Judge Brett Cullum thinks Paris is hot, and this movie is not!
A life without orgasms is like a world without flowers.
On February 11th of 2008 The Houston Chronicle reported an average of 28 people attended each showing offered for The Hottie and the Nottie on its opening weekend. Honestly, that was 27 more people than I would have thought after watching it. The film is one of those "late night cable" projects that some misguided soul figured could make it as a theatrical release on the star power of Paris Hilton. Most people are going to see it as a "money can buy you everything but a good movie" scenario, and that's true. Hilton is credited as an executive producer which means she funded the project to at least some degree. It's not bad enough to be campy, nor is it good enough to work. The Hottie and the Nottie only offers a chance to see Hilton in a performance which seems less interesting than her night vision romp during One Night in Paris.
Nate (Joel Moore, Grandma's Boy) moves back to LA to track down his first grade crush Christabel (Paris Hiltion, House of Wax). She's more beautiful than ever, but the still sexy woman has retained an ever present ugly best friend named June (Christine Lakin, Georgia Rule). Christabel has made a vow she will not date anyone until the homely June finds "someone special." So what can Nate do? Transform the ugly duckling in to a swan with the help of an attractive dentist, but along the way things get complicated as Nate begins to fall for June instead of his original Hottie. In the completely predictable twist, he's falling for the Nottie. And of course the Nottie turns out to be completely hot, smart, and self-aware. All it takes are some veneers, waxing, and hair treatments.
A lot of people have it out for Paris Hilton claiming she has no talents, but somehow she's managed to emerge as an author, pop singer, reality television star, and an actress appearing in movies. With enough guts and cash I guess you can do anything, and let's hope she doesn't decide to eventually go the Ross Perot route and run for President. The Hottie and the Nottie tries to reinvent Miss Hilton as a modern day Bo Derek, even though this is certainly light-years away from "10". As much as her detractors would love to tear the blonde heiress down, the problem isn't Paris. She does what's required of her by being pretty, sweet, and coming off okay with the light comedy. No, the biggest problem with The Hottie and the Nottie is that it's neither accomplished nor completely inept in any of the production elements. It's not good or bad enough to be entertaining. The script is filled with one line clunkers, not so comedic bits, and as a romantic comedy it never works. We don't care about these people, and everything feels like the worst deleted scenes from a Farrelly brothers comedy. You can't blame the poor cast who give it a good college try. What The Hottie and the Nottie gets wrong is the script does nobody any favors, and the entire production looks amateurish. Could some more polish have helped? Probably not, and it's just not a smart film by any stretch of the imagination. We've seen these "transformation" stories in romantic comedies, so the film offers nothing new.
Liberation Entertainment has provided a bare bones version for the DVD release of The Hottie and the Nottie. All we get is the movie without any supplemental material, or at least that is what it looks like from the screener version they sent. The widescreen transfer is clear, but there are some darker moments that don't hold up as well. The contrast needed to be up, and the black level seems a little bit off. Colors are pretty sharp though, and it all looks vivid enough for a comedy palette. Everything looks and sounds fine. Extras maybe could have helped out here. Considering the whole project revolves around the interest in Paris, why not trot her out for a commentary?
If you're one of those villagers outside of Paris Hilton's mansion with a pitchfork you might as well go home, because The Hottie and the Nottie doesn't make Paris look any worse. It's an inept mess of a comedy, but it's not the fault of America's favorite blonde heiress. The real culprit is a not funny script, and a lackluster basic cable budget that meant the film never should have been released in theaters. Paris Hilton deserves better than this for her money, and audiences certainly can expect better. Paris has proven comic skills thanks to The Simple Life, and she's not been bad in her quick roles in films like Wonderland, House of Wax, and Nine Lives. She has more talent than this movie shows. This one's forgettable, but it stars an unforgettable woman. Like it or not, we'll always have Paris.
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