ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  roger kumble

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  88 minutes

RELEASED  -  12 april 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  columbia pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  the sweetest thing

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $43,000,000
the sweetest thing - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from the sweetest thing at

buy the dvd from the sweetest thing at

a gross-out comedy told from a woman's pov.

the leather-coat guy that picks-up christina applegate in the bar is her husband.


picture from the sweetest thing

picture from the sweetest thing

picture from the sweetest thing


zero out of four possible stars

The Sweetest Thing has something in common with the reality programming currently bombarding the airwaves: it has no plot. This film is merely a platform to showcase a series of There's Something About Mary meets American Pie type jokes. But though the string holding this film together may be thin, the jokes presented in the film do have the ability to ellicit a few laughs from the audience. Owing mostly to the talent of its lead stars, The Sweetest Thing is successful if taken as a series of entertaining vingettes concerning the sex lives of three young California women. But by any standard, it is hard to imagine that each of these girls has such bad luck with their relationships.

Kind of the way the high school kids speak in "Dawson's Creek." It's unbelievable at best, and completely ridiculous at worst. Like some of the situations the girls find themselves in, much of the script requires the audience to let go the intelligent areas of their brains and sit back and enjoy the fun. So it is up to Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair to pick up the slack and give the movie some juice. Not forgetting Thomas Jane, as the object of Cameron Diaz's affections, this group of players is very adept at the physical comedy needed because of the lack of plot. And in looking at the structure of this film, it is easy to wonder about the job given to the editor. After the end of the film, there is a montage sequence of assorted flubs, goofs, and deleted scenes from the film.

The sequence is quite funny, but what is striking about the few minutes these scenes share the screen with the closing credits, is that most of the shots are from scenes not included in the film. And those scenes probably could have fleshed out the film a bit. The movie barely clocks in at eighty minutes (minutes the closing credits) and it seems that Diaz and Jane's characters don't share enough time on screen. They meet up again (after having met only twice before) at the end of the film and it feels as though they should have more time to get to know one another. The characters go about "getting together" for so long, that by the time they're actually together, the film ends. Now interestingly, they have a decent amount of chemistry together.

The fact that they're not on the screen with one another for any amount of time is strange, given that the film had been billed as a romantic comedy. Of course, the fact that the film passes so quickly is probably a vote in its favor. The credits start to roll and nobody gets up from their seats. That stems partly from the very funny bloopers roll that runs for a few minutes. Now, something quite interesting about the role of bloopers is that it contains a plethora of scenes that weren't included in the film. For instance, the scene where Thomas Jane's character hits his head against the window of a cab and then puts his hand to his head in pain. The expression on Jane's face is quite funny.

It's entertaining enough that the filmmakers decided to use it in the trailer. And that's not the only scene that was thrown out of the film and stuffed into the credits. There's also a scene with a conga line.... Now, assuming that these scenes were taken out of the film for a reason, it still doesn't leave the film with a lot of plot. For entertainment, one must rely on the jokes alone in this film. The movie could have in fact been successful in both character and story if only a bit more attention had been paid to the composition of the film. The fact that the comedy is actually funny means that adding a good plot to this film would have made it a film worthy of heaps of praise.

But because the Hollywood types neglected story in favor of displaying a series of sex-related jokes proves that the powers-that-be believe that audience members care for nothing more than style in a film. Substance has gone the way of the dodo, for the most part. In its current form, this film is valuable as a fun time at the movies. It's got more jokes per minute that are actually funny than a lot of comedies and presents its gross-out jokes in rapid succession, usually with a lot of success. Perhaps a "director's cut" will grace the dvd market soon that will reveal where half of this movie and most of the plot disappeared to.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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