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The Hot Chick

From the folks that brought you Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo and The Animal comes The Hot Chick, another vehicle for "Saturday Night Live" alum Rob Schneider that fails to capitalize on the comic quirks he displayed during his five years on late-night TV, going for another high-concept setup but delivering little in the way of payoff. Schenider stars as a scatterbrained thief who crosses paths with popular cheerleader Jessica Spencer (Rachel McAdams) after knocking over a gas station. What neither knows is that Jessica's new earrings — which she just purloined from a local shop — are rare, magical artifacts that date back to ancient Abyssinia and allow those who exchange them to exchange bodies as well. After winding up with one of the mystic baubles, our crook naturally gets drunk in his seedy apartment and tries it on, only to wake up in Jessica's nubile body. Jessica, meanwhile, wakes up as a 30-year-old guy with no sense of proper hygiene. It takes a bit before Jessica can convince her best friend April (Anna Faris) that's she's really who she says she is, and from there the teen sleuths plot to deceive their elders while tracking down the cause of the metamorphosis. A Freaky Friday set in a Gen-Y universe, The Hot Chick isn't the first, nor will it be the last, body-switcheroo comedy. But there would be little reason to fault its hackneyed premise if it actually delivered a few laughs or even a couple of surprises. Instead, the script paddles along on its one-note gimmick as "Jessica" delivers a series of poorly timed outbursts in public, always somehow forgetting that she looks like a diminutive, wavy-haired fellow. There is a dance scene in a local club that is moderately amusing, and Schneider is game enough to carry the film speaking with silly, teenage-girl inflections. But we still get the potty humor (at least two fart jokes and some urine spray), as well as a series of subplot gags that amount to very little — Jessica's kid brother is a cross-dresser, one hip black chick actually has a dorky Korean mother, and the token fat girl of the piece is, well, fat (har har... har). Fans of the Farrelly Brothers may enjoy this as a lighter entry into the genre of tacky, gross-out comedy. Still, Adam Sandler (who co-produced) earns more genuine giggles in just three brief scenes as a dreadlocked stoner dude. Buena Vista's DVD release of The Hot Chick features a solid anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Features include a commentary by director Tom Brady, 15 deleted scenes (including an alternate ending), five featurettes, and a music video. Keep-case.
—JJB



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