To a certain extent, I've come to terms with the fact that American pop will forever be American pop, and if this is the best they can offer, then I might as well dig through it and look for something representative.
California Girls is sugary-sweet pop, the kind that literally makes you want to throw up, but it's not pretentious. The song doesn't try to be sophisticated, it doesn't try to be musically proficient (and yet to a certain extent it is) - it is what it is. And I respect that, no matter how excessive and mass-oriented the song may be.
In not trying to be anything it's not, California Girls actually has its good points. I, for one, find it extremely catchy, and if you strip of all the elaborate orchestration you actually get a pretty melody. And to be honest with you, it has some of the best production I've heard this year - the producer/engineer really knew what he/she was doing.
At the end of the day, the excessiveness and sugary-sweetness of the whole package cheers you up - it's happy, fun and very American, without pretentiousness.