The Sweetest Thing (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

You can always tell if a film has been made by someone other than white heterosexual males, because there are scenes where men burst into dancing spontaneously.

That fact demonstrates that we men have done an excellent job of lying to women. A great advantage of being a man is that we know the fundamental difference between the sexes, and women do not. The simple distinction is this. Women dance because they like to. Men dance because women like to. Women don't know this, because we would never tell them the truth.

In the course of a long and untidy life, I have found the following to be sure bets:

  • No white heterosexual men like to dance.
  • Almost all women like to dance, and most consider dancing to be part of the courtship ritual.
  • Therefore, men tell women they like to dance.

I am no exception. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to spend any of their free time dancing when they could be playing poker, or video games, or playing some three-on-three hoops, or muff diving, or watching a good movie, or watching a really bad movie with some drunken friends, or fucking, or telling jokes and laughing, or reading a good book, or discussing sports, or watching the Yankees, or surfing, or skiing, or smoking dope, or firing guns, or reading Emily Dickinson .... well, if you name every possible non-work activity, dancing would be pretty close to last in preference order. If I had a choice between going dancing or going to a Catholic Mass, my question would be "Latin or vernacular?". If I had to choose between dancing and a funeral, I'd pick dancing only if the funeral were for me.

Now mind you, I'm probably not all that bad at it. The last time I went on a cruise, with my uber-bim ex-girlfriend, we won the twist contest, and finished second in the disco dance-off. God knows how. So my dancing is probably at least average. Maybe I could even be good if I took an interest. I just don't understand why anyone would do it unless they had to.

On the other hand, when I am an available guy, I tell every woman I meet that I am Mr. Dancing. Hey, girl, I'm Barishnikov and Tony Manero rolled into one mass of inexorable get-down boogie fever. I feel the urge that moves from my soul to my soles. Lady, I can't resist a chance to dance. Strike up a waltz and I'm the soul of Old Vienna. Throw down a sombrero, and I'm hopping around it with maracas and castanets, stomping my feet like Jose Greco. Play a tap number, and I'm Mr Fucking Bojangles. You name it: disco, ballroom, ballet, I don't care. I am one funky monkey, gals.

Of course, if you're reading this and you're a guy, you know it's true. If you're a women, you think I'm kidding, which is just as well because we've kept the secret for so many centuries. So well have we guarded these ancient male secrets that there are actually women who believe that some men like to dance. In their imagination, when we are out on a fishing trip and the radio plays a great song, we can't resist the urge to get up and boogie, even if it means losing a world-class marlin. In the middle of a high-stakes card game, the Bee Gees come on the radio and we don't care about the five thousand dollars in the pot, we're just dancin' up a storm, kickin' over the card table, huggin' each other.

Women believe that because that's the way they sometimes behave, because we lie to them 100% of the time about this subject, and mainly because that's what they want to believe.

I know what you're thinking, guys. By writing this article, I have broken the sacred code of Samba Omerta, which says that none of us can tell a woman the truth about this whole dancing thing. Don't worry. First of all, as I mentioned earlier, most women will think I am lying or kidding. If a couple of them believe me, they will go to their significant other, and he will take one for the team. He will say "Oh, that Scoopy is such a kidder, honey. That's all bullshit". If she persists, he will use the last resort - the "last man on earth theory" known as Serling's Defense. He will say "Oh, maybe he's right about most men, honey, but not about me. I'm the one man with boogie fever in his shoes". At least that is what he will say if he ever wants any future lip action on his personal Slurpee Straw.

Back to the movie: imagine if "There's Something about Mary" had been written by heterosexual women for heterosexual women. What would it be like?

1) Lots of raunchy talk, no female nudity.

2) Lots of men who won't stop to ask for directions.

3) Dance, dance, dance.

Think of the movie as "Dirtier Dancing" - a movie made specifically with young females in mind. Here is the IMDb demographic breakdown:

  • Men: 4.9, Women: 5.9
  • Women under 18: 6.9, women over 44: 4.2.

In short, it is a movie for women, but older women hate it even more than men do. Younger women, on the other hand, think it is pretty cool. My daughter liked it. She's 16.

This film is not really good, but it has a lot of energy, generated by Cameron Diaz doing her Cam thing, which consists of stripping to her underwear and dancing, and laughing that great big giggly laugh in which her mouth opens up all the way across, like a Jack o' Lantern. Personally, I am a sucker for that, so I kind of got swept up in the energy and raunchiness of this movie. You may not, because - well, because it sucks, to be honest.


In terms of content, this is one of the raunchiest films ever made by a major studio, yet has not a single second of female nudity. Selma Blair and Cameron Diaz provide fairly sexy scenes in their underpants.

Male - a very brief, fleeting bum.

The plot, such as it is, is as follows:

Cameron plays a woman who just can't deal with real relationships, so she goes for superficial good times. She uses men until she throws them away; she gives them false phone numbers to call; she pulls away any time there is any chance of real intimacy or love. In a bar one night, she feels a connection between herself and a guy (Thomas Jane) who is actually interesting and fun to talk to. He invites her to a party. As usual in her M.O., she doesn't join him. She ends up sitting at home. Later that week, her best girlfriend (Christina Applegate) goads her into going to a wedding in a small town many hours away, because Thomas Jane will be there. She is interested enough to do it, the two girls have some "road trip" adventures, and Cam dances in her underpants a few more times, but when they arrive at the wedding, it turns out that Thomas Jane is the groom! Oops.

The girls slip out, embarrassed, but as luck would have it, Jane and his bride-to-be are not really in love. They say "I don't" at the altar. Cam doesn't know this (of course), so the question of the day becomes "will they ever see each other again?". When they do, Jane says "Loozie, you got some 'splainin' to do" - and we wonder if they can work it out.

The craziest scene: Selma Blair smokes the sausage of a guy with a cock ring, and it gets stuck in her mouth. (Think about the zipper scene in There's Something About Mary). Several people wander into the room - policemen, firemen, doctors, paramedics, nurses, naval officers, construction workers, cowboys, Indians - it looks like some mad geneticists picked up some Village People DNA. Cameron wanders in and determines that the best way for Selma to expel the penis from her throat is to start singing. So, needless to say, everyone in the room sings a groovy tune and breaks into a dance number until Selma is able to sing along and thus spit out the love-salmon.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • full-screen or widescreen anamorphic, 1.85

  • behind the scenes featurette

  • featurette on the writer

  • unrated version

  • two full-length commentary tracks

Another example: In a cafeteria, the girls discuss Selma's date from the previous night. The other girls review the dating rules for Selma, because she has been recently dumped by a long-term boyfriend. The basic rule - "always tell a guy his penis is enormous". This advice becomes a "your penis is so large" rap, which is soon accompanied by a rhythm section at a nearby table, all of which soon becomes ....

your guess here ... ______________

if you guessed anything other than "a dance number", get outta here, ya knucklehead. This is a movie written by a woman, about women who like to have fun. In the women's dictionary, when you look up "fun", it says "see 'dancing'". The women break into dance about every six minutes. Fortunately for us guys, some of those dances involve extensive waving of butts covered only by underpants.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: one and a half stars. Ebert 1.5/4, Berardinelli 1.5/4, 2/5.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 5.0/10. It has the dreaded 1.0 difference between men's and women's ratings - the sure sign of an estrogen film. Men 4.9, Women 5.9. It is also a kid's flick. Females under 18 rate it 6.9, women over 44 rate it 4.2.
  • with their dollars: a heavy-duty loser. Made for a completely unnecessary $43 million dollars, it grossed $24 million.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Lame movie, but it could be appealing to young, fun-loving women in the dating scene. My 16 year old daughter thought it was cool.

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