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MOVIE INFO
Synopsis:
Jessica Spencer is the hottest, most popular girl in high school. But she gets a big dose of reality when she wakes up in the body of a 30-something-year-old lowlife male (Schneider), and quickly discovers that trading on your looks isn't so easy when you're a girl who constantly needs a shave. How in the world can Jessica convince her friends it really is her? And how can she change herself back into a teenage girl? The Hot Chick is a wild and wacky gender-bending comedy everyone can enjoy- no matter what sex you are.

Director:
Tom Brady
Cast:
Rob Schneider, Rachel McAdams, Anna Faris, Matthew Lawrence
Writing Credits:
Tom Brady, Rob Schneider

Tagline:
The hottest chick in town, just switched bodies with the luckiest loser in the world.
Box Office:
Opening weekend $7.401 million on 2217 screens.
Domestic gross $35.016 million.
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for crude and sexual humor, language and drug references.

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English, Spanish
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 5/13/2003

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Tom Brady
• Deleted Scenes
• “Hot Chick Yearbook” Featurette
• Music Video
• Sneak Peeks


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RELATED REVIEWS


The Hot Chick (2002)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 7, 2003)

Will a day ever come when Hollywood declares the “body-changing” genre dead? Probably not, though this kind of flick rarely works well. For every winner like Big we find lots of clunkers such as Vice Versa or 18 Again.

Add a new dud to that list. 2002’s The Hot Chick opens with a prologue set in Abyssinia circa 50 BC. A wealthy babe switches bodies with a chambermaid so she can avoid life with a crude ruler. After that set-up, the film then heads straight to present day where we meet head high school cheerleader Jessica Spencer (Rachel McAdams). Bitchy and manipulative, she uses her looks to get whatever she wants.

At the mall, Jessica stops at an African-themed store where she finds the mystical earrings used during the ancient transformation. The proprietor won’t sell them, so Jessica switches the container and buys them that way. When she stops at a gas station being robbed by scummy low-life Clive (Rob Schneider), she mistakes him for the attendant and mistreats him in her normal catty way.

However, one of the earrings falls to the pavement, and he finds it after they leave. After he arrives home, he tries it on, and this soon works its magic. When Jessica awakes the next morning, she finds that her body has transformed into his, and vice versa. The film concentrates on the story of male-bodied Jessica; occasionally we see the newly femme Clive, but the vast majority of the flick follows the manly prom queen as she and her friends attempt to figure out how to fix this situation.

Essentially The Hot Chick attempts to wed two lousy genres of comedy: the body-switching motif I already mentioned and shots of men pretending to be women. Granted, Schneider doesn’t really dress up like a girl, but he spends most of the movie attempting to act like an 18-year-old babe.

That’s the film’s main comedic motif right there. Other than gags related to the goofiness of a girlie Schneider, Chick has little reason to exist. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. The movie lives and dies with Schneider, which means it flops as a whole.

I just don’t think Schneider’s lead actor material. He feels more like a supporting character sort, and given the quality of his three starring efforts - Chick, The Animal, and Deuce Bigalow - apparently audiences agree. None of the trio did terribly well, and each has reached a declining number of viewers. Bigalow made $65 million back in 1999, while Animal took in $55 million two years later. Chick nabbed a mere $35 million.

Chick goes to the same well too many times, so even the flick’s decent gags eventually become tiresome. Adam Sandler does a moderately funny cameo, but this bit gets repeated excessively, so it loses any punch.

Unfortunately, those minor moments of mirth appear infrequently, as the movie presents very little that seems entertaining. Schneider’s performance seems grating at worst and cute at best. The former tone dominates the film for the most part. Actually, I can’t say his take as Jessica actively annoyed me, but it came across as feeble and cutesy.

Of course, Jessica’s new manliness allows the film to revel in many crummy sight gags and bits related to a) her new dick, b) her inability to handle that new body part, and c) body hair. None of these bits seem either clever or amusing. If anything, they appear actively stupid. Are we really supposed to believe that 18-year-old girls believe that men shave their faces with hot wax?

A gimmick flick with a lousy gimmick and lame execution, there’s little to like about The Hot Chick. It consists mainly of shots of Rob Schneider in girlie clothes acting like a sissy. In addition, it goes on way too long. 101 minutes for a flick like this is excessive; it should have clocked in at no more than 85 minutes or so. Unfortunately, given the stale material, even that would have been too much Chick.


The DVD Grades: Picture B / Audio B / Bonus B+

The Hot Chick appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Not a bad picture but not a great one, Chick generally looked positive but it fell short of expected modern standards at times.

For the most part, sharpness seemed fine, but variations occurred. Some wide shots came across as a bit ill defined, and the movie demonstrated an oddly blurry look at times. Usually the image remained accurate, but it simply seemed a little off on occasion. Jagged edges caused no concerns, but I saw a little shimmering at times, and I also noticed some light edge enhancement. A few bits of grit appeared during the film, and I witnessed some minor artifacting as well, but the image mostly looked clean.

What with Jessica’s poppy teen girl lifestyle, Chick enjoyed a lot of opportunities for bright colors, and these mostly appeared very good. However, at times I thought the tones looked a little pale. Those occurrences were infrequent, though, as the hues generally presented vivid and vibrant visuals. Black levels worked fine and seemed deep, while shadow detail also was clear and appropriately intense. Enough of The Hot Chick looked really good, and the image improved as the film progressed, so despite these various concerns, it merited a “B” for picture quality.

While not a stellar piece, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Hot Chick seemed a bit stronger than I expected for a film in this genre. Still, the mix definitely focused on the front channels. Music featured prominently in the film, and the track presented the score and songs with nice, clean stereo. Scenes like the cheer competition also allowed the music to enjoy some breathing room and expansion into the rear channels. Effects popped up in appropriate and distinct locations and melded together naturally. Surround usage tended toward general ambience, but a few segments gave us greater activity from the rear. For example, the shots in which the jewelry worked its magic added some pep to the surrounds.

Audio quality appeared fine. Speech came across as natural and concise, and the lines betrayed no flaws like edginess. Effects sounded crisp and detailed. They showed no distortion or other concerns and demonstrated reasonable low-end response when necessary. Again, music worked best of all. The various bits of songs and score were robust and dynamic, and bass seemed generally tight and dense. Nothing much about the soundtrack to The Hot Chick dazzled me, but it remained quite acceptable for this sort of flick.

The DVD of The Hot Chick presents a moderately substantial set of supplements, and we open with an audio commentary from director Tom Brady. He provides a running, screen-specific track that covers the film effectively at times but also suffers from a number of weaknesses. On the positive side, Brady discusses some rudiments of casting and production issues, and he also goes into detail about cut sequences and alterations made from the original script. However, Brady often simply does little more than tell us the names of various actors, and he praises the movie way too frequently. The track sags more frequently than I’d like. At times Brady gives us useful material, but the commentary remains average at best.

Next we get a collection of 15 deleted scenes. These run between 26 seconds and four minutes, 58 seconds for a total of 32 minutes and six seconds of footage. None of these seem terribly interesting, though we find some dropped subplots like one that involves a second janitor and another that details the phobias suffered by Jessica’s mother. We also get a fairly odd alternate ending. Fans will probably enjoy these snippets for they work as well as the bits that made the final flick, but for someone who didn’t like the film, there’s no hidden gold here.

The Hot Chick Yearbook breaks down into five separate featurettes. “Becoming Clive” starts this area with a four-minute and 58-second look at actress Rachel McAdams’ work to act male. We hear comments from her as well as director Tom Brady and see movie clips – including deleted scenes – along with lots of video from the set. The interviews add no depth, but the behind the scenes footage seems pretty cool, though the piece accentuates film snippets too heavily; we see a lot of material we already know.

For the flipside, we go to the eight-minute and 42-second “Becoming Jessica”. It and the subsequent featurettes use the same format as “Clive”, with a mix of movie clips, behind the scenes footage, and sound bites. “Jessica” includes Brady, producers Carr D’Angelo and John Schneider, actors Eric Christian Olson, Anna Faris, Rob Schneider and Matthew Lawrence. Again, the interviews aren’t very compelling, but the shots from the set are fun, and we also find a deleted scene that doesn’t appear elsewhere on the disc.

“The Hot Chicks” goes for eight minutes, 27 seconds and focuses on Jessica’s friends. We hear from actors Anna Faris, Alexandra Holden, and Rachel McAdams, and we get a nice look at elements like their cheerleading rehearsals. “Guest Speakers” runs 10 minutes, 55 seconds and covers the movie’s cameos from Adam Sandler, Angie Stone, Robert Davi, Ashley Simpson, Tia and Tamera Mowrey, Louis Lombardi, Bob Rubin, Will Sasso, and Dick Gregory. We find remarks from Brady, Schneider, Holden, Stone and Gregory. The Sandler and Gregory bits are fun, but the rest tends to drag. And in regard to some of these folks, don’t you need to be prominent to qualify for a cameo? I’ve got no idea who some of them are.

The “Yearbook” concludes with the nine-minute and five-second “Physical Education”. The program details the choreography of some of the film’s physical gags. We get interview snippets from actors Faris and Michael O’Keefe and watch behind the scenes shots of the pillow fight, car crashes, falls and other physical bits.

Overall, the “Yearbook” provides a reasonable amount of decent material. Added together, these five featurettes run 42 minutes and four seconds, which seems like a substantial amount of time. Unfortunately, they come across as fairly fluffy. The behind the scenes shots are great, but I don’t feel like they embellish the package as much as they should. Still, the featurettes provide some generally interesting components.

After this comes the music video for “Starlight” by Zed. A mix of band lip-synch and story, the video offers a new story that concentrates on attempts by Sam Doumit’s Eden character to get back at the snotty jocks. She creates a potion that the janitor (Rob Schneider) drinks, and this makes him switch bodies with Zed’s lead singer. It’s a cute clip that seems much better than most in the genre.

As the DVD starts, we encounter a trailer for Shanghai Knights. Unlike many Buena Vista DVDs, however, this one includes no “Sneak Peeks” area. It also fails to provide the trailer for Hot Chick itself.

Maybe somebody out there thought The Hot Chick was funny and/or entertaining, but that person ain’t me. I felt it simply tossed out lots of crude and tired gags and offered nothing creative, amusing or clever. The DVD provided somewhat erratic picture quality, but it usually looked very good, and both audio and supplements were definitely above average. If you count yourself as a fan of The Hot Chick, you’ll feel pleased with this mostly terrific DVD. Others should skip it, though, as it seems very unlikely Rob Schneider will earn many new fans from this dud.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.1241 Stars Number of Votes: 153
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