‘Sweetest Thing’ Sometimes Sour

The previews for “The Sweetest Thing” proudly proclaim that this movie is some kind of hybrid between “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “There’s Something About Mary.” However the offspring of this pairing has turned out to be quite an awful mixture. Overall, there are so many reasons that this movie doesn’t work that it’s hard to pick just one to convince you not to go see it.

Well, the most obvious reason for its failure is the complete lack of a plot. From my viewing of the movie, I was able to deduce something about a girl named Christina Walters, played by Cameron Diaz, falling for a guy named Peter Donahue, played by Thomas Jane, who you may remember from the HBO movie “61*,” in a club one night. But there are so many gross out jokes and no actual chemistry between the two main characters that the audience has a tendency to forget why they are sitting in the theater at all.

Christina Walters is a post-“Sex and the City” independent type woman who could care less about a long-term relationship and just wants instant gratification from the opposite sex. That is until she goes out one night with her two best buds, Courtney Rockliffe (Christina Applegate) and Jane Burns (Selma Blair) and by a chance meeting, finds Mr. Right, a.k.a. Peter Donahue. After not getting his number or even his last name, Christina convinces Courtney to go on a road trip to find her Mr. Right. The first interaction between Christina and Peter, or any of the following interactions for that matter, spark no real fire for the audience and you are left wondering why she commences to stalk this man for the rest of the movie. Perhaps she thinks they will have cute kids?

The reason that movies like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “There’s Something About Mary,” which also stars Diaz, work because the audience falls in love with the main character. Cameron Diaz, however, has a tough time pulling off the charm that Ben Stiller and Julia Roberts accomplish so well.

Yet, someone had the good idea to pack the supporting cast with as many familiar and talented faces to make up for what Diaz lacked. Proof of this casting fiasco is that this movie has everyone from Queen of the Indies Parker Posey to Matthew Perry’s father, John Bennett Perry. However, Jason Bateman as Peter’s brother Roger, really shines and makes a lot with what little he has to work with. Then there is Christina Applegate who does her best impression of Rachel Green, which is quite adequate for the role’s purposes. But you can’t forget about Selma Blair who has a natural comedic timing and does her best.

At first glance, this movie is just merely a bad try at a transition into leading woman stature for Cameron Diaz. Then there is also the overload of gross-out jokes that really have no reason to be in the movie. It seems that the script was built around a few grotesque sexual situations. That doesn’t seem so outrageous to believe since the screenwriter is none other than a former “South Park” scribe and Ben Stein co-host, Nancy M. Pimental.

My advice for this movie is to wait until it comes on HBO and you have nothing better to do. If it never comes on HBO, don’t bother then.