Netflix added a host of hidden gems to its catalog this month, including the underrated 2002 movie The Sweetest Thing starring Cameron Diaz. The rom-com also stars Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Frank Grillo, Jason Bateman, Eddie McClintock and Lillian Adams. It joins a growing list of nostalgia hits in Netflix's "recently added" category.
The Sweetest Thing centers around Christina Walters (Diaz), a 28-year-old with a successful interior design career and a penchant for breaking men's hearts. The movie traces her journey from fear of commitment to longing for romance, only to be let down by it when she finally tries to pursue it. She is accompanied by her friends Courtney (Applegate) and Jane (Blair), who have misadventures in love of their own along the way. The whole film is full of slapstick gags and bawdy jokes that comment on the absurdity of modern dating and courtship.
The Sweetest Thing was written by Nancy Pimental, who told PEOPLE Magazine that she based the three main characters on herself and her best friend, actress Kate Walsh. Walsh does not appear in the film, but she is best-known today as a star of Grey's Anatomy, 13 Reasons Why and The Umbrella Academy.
The movie did reasonably well financially, grossing nearly $69 million at the global box office off of a $43 million budget. It struggled to take hold in theaters against the movies Changing Lanes and Panic Room, which opened the same weekend. It was also released quickly on both DVD and VHS.
Critically, the movie was not beloved in its time. Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus calls it "a collection of hit-or-miss gags tied together by a thin plot." It has a 26 percent approval rating there, an average score of 32 out of 100 on Metacritic and a C+ on CinemaScore. Legendary critic Roger Ebert even named it among his "Worst of 2002" movies at the time.
Still, many flops develop a bit of charm in hindsight, and The Sweetest Thing falls into this category for some. The movie is clearly a product of its time, so those looking to relive the late 1990s and early-2000s might find some interest in it in that respect. It also puts its female characters front-and-center and gives them all the agency in a romantic story, which can be a nice change of pace in the rom-com genre. The Sweetest Thing is streaming now on Netflix.