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‘The Sweetest Thing’ not sugar coated

“The Sweetest Thing” is a hard movie to review.
The plot is as thin as the paper you’re reading, the pacing and tone are erratic and the likable cast is good looking but they all try too hard. Normally these negatives would add up to a bad review, but a lot can be forgiven when a movie is funny.

“The Sweetest Thing” is very funny. It is rude, crude and disgusting humor in the vein of “There’s Something About Mary” and “American Pie,” but without the depth of those movies.

Anybody familiar with those films knows that neither is known for its deep insight into the human psyche.

One should not go to “The Sweetest Thing” with great expectations and don’t go at all if you are easily offended by the idea of three twenty something girls looking more for a good time and sex than for love.

Christina (Cameron Diaz) thinks that love makes you vulnerable so it’s better just to string men along for as long as you need them. Her friend Courtney (Christina Applegate) agrees, but Jane (Selma Blair) is less agreeable since she’s broken hearted after a recent split.

While trying to cheer Jane up at a favorite club, Christina meets Peter (Thomas Jane) a cutie who intrigues her with his witty ways. Jane and Courtney soon hook up with guys too, but Christina and Peter soon go their separate ways – unlike the other two girl’s new boy toys.

In romantic comedy tradition, Christina can’t get Peter out of her mind and visa versa. Breaking from romantic comedy tradition are the ways she dreams about him and the trip she and Courtney take to find Peter.

They destroy a bathroom and distract a biker so much he crashes. Oh, and Christina almost gets her eye poked out.

Diaz, best known for her role in “There’s Something About Mary,” is not as sweet or as fresh as she was in that movie. “The Sweetest Thing” is definitely trying to borrow from the Farrelly brother’s movie, but there’s not enough material to compete. There’s a reference to their “Dumb & Dumber” in a scene that has nothing to do with the rest of the film.

”Sweetest” doesn’t have enough material to fill up its less than 90 minutes so it contains fillers like the scene where Christina and Courtney are trying on clothes and decide to have a movie montage where they dress like characters from different films. Along with being impossible – their hair alone would take hours to change, to say nothing of makeup – it’s irrelevant and goes on so long it’s no longer fun.

Besides not being as good as she has been in the past, Diaz looks kind of strange. I don’t know if she’s lost too much weight or had too much work done. It’s Applegate who shines in “Sweetest,” she’s cuter and funnier.

Jane was recently in “61*” on HBO and he first caught my attention in “Deep Blue Sea.” He’s a charmer with leading man potential.

Rated-R for strong sexual content and language