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The Hot Chick (PG-13)
Touchstone Pictures
Official Site
Director: Tom Brady
Producers: Adam Sandler, John Schneider and Carr DíAngelo
Written by: Rob Schneider and Tom Brady
Cast: Rob Schneider, Rachel McAdams, Anna Faris, Andrew Keegan, Matthew Lawrence, Michael OíKeefe

Rating: out of 5


The easiest way to convey how terrible The Hot Chick is starts at the very end of the film, when the credits role. Those in the audience who havenít bolted from the theater are treated to outtakes of Rob Schneider screwing up a scene. He doesnít flub his existing lines, he simply canít remember what heís supposed to say next and heís too stupid to ad lib anything funny. Over and over, Schneider keeps twirling his finger in his hair, trying to remember the next line. The repetitious outtakes are so unfunny they quickly become unbearable to watch, and they pretty much summarize how bad this film is; if the scenes on the cutting room floor arenít any good, itís a safe bet what got left in wonít be much better.

The plot involves the body-switching drama between Jessica (McAdams) and Clive (Schneider). To borrow a line from the TV advertising blitz for this dud, Jessica ďhas it all.Ē Sheís a luscious babe who drives a sporty new car, hangs out with a coterie of hot-bodied 17-year-olds, and dates the sensitive and impossibly good-looking high school quarterback. Through some mumbo-jumbo hocus-pocus she ends up with the body of Clive, a slovenly criminal who happens to cross Jessicaís path while heís robbing a local gas station and sheís demanding full service at the pump.

The usual gender-bender double entendre jokes ensue as Jessica struggles to figure out why this switcheroo happened in the first place, what she can do to get her old body back, and, of course, how she manages to negotiate her new body. What the latter mostly involves are bad jokes about the difficulties of peeing with a newly acquired appendage.

To call this film another insipid teen comedy would be to insult the genre. It pretends to suggest what matters is who we are inside, not the bodies we possess, but in fact all this film does is perpetuate negative stereotypes about homosexuals, immigrants, women, and obesity. For instance, some of the characters Jessica initially insults are later incorporated into her entourage as she tries to reverse the bodily spell. True, this represents an improvement from some teen comedies of the past where anyone who doesnít fit the Barbie ideal is treated derisively. In The Hot Chick, the heavy-set high schooler is no longer made fun of and treated as an outcast; instead she is welcomed into Jessicaís clique of perfect looking friends. Yet she is only known to the audience by her last name, Hildenberg, an obvious reference to a blimp. In another running gag, Schneider takes on the identity of a Mexican migrant, and here too we get another one-dimensional performance that simplifies the ethnicity of Mexican Americans as tortilla-eating gardeners. But the worst affront of all comes through in Schneiderís embodiment of ďfemale.Ē As a woman trapped in a manís body Schneider simply resorts to gross caricatures of extreme femininity: swinging his hips, jumping up and down excitedly about cheerleader competitions, or sighing about a broken fingernail. Regardless of what its title suggests, The Hot Chick is in fact quite the opposite. Itís closer to a bad egg.

óNancy Semin

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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