Aren't these girls just having the most fun EVER?! Uh-oh, Cameron, look out for that Bubba on your left!

 

Too Sweet

Coming to terms with
Cameron Diaz's alternate universe
in The Sweetest Thing.

by Joey Cody

 

Dear Cami:

It's over. I didn't want to do this publicly, but I'm breaking things off. It's not you; it's me. OK, no–it's you. When I fell in love, there was just something about you. But things are different now. Your Ritalin ran out. You still haven't kicked Gwyneth's butt. And then there was that Oscar hairdo.

When you think of me, don't laugh, don't cry. Just giggle.

Adieu.

It's sad, I know. And with the release of The Sweetest Thing, I just don't know if I'll ever be able to let her back into my life.

America's favorite goofball, Cameron Diaz, seems to be building a career on fueling Man Show fantasies that: a.) Someone who looks like her will worship them. b.) She will be an ESPN addict. c.) She will be simultaneously sexually naïve and a sex goddess. d.) She will be able to inhale a double cheese ChubbyBurger every other day and keep her supermodel figure. e.) She will never, ever be in a bad mood; and f.) she really doesn't want you to call her tomorrow. No, really.

And there are even more pie-in-the-sky myths perpetuated by Sweetest, an ADD-challenged flick that goes a bit sour.

Story goes: Christina (Ms. CD) and Courtney (Christina Applegate) are the hottest, most fabulous, party girls you've ever met. At least they think so. And Christina has cut quite a swath, leaving a battalion of heartbroken and flummoxed suitors in her wake. She's professional, sexy, and having a blast. And then she meets Peter. To chase, or not to chase?

Welcome to Bizarro World. The women have commitment issues. They like their guys cute and stupid. They use urinals. And the men obsess about their physiques and wonder neurotically why they couldn't hold onto a woman. Clever switcheroo, huh? Modern! And feminist! And total B.S.

Sweetest just can't figure out if it wants to be obsessed with traditional romance or completely contemporary and nonchalant, but it should have taken a lesson from Bridget Jones. You can have it all–but there will be compromises.

Not only are Chris and Court fun, foxy, successful, and independent, but they're also the BESTEST BEST FRIENDS IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD! They aren't competitive, they finish each others' sentences, and they've been together since the second grade. Mm-hm.

Oops, almost forgot Selma Blair. As the 'plain jane' Jane, Selma is probably the most talented cast member, but here she is a lame appendage–brought in to snag the Scary Movie crowd with naïve sexuality and puerile cock jokes. A real waste.

One day, the two COOLEST BEST FRIENDS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE find Jane, post-jilt, sobbing into her pint of Haagen-Dazs and meditating on the feminine wisdom of a nauseating self-help book called True Love: The Ten Commandments. After dispensing their worldly advice, the gals take Jane out on the town, where Christina meets her match in the utterly forgettable Peter. But she's tired of 'the game' and decides to follow him to a family wedding. And so it goes.

Penned by a South Park writer, this movie onceuponatime had a fighting chance, I assume. A chance that director Roger Kumble (Cruel Intentions I & II) just had to lift his leg on. And he wants it all, from the 'Nsync crowd to the indie crowd, judging from Parker Posey's weird cameo. (Even a bearded Jason Bateman makes the scene–actually very cute and funny.)

As the über-confident Courtney, Christina Applegate just about steals the show. She's sharp and relaxed, with a dry, jaded sense of humor. But her post-feminist, sex-positive rhetoric gets exasperating. Call me an old-fashioned Ms. reader, but having great pride in one's fake tits and calling other women 'pussies' is just not my cuppa. And then, in a dressing-room scene, the buddies eye their near-perfect bodies and bellyache about their 'droopy' breasts and arm waddles. Must they? I mean, they're really not expecting me to commiserate with them about body issues, right? This is where the disingenuous sororital chumminess really alienates its audience(s). ("See? We're just like you! Love us!")

Sweetest is a somewhat lovable, if slobbery, mongrel, but it wants to be too many things: a teen road-trip movie, a nearing-30 chick flick, a wedding snafu story, a Saturday Night Live skit ("I'm single, and LOVing it!"), etc. Sweetest begs, "I will be anything you want. Just please give me your $8." Ew. Desperate much?

There are some fun parts, however (Christina's "cute boy" daydream scene is delicious). And if you come looking for Cameron Diaz flashing her skivvies, dancing like a real honky, and singing off-key, well, you'll get it. Ultimately, though, her doublewide grin and the cutie-patootie-ness are wearing thin.

So, I dunno. Go see a matinee. Or not. Whatever.

(Just don't tell her I was talking about her, OK? I don't want her to think I still care.)

 

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