The Sweetest Thing (2002)

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Released 30-Dec-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary
Featurette-A Day in The Life Of Nancy M. Pimental
Featurette-Politically Erect
Storyboard Comparisons-2
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Charlie's Angels; Mr. Deeds; Enough; Panic Room
Trailer-My Best Friend's Wedding
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 86:58
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (43:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Roger Kumble
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Cameron Diaz
Christina Applegate
Selma Blair
Thomas Jane
Jason Bateman
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Edward Shearmur


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Arabic
Dutch
Hindi
French Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, out-takes under credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    What do you get if you take a writer whose only filmography credit is South Park, a director whose only filmography credits are Cruel Intentions and Cruel Intentions 2, and mix with three gorgeous uninhibited actresses? What you get is a movie that's so raunchy it could make Sex and the City blush! In various extras, they claim that this is how women really act when they away from men. I find that a frightening thought.

    OK, it's rude, it's crude, it's smutty, and it has some of the funniest vulgar moments I've seen. It really is very funny indeed, once you get over the idea that this movie doesn't consider anything off-limits as far as sex is concerned. Remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally? These folks sneer at such wishy washy stuff — they stage an entire song-and-dance number in a restaurant, with the subject of the song being how women fake being impressed with the size of a man's, um, endowment. And that's one of the more tasteful moments... No, I take that back. Actually, there is very little in this movie which is tasteless (maybe the maggots were too much, but it's only momentary); most of it is actually rather well done, riding right on the edge of tasteless (and way, way past the edge of smutty!). What's really amazing is that there's so much sex in this film, and yet there's no real nudity. Oh, there are girls frolicking in their underwear (love the kind of underwear they're wearing because it's wash day, and nothing else is clean), but if you're hoping to see these ladies nude, you'll need to look elsewhere.

    So what is this film about? It's about three close female friends: Christina (Cameron Diaz), Courtney (Christina Applegate), and Jane (Selma Blair), and their search for the right men. Their attitude at the beginning is summed up as: "don't look for Mr Right, look for Mr Right Now". They conduct this search diligently in nightclubs in San Francisco. Things change a little when Christina meets a guy called Peter (Thomas Jane) — she's strongly attracted to him, but doesn't take action that night. Rather than give up, she and Courtney set out to find him again (never drive anywhere with those two characters!).

    You have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate this film (if required, consider the ingestion of quantities of alcohol — it might help), but if you are, it is very funny, and quite entertaining.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original theatrical aspect ratio, so that's cool.

    The picture is sharp and clear. Shadow detail is very good. There is some very light film grain which is only really noticeable when the image is paused. There is no low-level noise.

    Colour is excellent, with no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts worth mentioning. There is next to no aliasing, almost no moire, and no MPEG artefacts.

    There are several subtitle tracks, including regular subtitles in English, French, Arabic, Dutch, and Hindi (an interesting mix!), captions in English, and commentary subtitles in French and Dutch. I watched the English captions, and they are nicely done, in an unusual lightweight font that's quite readable. They are accurate and well-timed to the dialogue. The R4 subtitles were clearly done separately from the R1, because there are a couple of differences in the spelling of some colloquial terms.

    The disc is single sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 43:44, and is extremely well hidden in a cut from one scene to another  — I could not pick it up without technical assistance.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English and French, while the commentary is only provided in English (but is available with French or Dutch subtitles). The English soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English soundtrack and the commentary..

    The dialogue is clear and easily comprehensible wherever it is intended to be. There are no audio sync problems.

    Edward Shearmur's score is fine, with the music supporting the storyline well. There are several songs in the soundtrack, plus the one performed by the cast. There is an excruciating performance of Pachelbel's Canon, with one violin messing up horribly (yes, it's deliberate).

    The surround speakers don't get a heap to do, but they not completely idle — this movie doesn't really require them to do much, so that's no problem. The subwoofer is used subtly, and that's fine too.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu design is attractive, with an opening transition. It's animated with music. There are six entries on the main menu, but one of them (Trailers) also appears in the submenu of Special Features — I don't know why it's on the main menu. Anyway, the menu is easy to use.

Trailers

Storyboard Comparison

    Two comparisons of the original storyboards with the final movie. These are shown in widescreen, with the storyboard at the top, and the movie at the bottom.

Filmographies

Featurette — a day in the life of nancy m pimenthal (20:00)

    This is a rather silly piece, a mockumentary about the writer, including interviews with her pool-boy, stalker fan, the child who really writes her scripts... Entertaining, but not something you should expect a lot from.

Featurette — politically erect (8:34)

    This is the closest we get to a behind-the-scenes or making-of featurette. It is replete with the usual mutual admiration.

Commentary

    This commentary features director Roger Kumble plus actors Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, and Jason Bateman. This is a bit different from the usual commentary — it is not a learned discussion of filming technique, or an insightful look into how particular camera angles were used to emphasise. Nope, this is a rather silly get-together of five of the principal suspects, complete with whoopee cushions, helium balloons, and a penny whistle. They are apparently making the commentary three weeks after it was released in cinemas in the US (where it stayed for two days, according to them).

    They do let the occasional gem of real information slip out, but it doesn't seem intentional. Still worth listening to, just don't take it too seriously.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There are two versions of this movie released on DVD in Region 1. One is a copy of the US theatrical version, rated R in the US, that runs 84 minutes. The other is proudly marketed as Unrated (suggesting that it is sooooo naughty), but all that means is that it wasn't submitted to the MPAA for voluntary rating — it runs 90:35, so it is quite a bit longer. As far as I can tell (short of a frame by frame comparison) the Region 4 disc matches the Unrated version, but the Australian (not voluntary) rating system rates it as MA. The commentary points out most of the scenes that were missing from the theatrical release. Apparently the one thing that is on the theatrical version DVD that is missing from the Unrated version is a full-frame version as well as the widescreen version.

    The Region 1 version is missing:

    The Region 4 version is missing:

    The transfers are very similar (both are excellent). Almost all of the extras are present on both discs. The subtitles on the Region 4 disc are more attractive to look at, and it offers subtitles in more languages. If subtitles matter to you, take the Region 4. Other than that, the only difference I can see is the slightly longer list of trailers on the Region 1.

    This is another case where you could easily be happy with either version (so long as you get the Unrated R1).

Summary

    A very funny (but awfully crude) movie given an excellent transfer to DVD.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are plentiful, but not fattening, 'cause they're low-content.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, December 30, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS905V, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
Any movie with Cameron Diaz in undies is worth watching! - Khai L (My biodegradable bio)