The Hot Chick - Guest Critic Review

Guest Critic Selection:
THE HOT CHICK

Frank Ochieng is a guest critic who also writes reviews for his own personal website, located here.

To become a Guest Critic for CINEMA 2000, please notify David Keyes.

Review Uploaded
12/18/02

Written by FRANK OCHIENG

1 hr. 41 mins.
Starring: Rob Schneider, Anna Faris, Matthew Lawrence, Rachel McAdams, Michael O’Keefe, Eric Christian Olsen, Andrew Keegan, Tamera and Tia Mowry, Alexandra Holden, Melora Hardin, Matt Weinberg, Leila Kenzie, Michelle Branch, Adam Sandler
Directed by: Tom Brady

Rating: * ½ stars (out of 4 stars)

Apparently Rob Schneider must have incriminating nude photos of some balding middle-aged movie executive and his teenaged bimbo secretary. Otherwise, how can you explain the bewildering fact that this ex-Saturday Night Live alum keeps making the same annoying and dim-witted lowbrow flicks over and over again? Well, for those of you out there who had a wonderfully perverse time with “priceless” Schneider ditties such as Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo and The Animal then brace yourself because you can add the goofy comic’s latest insipid sexist romp The Hot Chick to your personal film library.

Director Tom Brady (who helmed the aforementioned The Animal) co-wrote this crude and corroding comedy along with Schneider. It’s not enough that Schneider’s former SNL colleague and occasional cinematic partner-in-crime Adam Sandler (who has a “blink or you’ll miss him” cameo role in this film) relishes polluting the big screen with his current insufferable animated holiday stinker Eight Crazy Nights. No, Schneider has to make things even more unbearable by concocting a painfully gimmicky and sophomoric gender body-switching ruse that is about as witty as using a stacked sorority girl’s bra as a slingshot. The slapstick in The Hot Chick is belaboring and needlessly tripe. As for the assorted sight gags, the movie has its moments but for the most part Schneider and company coast along in what appears as a stilted showcase for nonsensical potty humor. There may have been a hearty chuckle that emerged from my body once or maybe twice but the majority of the time saw me grimacing at this body-swapping banality with sheer disbelief. Whether you get tickled over Schneider’s wacky antics as a self-absorbed “hot chick” or cater to the cheap thrills of watching bouncy babes parade around in clueless fashion, this doesn’t change the fact that this manufactured monstrosity is not worth the crayons that this movie’s script was probably written with.

This feeble-minded story tries to be irreverent and one will definitely assume that Schneider fans will flock to see him prance around in drag like some modern day vapid Vaudevillian. Anyway, we are introduced to the high and mighty teen tart Jessica Spencer (Rachel McAdams), a popular high school gal who seems to have everything going in her favor. Jessica is attractive and dates a hunky football quarterback. She has loyal acquaintances that she can depend on. In particular, her closest friend named April (Anna Faris) is constantly by her side. Still, Jessica has a nasty streak about her grating to those whom she thinks are inferior to her. It’s not uncommon for the self-serving princess to turn her nose up at the outsiders-you know, the unpopular students not worthy of being part of the cool cliques around campus.

Soon, the exasperating Jessica will get her dosage of comeuppance. While at a shopping mall, the sassy lass hastily swiped some mystical earrings unbeknownst that this piece of jewelry packs a powerful magical punch. It’s within moments that she finally encounters the bug-eyed thief Clive (Schneider) and as expected, Jessica doesn’t think much of him at all. Jessica is predictably hostile toward him. As she gestures to put on the earrings, an eerie transformation takes place. Within a matter of an ice cube’s moment in the sunshine, both individuals switch bodies.

What ensues in this cross-dressing farce is anybody’s guess. Naturally this premise sets itself up conveniently for numbskull Schneider to parlay his shtick into a so-called knee-slapping event where he struts around in tight feminine outfits while trying to combat his newly anointed persona. Of course during the time that the spoiled Jessica is trapped inside the diminutive hairy Clive, she (or shall I say he) has an opportunity to see what personal harm she’s caused as the result of her insensitive and distant self. Ironically, it takes a scruffy cad such as Clive to point out Jessica’s shortcomings thus encouraging her to change her ways for the better.

In addition to figuring out how to come to terms with being trapped inside Clive’s banged-up body, Jessica has other issues she must confront on her road to redemption. Weighing on her mind are personal issues such as her dysfunctional family where the parents are indifferent to one another while younger sibling Booger (Matt Weinberg) fancies the thought of wearing girl’s outfits. Also, Jessica/Clive have to worry about school-related concerns that include holding on to dreamboat boyfriend Billy (Matthew Lawrence) as well as securing the upcoming cheerleading championship. Poor Jessica. There’s so much to do and in so little time. Let’s not forget that in all this confusion, Jessica/Clive gets an opportunity to assess the direction of her/his life and what path she/he may want to walk down. Gee, how inspiring? And it only took an inane and utterly idiotic titillating teen tale to come to this conclusion?

The Hot Chick doesn’t even have the stones to be what it really is-a pointless gross-out comedy that has all the redeeming quality of a cracked toilet seat. Brady and Schneider have the nerve to try and conjure up some-gasp-hokey sentiment about being the best person you can be even if it means walking in the other person’s shoes (or more specifically, high heels). But one cannot dismiss the cheap devices that drive this hackneyed mess beyond repair. The movie is a series of arbitrary vignettes held together by tasteless jokes that range from penis references to aimless cartoonish violence. If this dopey display wasn’t so shamelessly cockeyed, then one might take this movie’s misogynistic mean-spiritedness to task. And isn’t it inevitable that silly showcases such as The Hot Chick would resort to tacky racial and sexual stereotypes in order to ensure a nervous howl? Ultimately, there’s a buffet of stupidity that’s certainly enough for folks to snack on in this delirious dud. Lucky us, huh?

One would think that Schneider would have an automatic comical field day with the potential to attack the audience’s funnybone given the inherent outrageousness of portraying a difficult vibrant hot-looking young female. However, the material is so slight, familiar, and utterly limited that the performer isn’t allowed decent room to instill any nutty charm or sense of wicked angst into his clownish character. The supporting cast stand around and react like wooden bystanders to Schneider’s lipstick-wearing rogue. The pratfalls and situational set-ups (see Clive shake his off-rhythm male “groove thing” as Jessica, see Clive engage in a pillow fight that literally plasters a girl against a wall like an embedded fossil pressed in the earth, etc.) are flat and relentlessly contrived. Overall, this simple-minded slaphappy spectacle has a random ridiculousness that’s hard to swallow yet easy to ignore.

It doesn’t make a difference that this fizzled fluff is stillborn thanks to the lazy direction and woefully uninspired script. Somehow, Schneider enthusiasts will find their needed escapism in a clueless comedy that has more holes in it than rotted Swiss cheese.

The moronic vibes of The Hot Chick will prevail no doubt. In a land where something as sensationalistic and stultifying as Jackass: The Movie can score impressive box office clout to become the number one film in the country or a frat boy filmmaker such as Schneider’s buddy Adam Sandler can rule movie complexes without breaking a creative sweat, anything is possible. Heaven help us all.


David Keyes, CINEMA 2000. To keep the content of these pages at near-perfect quality, please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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