrelevant, starting with an astonishing bad-taste scene in a dry cleaner, through the Fame-like musical number in a Chinese restaurant (a song about the penis) to a gruesome experience in a petrol garage toilet. It just isn't funny, clever or pertinent to the story in any way. It's boring and more than a little desperate. And actors this good should not be in badly written films like this. The performances are relatively decent, although they're as uneven as the film itself due to erratic direction that mixes two parts Farrelly Brothers with one part Nora Ephron. Wrapped around these pointless scenes there's a nice 20-minute romantic comedy. But the hour in between is excruciating.

cert 15 themes, language, innuendo, vulgarity 23.Aug.02

dir Roger Kumble
scr Nancy M Pimental
with Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Jason Bateman, Parker Posey, Richard Denni, Eddie McClintock, Charlie Dell, Georgia B Engel, James Mangold, Jonathon Schaech
release US 12.Apr.02; UK 30.Aug.02
02/US 1h24

Party girls. Jane, Courtney and Christina wanna live forever (Blair, Applegate and Diaz sing 'The Penis Song')

diaz applegate blair jane
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... looking for mr right now Danni, Jamaica: "I reckon this movie is one of the funniest movies in a long time! The Penis Song left me in hysterics and the lyrics are so catchy! Definately two thumbs up!" (10.Sep.03)

christine groom, rushden: 5/5 "This film is now my favourite. i love 'the penis song' - i sing it all the time." (20.Jul.04)

2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall