Monday, March 28, 2011

A Decade of Dreck #49: The Hottie and the Nottie

Charge Shot!!! is celebrating the end of the decade in the most masochistic way we know how - by watching and writing about the 100 worst movies of the last ten years as defined by film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Click here to see RT's complete list, click here for more information about the Decade of Dreck project, and click here to see all of the movies we've done so far. 

Millions of years from now, when alien archaeologists look upon the ruins of human civilization, they will marvel at had once been Paris Hilton and say "This is it: this is the high water mark. This is where the wave of the American Empire finally broke and rolled back."

It seems almost quaint to remember it now, but there was a time when Paris Hilton was an omnipresent, malicious force in American pop culture. You couldn't turn on a TV without her vacant, serial stare gazing back at you, probing your soul, revealing you for the fraud and hypocrite you are. I often wonder what the net gain/loss is of men who have been inspired by Paris Hilton to become anti-West guerrilla fighters in the undeveloped world. It must be pretty high; Lord knows I've contemplated taking up a Kalashnikov and burning her picture in effigy in my time. DOWN WITH THE GREAT SATAN!

Sorry about that. Anyway, it's one thing when our worthless celebrities impose themselves on us with shitty reality shows, the media equivalent of worthless celebrities, but for some goddamn reason they always imagine they have some modicum of talent that needs to be shared with the world and decide to act in shitty films. The eternal monument to Paris Hilton's dream of being an actress is an unholy hellspawn called The Hottie and the Nottie, and I have seen it.
Ms. Hilton (hereafter referred to as "the Princesse de Lamballe") stars as Cristabel, the eponymous hottie. Despite being looking like a department store mannequin brought to life by ancient Egyptian magic and the feminine endowments of a surfboard, we the audience are led to believe that Cristabel (Jesus, that's not really a name, is it?) is the epitome of human attraction. Men plan their days around the fleeting possibility of catching a glimpse of her morning jog, hoping and praying to be graced with the presence of this living, breathing wood nymph-esque creature.

For all these men trying to "get with" her, there remains a rather serious problem: Cristabel (Ack! It pains  me to even type that!) is super protective of her profoundly ugly best friend June (Christine Lakin). June is so utterly hideous and malformed that vomit is drawn from the digestive tracks of all men in her presence. So when elementary school classmate Nate (some guy) comes to California hoping to consummate his unrequited childhood love with Cristabel, he of course must placate the Nottie, and possibly get her laid. After all, as goes the old Saxon proverb: "If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends."

Okay: on paper, this is your standard godawful romantic comedy. Yeah, it's terrible and the sort of thing that makes one unable to both fall in love and laugh by watching it, but there are at least twenty of those released every year. So what? Why is this one any different? Well, it has Paris Hilton in it.

Hilton sucks the already meek life out of every frame she walks into. I dread to think what directing her must have been like, though I imagine Ixion must sympathize with those responsible for dealing with Ms. Hilton during shooting. Being a bad actor is one thing, there's no shame in it, but Hilton doesn't even seem to try. She comes across as some sort of pitiful text-to-speech voice, reading a script inputted into her. Also, Paris Hilton doesn't change facial expressions.

What's worse is just the whole goddamn sanctimony of Hilton's role. As has been noted, she is presented on a pedestal; not only the very paragon of beauty, but also a saintly do-gooder as well (she is an event organizer for charities! Sexy and beneficent!). As the love of our hero Nate's life, I dare say that Cristabel could not even inspire a daydream out of an overstimulated thirteen-year-old.

Well maybe only an overstimulated thirteen-year-old.

And of course, there's the inevitable reversal. Nate learns that June the Nottie is really beautiful on the inside (but only after she gets a fuckton of surgery and spa treatments) and falls for her instead of Cristabel. This part of the movie was borderline not-rage-inducing: we've seen it a gazillion times (Shallow Hal, anyone?). Maybe I only liked it because after spending eighty minutes watching Paris Hilton, any woman will seem like the ultimate relief and comfort; just seeing a female human who isn't a worthless aristocrat find love and be happy made this romance plot of this movie seem like Breakfast and Tiffany's by comparison.

Then again, the Nottie was pretty cute, so I could be biased. Wait, Paris Hilton was in this movie? Eeeiighh! Kill me!

The Obama years have seen a relaxing and gradual diminishing of Ms. Hilton's onetime power over this country: it isn't likely we'll have to deal with any more Houses of Wax, or Repos! The Genetic Operas, or "Stars Are Blinds" in the near future. It seems like Hilton's apprentice Kim Kardashian and her tribe have have overtaken her. Thank God I don't have to watch any movies for this project starring her.

What's that you say? She's in one? Disaster Movie? GODDAMMIT!!!

The Hottie and the Nottie is ranked #67 on the Rotten Tomatoes Worst 100 list with 5% freshness. Its RT page can be found here.