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The Hot Chick
2002 - PG-13 - Tom Brady Mins.
Director: Tom Brady
Producer: Carr D'Angelo, Jack Giarraputo, John Schneider
Written By: Rob Schneider, Tom Brady
Starring: Rob Schneider, Anna Faris, Rachel McAdams, Matthew Lawrence, Eric Christian Olsen
Review by: John Ulmer
   
To set the record straight, I tend to overrate films from Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and the rest of the "SNL"-gone-film crew. Why? I am not sure. Was I the only one who found "Happy Gilmore" hilarious? Apparently so. Am I the only one who thought "Big Daddy" was crude but had a heart at its core? It would appear so. But sometimes, on very rare occasions, the comedies just don't cut it for me. I thought "Billy Madison" was mediocre, with sporadically funny gags throughout.

And I went into ex-"SNL"-comedian Rob Schneider's newest flick, "The Hot Chick," expecting to give the film a "3" out of 5. Or at least a "2.5." But as the film proceeded, my expectations quickly dropped. Along with my final rating for the film.

Filmed about ten years too late for its own good, "The Hot Chick" is your average comedy about body switcheroos, in honor of "Freaky Friday" and "Vice Versa." Actually, it's not your average comedy. It's a below-average comedy. To call it average is too high an honor.

The film stars Rob Schneider as a dirty thief who finds a mysterious earring one day after a robbery. At home he tries it on (for purposes untold), to find himself switching bodies with the girl, named Jessica, who lost them, or, I should say, lost "it," as she still holds the other earring. On her ear. Jessica stole them earlier that day from a store specializing in odd things, co-run by druggie Adam Sandler, who likes to tell people where you can hide "weed." Funny. Believe it or not, it's one of the only gags I laughed at. Not the weed gag. I laughed at Adam Sandler dressed up as a weirdo. Ha. Unbelievably funny.

Not.

The problem with "The Hot Chick" is that not only does it aim way below the belt for humor, but the humor is nonexistent. Even the one scene I laughed hard at was disgusting, in which Rob Schneider (who is really a woman inside a man at this point), takes lessons on how to urinate from an elderly black man in a restroom. The scene was quite amusing before they had to go into detail.

Just when you think the film cannot dig any deeper below the belt, it manages to, and you feel like vomiting. But, as I said before, "The Hot Chick" has other problems, also.

One of the problems is the missed comedy moments. So many things could have been poked fun of. Back-and-forth shots of Schneider in a woman's body and the woman in Schneider's body would have been funny, but we feel cheated as we are just shown Jessica in Schneider's body doing stupid, repetitive things in every scene. She's in the bedroom of her friend's house most of the movie. But I ask myself, how funny would it have been had Jessica, in a man's body, gone out and done tons of things. Sure, she does some things, like trying to get a free drink by doing something provocative for an employee - while she's in Schneider's body - but I felt most every joke was a lesser laugh than it could have been, and there should have been a lot more things overall that could have been done given the circumstances. Let's face it: Jessica's friend asking to see her friend's newly aquired...err..."you know what" isn't funny the first time, much less the fourth time. It's stupid. But that's what we get throughout the film, instead of intelligent, witty jokes.

And the characters! They're all cardboard-cut-outs, living in a fantasy world. The comedy doesn't have any real characters doing funny stuff; the things they say and do seem straight out of someone trying to entertain friends, not world-wide audiences. It's as if the characters are disconnected; just there to do crude things (like the romantic tension between a high school girl, who knew Jessica before she turned into Rob Schneider. The girl who knew Jessica before she transformed then falls in love with Schneider...who is really Jessica...and kisses him...or her...confused yet?). They're a bunch of disconnected, wandering jokes that aren't even funny.

I can see how some of the things may have looked funny on paper, but the truth is, the script, co-written by Schneider, doesn't successfully make the transition from paper to film. Take, for instance, a scene where Rob Schneider's character is sprayed by pepper-spray in the face, and then proceeds to stumble down a set of stairs. Welcome to close ups of Schneider's face smacking the steps. And just when you think the gag - which was terrible in the first place - has been stretched to its limit, Schneider falls down another set of stairs. Unbelievable.

I tried to be fair to this film. I really did. I sat down with an open mind, as I tend to enjoy these types of comedies. But what I got was a bunch of dull characters doing dull, unfunny things, that seem contrived from the beginning. Perhaps if there had been a bit more thought put into the script this film would have turned out funny, but instead, I left saying, "This is soooooo ten years ago!"
 
Movie Guru Rating
Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable. Bland, boring, inept. Forgettable.
  1.5 out of 5 stars

 
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