SWEETEST THING, THE (UNRATED)
Reviewed September 3rd, 2002 by Brian White
A few days after seeing The Sweetest Thing, I really do not know what to think about it. Part of me thinks it was a really stupid movie that misses the mark in many areas. However, there is something fresh in the movie. You get the typical American Pie/Porky’s type humor, but it is all from the female perspective.
The Sweetest thing is the story of Christina, a party girl who basically yanks every guy’s chain, and won’t settle down. She lives a superficial life, but she is having fun and she is honest about it. Coincidentally, she meets the perfect guy, and happenstance keeps the star-crossed lovers apart until the end of the flick. Along the way, we watch Christina suffer through one ridiculous situation after another.
The humor in this flick is surprisingly raw. The girls in the movie are empowered, so there is no real sense of exploitation. All of this would be very bold if everything here wasn’t done so much better on HBO’s Sex and the City. Yes, I can hear the suits in the meeting now: “…it’s a cross between Sex and the City and American Pie. How much for Cameron Diaz? I smell a hit!” Despite its obvious similarity to Sex asnd the City, the gonzo approach is new for a big-studio chick (ish) flick.
I found the female characters in the film mostly unlikable (were it not for my Cameron Diaz bias, more on that later). While these characters appear to be empowered, they have gooey insides, and they just need a man. Sad.
Diaz is her regular likable self. Any potentially scathing review is neutralized by the fact that she can do no wrong (no bias here). However, this isn’t her strongest material, and this movie makes Something About Mary look like Shakespeare. Christina Applegate is quite good in the movie too. She should be a bigger star.
The video on the disc is quite good. From the quality of the transfer I can surmise that this was a big-budgeted affair. The DVD boasts both an anamorphic, 1.85:1 transfer, and a full frame transfer.
The audio mix is quite full for a comedy, but I suspect that is the way mixes on comedies are going. There are ample sound effects coming from the rear speakers, and the music that is so prevalent in the movie is mixed throughout the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
For extras, you get a filmmaker’s commentary, a brief behind the scenes featurette, and one very cool extra: a mocumentary about writer Nancy M. Pimental. This is so refreshing, given the stupid fodder we often have as extras on DVDs. She mocks DVD extras and I like that. It’s pretty funny, and so over the top that you’ll almost forgive her for the stupid movie she wrote (or maybe it’s the director Roger Kumble’s fault). Other than the mocumentary, I found the commentary on this disc far more entertaining than the film. This is the perfect sort of commentary: a large group of filmmakers, including the director, producers and the writers talking about everything. There are thematic issues discussed, as well as conversations about the strengths of the actors, and the decorating of sets. The people on the track really seem to love this film, and their enthusiasm pulls you into the film.
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