The Hottie and the Nottie
This film has earned more than its share of notoriety, for at least
- It is rated on the very bottom of IMDb's all-time worst list
with a cumulative score of 1.2/10. Nearly 88% of the 11,000 voters
have awarded it the minimum score of 1/10.
- Critics hated it just as much as the IMDb crowd. Metacritic
estimated the average review to be 7 points on a 100-point scale,
which is worse than 1/2 of a star on a five star scale. Rotten
Tomatoes reports that 95% of the reviews were negative. I read all
of the other 5% and can report that they were not very
enthusiastic either. More than one critic said it was below Paris
Hilton's dignity which, if you think about it, must be quite close
to the cinematic equivalent of absolute zero.
- It was released theatrically in 111 theaters and grossed a
whopping $27,000, a result so anemic as to incite a riot among
theater owners, who blew it out after the opening weekend. It
averaged $249 per theater for the three-day run. Assuming a standard
five screenings per day and eight bucks per theater, that works out
to two people per screening.
To be honest, it is not nearly bad enough to have earned such
critical and box office opprobrium. It is a predictable, 1980s-style youthploitation comedy, to be sure, but it is not
significantly worse than other similar efforts like Good Luck, Chuck
or The Heartbreak Kid, which are rated 5.5 and 5.9 at IMDb.
A guy in his mid twenties has been dreaming about his first grade
sweetheart (Paris, the hottie) for two decades, and moves back to his
home town to meet her. As it turns out, she has been thinking of him
as well, and would love to give romance a try, but she has resolved
not to get laid until she can muster up a boyfriend for her ugly best
friend (the nottie), who was also in their first grade class, and is
still just as virginal as she was back then. It is thus incumbent upon
our hero to get the nottie cleaned up and into the dating scene so
that he can woo the hottie. You have probably already figured out that
the cleaned-up nottie turns out to be pretty durned hot herself and
... well, you get the picture.
In addition to those three stock characters, the film has a fourth
stereotype, the hero's nerdy best friend who dispenses bad advice
freely, as played in many raunchy 1980s youthploitation comedies by
Curtis "Booger" Armstrong. The Booger role in this film is essayed by
a guy named The Greg Wilson. That's not a misprint. His first name is
The. Well, not really, but this is Hollywood, playing by SAG union
rules, which work just like the Highlander law: there can be only one.
I guess the one available Greg Wilson union card was taken, so our boy
first tried out the nondescript moniker of Greg D. Wilson, then
settled on the more memorable The Greg Wilson.
The film is just the usual stuff. It's all been done better a score
of times before, but there's nothing so very awful about it except the
fact that it's an R-rated premise cobbled into a PG-13 movie (no
nudity!), so it's sort of tepid pseudo-raunch instead of the real
thing, but it's certainly not a film which can compete with the real
bottom-dwellers for the "worst of all time" trophy. Compared to
Manos or Glam, this seems like Casablanca.
What, then, caused the outpouring of hate? In two words: Paris
Hilton. She starred in the film as the titular hottie, and also acted
as executive producer. In other words, it was basically a vanity
project in which she used her money to showcase her ... um ... talent.
The Hilton Factor worked against the film in two ways:
First, many people just hate Paris Hilton. The vast majority of the
people who voted at IMDB never saw the film at all, and even admit so
in their comments. After all, we know the box office numbers. By the
time the film had accumulated 11,000 votes, it had not been released
on home media, not even on a bootleg, so only 3,000 people had
actually seen it!
Second, even those people who do not hate Paris must acknowledge
that her acting ability and comedic timing are limited, thus causing
this film to be much weaker than it would have been with, for example,
Cameron Diaz in the same role. When people love or hate something
about a new film they tend to act out their passion and assign a 10 or
a 1 before reason prevails.
Mind you, I'm not recommending the film. It's pretty bad. But if
you've been watching HBO regularly for a quarter of a century, you've probably
seen a hundred films as bad or worse. The "real" IMDb score should
probably be in the fours.
|Paris Hilton film clip (sample right).
She really does look very nice, but you'll see a demonstration
of her acting limitations.