The Hot Chick (2002)

Released: December 13, 2002Director: Tom BradyStars: Rob Schneider, Rachel McAdams, Anna FarrisRuntime: 104 min.

The Hot Chick is the Freaky Friday of Happy Madison Productions.

Jessica (Rachel McAdams for the first bit of the film, and Schneider for the later part) is a self-absorbed high school prissy female who thinks she’s top dog because she has a jock boyfriend and a great group of friends, but the truth is that she really isn’t overly liked by her general high school. On a regular trip to the mall, she’s attracted to an antique shop by a distant music (probably Adam Sandler’s character playing his drums). There, she finds these ancient earrings that come with a mythic story: A young female princess switched bodies with a peasant by these magical earrings, so she can escape an awful marriage; but what she did not know was that she had to switch them before sunset. Henceforth, she was stuck as a peasant for her life. So that’s the whole myth behind those earrings, and you’re probably thinking – where the heck does Schneider come in? Schneider’s original character is a 30-something career criminal lowlife called Clive. Jess and Clive cross paths when he’s robbing a gas station, and doesn’t make a too-slick getaway. Jessica drops one of her earrings, and at night – ba da bing, ba da boom – they both happen to be wearing the earrings, and they both switch bodies.

Schneider brings his usual antics to the feature. The story and conclusion are mighty predictable and have been done before, but that doesn’t stop it from being entertaining in most areas and endurable in the weaker spots of the flick.

Rachel McAdams was underused in this movie, because in reality she probably got a little bit less than twenty minutes of screen time. There are several memorable scenes offered, and also weak scenes. That’s usually the case with Happy Madison comedies though, because they’re often just comedians doing their antics – and – who needs a plot anyway, right?

An endurable screenplay is offered for us lovers of Sandler’s brand of humour. Granted, there are a lot of weak jokes and just some boring “please make it end” moments, but it makes up for that in scenes of pure comedy, and those are probably followed by a few scenes of mediocrity.

The relationships struck up between some characters are quite predictable. A lot of the characters are one–dimensional, and unlikable. Jessica is a prime example of a one-dimensional character, but she changes with this apparent life-shaping experience of switching bodies with a criminal. A little character development is attempted, it isn’t great, but it’s just okay.

The Hot Chick offers silly characters, and an overly tired premise. Though, it also offers hilarious scenes and entertainment that can be enjoyed over and over, well, until it’s fully worn out. It isn’t my favourite Happy Madison production, but is a great one – and definitely Schneider’s best headlining flick (in relations with Sandler).

Score60/100

Beerfest – A film review by Daniel Prinn – It suffers from a lack of charm and plot.

Beerfest

Release Date: August 25, 2006

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar

Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme

Runtime: 110 min

Tagline: Bring on the beer. They’ve got the nuts.

They certainly brought on some beer, but they didn’t bring us a lot of laughs.

Two brothers, Jan and Todd Wolfhouse, must travel to Munich for a traditional ceremony after the death of their grandfather. The ceremony is to put the urn of their grandfather’s ashes among the other urns of their ancestors, at Oktoberfest. After things go awry at Oktoberfest, their contact brings them to an underground beer games competition called Beerfest, often described as the ‘Fight Club’ of the beer drinking universe. There, they meet some nasty Germans who turn out to be their distant cousins, who accuse their grandfather of being a thief and their Great grandmother (Gam Gam) of being an old fashioned whore. They lasso up a beer drinking team, to get payback for the defilement of their family name, at next year’s Beerfest.

I’m writing this review after numerous watches, it used to sort of always be a guilty pleasure – that is, until I really knew how to look for a solid plot. That being said, the plot is pretty ridiculous here; I mean, I like my comedies with at least some strand of plot. I was expecting more from the creator of Super Troopers.

I’ll start with the positives. When it is funny, it usually is very funny. Some of the jokes are quite hit and miss, but a lot hit. Some of the characters you can get attached to, despite each of their annoying mannerisms. Landfill was my favourite here, but the actor is also my favourite of the Broken Lizard comedy team, so that may have a large influence. Another redeeming quality, though, is the (little bit of) nudity.

Unfortunately, now I have to tear this former guilty pleasure of mine apart. The gallons and gallons of beer very much outweigh the lack of laughs given to us throughout the feature; there definitely isn’t a laugh per minute. Some of the characters are just really, really obnoxious and irritating; especially some characters on the German team. Though, the character played by Will Forte was pretty funny. It is also quite a bit lengthy and overstays its welcome for a comedy that hardly has a great plot. It is sometimes had to bare through, because some of it is just so unfunny and irritating. It’s really too bad that the team couldn’t insert a whole lot of charm into this, like they did with Super Troopers.

Beerfest stars the Broken Lizard comedy team (creators of Super Troopers), Cloris Leachman, Will Forte, Nat Faxon, Eric Christian Olsen, Mo’Nique and Donald Sutherland.

Beerfest doesn’t offer a whole lot of laughs, but there are a few memorable ones. It’s a poor endeavour by the team; but can be enjoyable for frat comedy fans. It’s a fairly effective college comedy; that instead of teens, grown men are drinking the beers. My suggestion is to, like those guys in the film, see this drunk. It should help enhance more enjoyment.

When I loved this, I would have given it a 70, but now I’d give it a 50. So, in all fairness, I’ll meet in the middle.

60/100