Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)

Directed by Tom Putnam
Starring Paris Hilton, Joel Moore
Rated PG-13

"I love midget mimes."

This film will live on in infamy for its hilariously meager first-weekend take at the office: a mere $25,000 after playing for three days in 111 theaters. I am proud to say I was $7.75 worth of that haul. Of course, I had a good reason for seeing it. Total Film, a magazine I write for, asked me to review it. Hey, a buck’s a buck, Jack. Interestingly, I had to drive 20 minutes to some cavernous theater on the lip of the highway to see it. This does not sound unreasonable on paper, but I live in Boston, where there are movie theaters everywhere. The Hottie and the Nottie, apparently, was not allowed within city limits. So is it as bad as it seems? Dunno. Good and bad is starting to get very fuzzy in my head. Here’s the story, at any rate:
Joel Moore – the Shaggy-esque sad-sack from Hatchet – plays Nate, an unlucky-in-love doofus who decides to track down his long lost love from first grade. Cue Paris Hilton, said lost-love, running on the beach in slow-mo as guys propose marriage and freak out. Now, there’s no doubt that Paris Hilton is a pretty girl, but she’s sorta twiggy, you know? I don’t think she’d elicit that sort of reaction in real life. I mean, she’s no Tawny Kitaen. But anyway, she has an ugly friend  (Christine Lakin) who’s she’s very attached to, so Nate has to find the uggo a date before Paris will go out with him. Meanwhile, the ugly girl is slowly undergoing a makeover as the film goes on, and guess what? Yes, she’s actually just as hot as Paris after various treatments and surgeries.

Haha, this is the "ugly" girl. Hollywood is crazy.

You’ve seen this story enough times to know what happens next. It’s tried and true stuff done on a low-budget with actors that mistake opening-night gusto for passion. Well, expect for Paris, who tones it down so low she appears to be visibly napping through several scenes.

The whole thing is shabby and clunky and shallow. Paris wears too much lip gloss, and they ugly up the other chick so much with moles and dirty band-aids and face-crust that I almost gagged a few times in the first half. It was still better than Cloverfield, though. And it had a happy ending. I like happy endings.

- Ken 

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