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Case Number 03605

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The Hot Chick

Touchstone Pictures // 2002 // 144 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Chief Justice Michael Stailey // November 21st, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

"It's not every day your best friend grows a penis."

Opening Statement

Since leaving Saturday Night Live, Rob Schneider has made a career of cranking out high budget, lowbrow comedies. The amazing thing is they all make money—which is why we keep getting more films like The Hot Chick. Lucky us.

Facts of the Case

A long time ago in ancient Abyssinia, a pair of magic, transformational earrings were created. Flash forward to the present, where we find self-absorbed, popular, cheerleader girl (Rachel McAdams) doing what all similar two dimensional characters do best—putting down others and shopping. What she isn't able to buy, she steals—like the pair of ancient earrings on display in a kitschy African mall store. On the way home, while torturing a low life crook posing as a gas station attendant (Rob Schneider), she loses one of the earrings. The thief finds it, takes it home, puts is on, goes to bed, and wakes the next morning in the body of Jessica, Miss Popularity. Let the hilarity commence!

The Evidence

I'll be honest. I have yet to unlock the mystery behind the universal appeal of these films. I love the forefathers of this genre—The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, Abbott and Costello, Don Knotts—but I just don't understand the post-SNL graduate mentality. It's like a decent three-minute sketch beaten to death for two and half hours. For god's sake, somebody just call "scene."

Following in the footsteps of its transformational predecessors—Freaky Friday, Like Father Like Son, Vice Versa—Schneider and company take the genre to new lows. Let's sit in as Professor Laughalot analyzes the comedic genius of The Hot Chick. Take it away, Professor.

Zank you. As you vill zee, zere iz a great deal of funny packed into zis movie. For instance…

• Drinking Slurpees from ze machine und getting a brain freeze—Funny.
• Hit head, fall down, get up, hit head again—Funny.
• Nose hair trimmer—Funny. Waxing face—Funny.
• Penis jokes—Funny. Priest molestation jokes—Funny.
• Pillow fight—Funny. Out of control pillow fight—Even more funny.
• Car accidents—Funny. Old guy in bathroom—Funny.
• Fart jokes—Funny. Piss jokes—Funny.
• Gay jokes—Funny. Racial stereotypes—Funny.
• Sexual advances from Mom—Funny.
• Embarrassing guy talk with Dad—Funny.
• Crossdressing younger brother—Funny.

Fortunately, ze more respectable supporting performanzes by Michael O'Keefe, Jodi Long, and Anna Faris are buried under ze tidal vave of funny vich overvelm zis film, zus negating any impact zey might have otherwize had.

Thank you, Professor. So, in the midst of all this hilarity, there is something vaguely resembling a plot. Once the girls accept that it really is Jessica trapped in the body of a disgusting, middle-aged guy, they have to figure out how it happened and more importantly how to undo it. Of course, with so much comedy packed into this 144 minute laugh fest, certain plot elements had to be sacrificed. Little things introduced early on in the film like prom and bigger things such as how Jessica's parents could go an entire week without seeing their daughter without being concerned. But, in the end, they all live happily ever after, espousing the moral of the story—accept yourself for who you are and take nothing for granted.

Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the transfer is as clear and crisp as one would expect from a recent major studio release. The colors are vivid, using a diverse palette to color the girls' school and social lives. The Dolby 5.1 Surround audio track has nearly become standard issue on new releases, but is often underutilized—as is the case here. Heavy dialogue comedy, even with a fair amount of physical humor, just doesn't demand the full surround treatment.

The one thing this release does have is a variety of bonus materials. Fifteen deleted and expanded scenes (33 minutes) showcasing an alternate ending, an expanded role for Rachel McAdams—as Clive trapped in Jessica's body, exploiting his new assets to make money, a ZZ Top cameo, and an entire supporting character (Will Sasso, MadTV) removed from the film. In addition, there are five featurettes (43 minutes)—Becoming Jessica, Becoming Clive, Guest Speakers, The Hot Chicks, and Physical Education; a music video (3 minutes); production credits; and studio trailers. The feature commentary by writer/director Tom Brady (The Simpsons, Home Improvement) and Rob Schneider is actually more entertaining than the film itself, which isn't saying much.

Closing Statement

Cartoonish, sophomoric, and over-exaggerated, The Hot Chick is a movie people obviously went to see, as it made $35 million at the box office. I wound up laughing more at the movie than with it, which is why I cannot recommend it either as a purchase or a rental. Life is short and there are much better ways to spend two and a half hours.

The Verdict

A poor imitation of something that has already been done—and done better. Touchstone executives, Tom Brady, and Rob Schneider are hereby sentenced to switch bodies with minimum wage, movie multiplex workers and forced to watch every bad theatrical release and clean up after each audience. This court is adjourned.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 95
Audio: 85
Extras: 85
Acting: 50
Story: 50
Judgment: 50

Perp Profile

Studio: Touchstone Pictures
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 144 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
Genres:
• Bad
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Feature Commentary by Director Tom Brady and Rob Schneider
• 15 Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Five Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
• Music Video -- "Starlight" by Zed
• Production Credits

Accomplices

• IMDb








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