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Review written by: Alex Sandell
"My god! You're right! Our shirts DID
shrink in the laundry!"
This week there are three films opening in wide release: Changing Lanes, Frailty and The Sweetest Thing. Guess which one I got an advance for? Send me a new agent . . . pronto! While actually having a middling interest in Changing Lanes, and wanting to see Frailty in the worst sort of way, you would think that the odds of getting to see a good movie would have been in my favor, but I guess that this just wasn't my week, and to prove it, Cameron Diaz's newest sleaze-fest, The Sweetest Thing, was even more rancid than I thought it was going to be, and that's, as Jon Stewart would say, "some pretty stinky cheese."
Prior to attending this pile of dog puke, I was told that it was sort of "an American Pie for feminists." Based on the misrepresentative ad-campaign, I went into the film expecting something more along the lines of that horrid Britney Spears' movie, Crossroads. When I left the theater, bleary-eyed and feeling like 80 minutes had just been stolen from my life by the almighty crap-factory that is Hollywood, I realized that what I had just bore witness to was a combination of both films; sort of an American Crossroads.
Thinking back on the god-awful used tampon that is The Sweetest Thing, I realize that comparing it to American Pie or Crossroads is giving it far too much credit. The film is Freddy Got Fingered for dummies. Now, that's a bad movie. I actually laughed once or twice (okay, maybe it was more like a couple of courtesy giggles) during Freddy, but there was not a single chuckle-inducing moment in The Sweetest Thing. I can't believe some knucklehead paid Cameron Diaz fifteen million dollars to star in this trash-heap.
In The Sweetest Thing Diaz plays a stalker, and gathers up a few gal pals to relentlessly pursue an unwitting man she spent a few minutes talking to in a club, deciding immediately that he was Mr. Right. Diaz, appearing to either be holding in vast quantities of urine, or trying to squeeze out a king sized clump of dump throughout the entire picture, with all the wiggling and writhing that she does, is really wearing out her overly-chipper, dumb-plucky-blonde welcome. Her subtle and powerful performance in Being John Malkovich is growing ever more distant, and I'm starting to wonder if the whole thing was simply a fluke. And then there's the co-stars. Oh, gawd ... the co-stars.
Christina Applegate still can't act, but makes for one nice-looking slut. I couldn't put a finger on where I had seen the girl who plays Christina and Cameron's other obnoxious friend, and it wasn't worth expending any brain energy trying to remember what movies she's been rotten in before. Parker Posey, the former queen of art-house films, is again whoring her talents out for a fast buck playing an insignificant role in a shitty movie. And, finally, no child of the eighties worth his or her weight in hair-gel can forget Jason Bateman, star of both classic TV (Silver Spoons) and movies (Teen Wolf Too), alike. What a wicked ensemble of washed-up television actors and actresses our friendly casting director has put together for us to enjoy! If Director Roger Kumble had even a thimbleful of talent, this film could have been almost as fun as last year's Facts of Life reunion!
In reality, Roger Kumble has never directed anything remotely close to as good as a sappy television reunion. What Kumble has given us are films such as National Lampoon's Senior Trip and the made-for-TV (or was it video?), Cruel Intentions 2. With The Sweetest Thing, the man somehow manages to out-suck himself, which, at one time, would have seemed such an impossible task.
Screenwriter, Nancy Pimental, doesn't fair any better than the man who helped bring her words to life on the silver screen, but she can almost be excused, if only for the fact that her sole writing credit prior to this film included being a staff writer on South Park for a couple of season. It's obvious when watching the raunchiest scenes in this movie, that Pimental never learned the first rule of potty jokes from her mentors, Trey Parker and Matt Stone: if a bodily function joke isn't funny, it does nothing more than stink up the room.
Stinking up the room, or torturing confessions out of detainees at Camp X-Ray, is about all The Sweetest Thing is good for. Never in cinematic history, has there been a title for a film quite as ironic as the one given to this movie. The only thing "sweet" about this waste of celluloid is that it ends in less than 90 minutes, and mercifully gives us our lives back, right before we scarf down enough extra-buttered popcorn to choke ourselves to death.
As a side note, I am baffled that an honest, touching and heartfelt female-oriented picture such as Margarita Happy Hour, which I reviewed only ten days ago, is merely gracing one screen, at the same time that The Sweetest Thing, a poorly conceived male gross-out comedy that just so happens to have females cast as its leads, vomits its way onto nearly three-thousand. There is no God . . . at least not in Hollywood.
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Text ©(Copyright) 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].
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