The player

She's gotta have it.

THE SWEETEST THING

directed by Roger Kumble with Cameron Diaz opens April 12 at Metro and others

THE GIRL IS balls-out, foulmouthed, high on herself, and afraid of commitment: Christina (Cameron Diaz) says she'll call and she never does. Heterosexual gentlemen, she's your worst nightmare: She's not afraid to call you a dick.

Christina and her friends (Christina Applegate and Selma Blair) are perfecting their game: As modern women, they don't want to be "too available." Their credo? "The best defense is a good offense." The goal is to get out there and have a good time with a series of Mr. Right Nows—until such time as the Now part will magically melt away. The Rules are thus simultaneously invoked and rejected, and The Sweetest Thing's message—only by being as much of an asshole as a guy can you have any fun and not get your heart squashed like a grape—is a little confused. Where's the love? Does a girl want to live like this forever? These crucial issues provide the grist for the tiny mill of Christina's emotional development.

If liberation is becoming as rude and crude as the boys, then this is it. And the raunch rings true: Diaz and Applegate have a fine, funny rhythm between them. The movie's at its best as their buddy comedy. (Romantic interest Thomas Jane exists only to propel the slim plot.)

And yes, the gratuitous booty- shaking in the underwear is here; and yes, it's just as gratifying as in Charlie's Angels; and yes, ridiculous physical humor abounds. This is a teen-guy movie grafted onto chicks in their late 20s, and as such, it achieves a perverse form of feminism (and some good fun) before, inevitably, it wanders off down the aisle.

bclement@seattleweekly.com

 
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