The Sweetest Thing review

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Forget Charlie's Angels - Cameron Diaz will always be the girl who mistook spunk for hair gel in There's Something About Mary. Now the queen of the gross-out returns to over-the-top territory with a bad-taste orgy so crude it makes Kingpin look like Sesame Street.

Diaz plays Christina Waters, a San Francisco hottie with a string of ex's longer than the Golden Gate. Why commit when she can spend her time partying with best pals Courtney (Christina Applegate) and Jane (Selma Blair). Or, as Christina puts it: "Don't look for Mr Right, look for Mr Right Now." Then she meets Peter (Thomas Jane), a dashing stud who could well be the man of her dreams.

But enough plot - it's only there as a device to get Christina and Courtney on a road trip to Peter's brother's wedding. What really matters are the spectacularly vulgar gags, which range from Diaz receiving an eyeful of penis (cock-eyed?) to Blair getting her tonsils trapped on her boyfriend's knob piercing, an eye-watering sight gag that poses a unique problem for cinematographer Anthony B Richmond. Other `highlights' include a song extolling the male member (excised from the US print) and a gloriously escalating sequence involving a jizz-stained dress.

Of course, there's only so much comic gold to be mined from placing Diaz and co in humiliating sexual situations, but director Roger Kumble (Cruel Intentions) makes sure that he milks every last titter from each embarrassing set-up. Diaz, meanwhile, clearly enjoys calling the shots in a genre that's traditionally always revolved around male leads, and Applegate is a revelation as the wisecracking Courtney.

Okay, so this over-pumped sub-genre is pretty much spent, and we certainly could have done without the frank discussions of punani odour and anal leakage. But The Sweetest Thing is still better, and funnier, than the majority of utter clag that's slipped out on the Farrelly brothers' coat-tails. Suck it and see.

It may sound like the hen night from hell, but The Sweetest Thing suggests there's life in the gross-out comedy yet. The bar just needed a little lowering.

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