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The Hot Chick Review

By Shawn McKenzie 12/16/2002

Rob Schneider is probably just north of Adam Sandler in the automatic critical scorn machine.  As with Sandler, I donít share that instant bad opinion.  While not everything he has done has made me laugh, most of it has.  I fully realize that his humor is immature easy jokes, but they have made me laugh more often than not.  I liked Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Animal, so I thought I might like The Hot Chick.  This one was a little hard for even me though.

Jessica Spencer (Rachel McAdams) is the "hot chick," one of the most popular girls in high school.  She has everything a girl could want: she is the head cheerleader, a faithful and loving boyfriend named Billy (Matthew Lawrence), and a loving (though a little weird) family.  Her family consists of her mom, Carol (Melora Hardin), her dad, Richie (Michael O'Keefe), and her cross-dressing younger brother, Booger (Matt Weinberg.)  Jessica doesnít fully appreciate all that she has.  She thinks she is above all others and makes fun of her fellow classmates, like the overweight Hildenburg (Megan Kuhlmann) and the goth/Wicca-girl Eden (Samia Doumit.)  She gets ironically punished for her actions when an ancient spell involving earrings bought in the mall causes her to accidentally switch bodies with Clive Maxtone (Schneider), a goofy 30-year-old criminal.  After waking up the next day in Cliveís body, she freaks and goes to her best friend, April (Anna Faris), for help.  It takes a little convincing, but soon April, and later their friends Lulu (Alexandria Holden) and Keecia, a.k.a. Ling-Ling (Maritza Murray), try to figure out what to do about this unusual dilemma.  Clive, now looking like Jessica, is doing the same, eventually taking advantage of his new status as a hot chick to commit more crimes.  The first thing the friends try to do is make Jessica look better as a woman inside a man's body, which eventually results in making April hot for him/her, even though she has a boyfriend too named Jake (Eric Christian Olsen.)  Aprilís attraction of Clive worries her mom, Julie (Leila Kenzle), which in turn makes her father Stan (Robert Davi) think that mom is crazy.  At the same time, Jessica, looking like Clive, ends up being mistaken by Jessica's dad as the new gardener (who dad calls Taquito.)  Later he/she gets a job as a janitor working for Vice Principal Bernard (Lee Garlington) by relying on previous knowledge of the V.P.ís love of the tuba.  Jessica and her friends try to find out if rival cheerleader Bianca (Maria-Elena Laas) or someone else is responsible and how to reverse the switch, which they donít have much time to do with the cheerleading competition and the prom coming up.

I have finally figured out why my fellow Denver critic Reggie McDaniel doesnít like this type of humor.  He doesnít find humor in making fun of stereotypes.  I think if jokes based on stereotypes are done correctly and with a little heart, they can be very funny.  You could lump me into two categories: fat guys and geeks (one stereotype is that all geeks are either fat or beanpoles.  Unfortunately, Iím not yet an exception on that front.)  This movie plays with many stereotypes.  Fat girls eat all the time and have a facial hair problem.  Goth-girls practice witchcraft.  Ling-Ling specifically falls into two stereotypes.  Her Asian decent conflicts with her African-American decent, so she wears kimonos and "bling-bling."  I will admit, not all of the stereotype jokes worked for me.  I thought fat jokes were better handled in last yearís Shallow Hal.  I also didnít understand the gender jokes, specifically when it came to men.  This movie seems to indicate that all men have no problem making rude noises around other men they hardly know and that we hit each other all the time.  Huh?  Maybe Iím a wuss, but I donít go around hitting my guy friends, much less a stranger.

I would be giving The Hot Chick a much lower rating if it hadnít made me laugh a decent amount of times.  This isnít Schneiderís best movie, but it was okay.  Iím looking forward to his next movie, where by an unfortunate accident, he becomes a carrot!  (Okay, I stole that from "South Park.")


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