The Sweetest Thing (2002)

Despite this cult comedy’s belatedly appreciative response, it’s a truly off-putting big studio effort. Nearly from the beginning, director Roger Kumble has no grip on tone or pacing, with scenes zipping by the audience with no consequence, weight or structural continuity. Despite her best intentions, Cameron Diaz is painfully miscast in the lead role – she’s usually a lively spark in every movie she’s in but here she’s self-conscious and grating, and it’s hard not to notice that she’s half-dressed just about the entire time for no discernible reason. Christina Applegate and Selma Blair don’t fare much better in embarrassing supporting roles, with the two gifted comediennes floundering under the weight of underdeveloped characters, a poor script and a lousy leading lady. It’s hard not to notice that the movie’s aggressively pervy male leer throws the movie’s perspective in question: It’s a raunchy comedy about a friendship between three women but it seems aimed at adolescent boys instead of women, which nullifies the entire point. A few laughs here and there manage to make the movie watchable almost in spite of itself, but it’s close to an all-out humiliation for all involved.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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