‘The Sweetest Thing’ (2002) Review

Christina Walters (Christina Applegate) has a reputation for being a player. She loves men but hates to commit and she spends her nights going to clubs with her best friends, Courtney and Jane. After Jane is dumped, Courtney and Christina take her out dancing where Christina meets Peter (Thomas Jane), a man she gropes as he passes by in an effort to get him to notice Jane. Needless to say, the two don’t start out on the right foot but after a bit of verbal banter, things progress fairly quickly into a flirtatious encounter. When Peter’s drunk brother gets tossed out of the club, Peter invites Christina to join them at their hotel party. Intimidated by their instant connection, Christina ends up going home instead and the next morning instantly regrets not following her heart.

By then, Peter has gone and all Christina knows about him is that his brother is getting married in Somerset that day. Courtney convinces Christina to drive with her to Somerset where they can crash the wedding and Christina can reconnect with Peter. What follows is a short road trip stifled by some insane and oftentimes, gross, misadventures.

This was a first watch for me but I could definitely see where Bridesmaids might have taken some inspiration from this movie – women can be as funny, commitment-phobic, and raunchy as men are in these kinds of movies. The difference is Bridesmaids had a really smart, funny script and enough depth that the characters never came across as one-note. The same can’t really be said for The Sweetest Thing. This movie could have been an Adam Sandler-vehicle if the main characters had been men. There were a lot of ridiculous shenanigans, a strange, out of place fashion montage, and a group singalong to Aerosmith to help defuse a potentially painful oral sex fiasco.

Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair are talented and funny enough to keep the movie from being a complete disaster. Thomas Jane is an appealing leading man but his character ended up coming across as a bit of a goober. Out of the entire cast, I really enjoyed Jason Bateman as Peter’s brother and I wish he’d had more onscreen time.

Overall, The Sweetest Thing felt very disjointed to me. Yes, it had its moments but the brief moments of humor couldn’t carry the entire movie. This review took me a while to complete mostly because I found I didn’t have much to say. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t really hate it either. It was fine, though I feel like it could have been better. Maybe instead of filling the movie with a fashion montage and a group singalong in someone’s bedroom, they could have given us a bit more development between Peter and Christina so we could understand what they saw in each other. Otherwise, this is just a goofy movie with a lot of raunchy humor that doesn’t always land. In any case, watch it for Jason Bateman because he’s always a blast.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."