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Diaz and co. spice up ‘Sweetest Thing’

Cameron Diaz has had an eclectic career. Whether the former model is playing a blond bombshell in The Mask or an animal-loving frazzled bisexual in Being John Malkovich, she has always had a knack for creating memorable characters. Diaz is playful and fun and doesn’t care what she looks like or what people think of her. In that same regard, The Sweetest Thing was made for her.

The film stops in the middle for a “movie montage,” where Diaz and Christina Applegate play dress up in a costume shop mimicking everyone from Madonna to Julia Roberts to Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber. In the scene, they are searching for replacements for wedding outfits that got ruined after a gas station men’s restroom-exploding incident. On their way to crash the wedding, the two girls cause a motorcycle crash because they jokingly simulate girl-on-girl fellatio while driving.

In other words, The Sweetest Thing isn’t attempting to be your typical, laugh-every-once-in-a-while romantic comedy. Rather it is almost laugh a minute from the opening scene on with graphic humor that not only bends the rules of the romantic comedy genre, but even how females should act on screen.

Then again, this isn’t There’s Something About Mary. While every scene of that film, which Diaz will forever be remembered for, revolved around the envelope-pushing punch lines – and was hilarious – The Sweetest Thing sticks to a more standard journey of a woman who realizes love is something worth taking risks for.

Thomas Jane plays Peter, the mystery man whom Diaz’s character chases across California after realizing her “game” where she plays uninterested doesn’t always work when you’re actually interested in the guy. Jane played baseball legend Mickey Mantle in HBO’s 61 and a villain in Original Sin and has been captivating in both roles. Here, he doesn’t disappoint in his first lead romantic role.

But this is still Diaz’s baby – even though Applegate manages to squeeze in a few gags of her own.

The supporting cast also holds its weight in laughs. It includes a horrible karoake-singing Jason Bateman as Peter’s brother Roger, and grumpy old Richard Denni as Peter’s grandfather who humorously repeats, “(I hated) grandma,” throughout the film in attempts to dissuade Roger from getting married.

But Selma Blair, who plays the girls’ friend Jane, gets the brunt of the most sexual-in-nature gags. In at least three different scenes, she is abused in some fashion as a result of carnal humor straight from the shock department.

But in the end, you are reminded you’re still watching a romantic comedy and who doesn’t love those cute finales?The Sweetest Thing was enjoyable. It was fun. It was cute. We can only hope Diaz brings those same elements to Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Gangs of New York, or at least the next Charlie’s Angels.

The Sweetest Thing is Rated R
Opens today