Movie Review : The Sweetest Thing
So who says that girls can’t be as gross as the guys? The Sweetest Thing is an equal opportunity offender, piling as many unsavoury jokes as possible into this tale of three clubbers who after decades of dedicated partying realise there might be more to life than studying their reflection in the mirror ball.
This bitter and brittle comedy has the exceptionally sweet presence of three appealing actresses who don’t mind getting down and dirty. Cameron Diaz seems to be having fun playing screwball these days in such high profile projects like Charlie’s Angels. Christina Applegate has shed her bimbo image she cultivated for a decade on Married… with Children to appear as the sensible one in this sordid trio. Selma Blair has to suffer innumerable indignities in this film involving Lewinsky style stains and an unfortunate incident involving genital jewellery.
It’s a brave statement of girl power with enough gross out gags to keep you gagging. The sweetest thing about this flick is that it doesn’t shy away from shock, demonstrating these babes can be just as bold as the boys.
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This is a women’s film in every sense of the word. Not only does it have at its centre a poignant heroine who makes extraordinary sacrifices and survives incredible threat all for the sake of the greater good, it’s very story is one that only a woman could tell.
In this case the woman in question is Gillian Armstrong, the Australian who brought us other feminist classics like My Brilliant Career and Mrs Soffel. Here she has chosen the remarkable story of an English woman who joins the French Resistance to go under cover in the picturesque countryside and fight the Nazis.
It would be difficult to cast a more extraordinary actress in the role than Cate Blanchett. Her presence is never short of incandescent and she projects the right blend of courage and dread, vulnerability and strength.
What makes this truly a woman’s film is not that it is by a woman telling a woman’s story to presumably a largely female audience. It is because it refuses the absolutes of most male identified films. There are no timely explosions to set the story right. Moreover there are no absolutes to conveniently tie up the tale. When Charlotte makes her final desperate gesture to find meaning in the chaos and seeming failure of her mission, she makes one more gesture to instil hope in the hands of a desperate few. It’s a moving moment and one that harkens back to a comment made earlier in the film in answer to the question, “What is the most important: faith, hope or love?” to which she answers, not love, but hope. So in the end it’s mission accomplished after all.
Available from www.totaldvd.com.au for only $33.95, click here.