Thursday, April 11, 2002

All flings considered

Movie: The Sweetest Thing

Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2002 at 4:00 AM

**1/2
Our Rating: 2.50

Cameron Diaz shakes her comedic booty yet again, enlisting "Married With Children" has-been Christina Applegate and "Legally Blonde"'s Selma Blair for a single-girl romp that's as flighty as its heroine. The furiously nightclubbing Christina Walters (Diaz) lives a life of flirtation and casual romance that enables her to avoid messy intimacy. But her practiced shallowness is tested when she meets Peter Donahue (Thomas Jane), a charming hunk she could really, you know, go for.

Go she does, on a car trip to track down the enchanting Peter and perhaps give in to love once and for all. Christina's busty bud, Courtney Rockliffe (Applegate), keeps her company on the journey, while third-wheel gal pal Jane Burns (Blair) stays home to have awkward sex with a handsome dope who works as a costumed character. Smoochy, meet hoochy.

The movie distributes about 15 minutes of plot to all three characters, making up the difference with cleavage shots, a dress-up montage and jizz jokes that went out with the Clinton era. "The Sweetest Thing" wants to both lampoon the top-this school of filmmaking and ride it all the way to big box-office returns. Its blue-chip stocks are Diaz and (especially) Applegate, whose nonthreatening sarcasm is more appealing than a lifetime's worth of bodily-fluid gags. Forget relationships; these party grrls need to quit fooling around and commit to a stable movie.

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