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The Hot Chick (12A)



Review by: Graeme Kay| Rating: One

THE Hot Chick begins with a scene from ancient Abyssinia; wherein a beautiful young princess, eager to avoid her arranged marriage to an oafish elder, invokes the magic of a pair of sacred earrings to enable her to swap identities with her maidservant and thus escape a fate worse than death.

The action then flashes forward to modern day Los Angeles where beautiful-but-bitchy, spoilt-rotten cheerleader-queen, Jessica (Rachel McAdams), cruising the local shopping mall with her crew of girlfriends, spots said earrings in an African antique shop, steals them and heads for home in her brand-new VW.

Along the way, Jessica pulls in to a garage that is being robbed by grungy, petty-thief Clive (Rob Schneider), and after tormenting the hapless crook, who she mistakes for the petrol-pump attendant, she drives off, little realising that she has dropped one of the earrings and that Clive has found it.

Several hours later Jessica and Clive each try on their single earring and, hey presto, by the following morning they have swapped bodies.

This, of course, is a great shock for both of them, but it is on Jessica (now looking like Clive but, nbelievably, still insisting on wearing her own clothes, despite her new, muscular frame) that most of the action focuses, as she and her best-friend, April (Anna Faris, whose range almost stretches from to A to B) set out to reunite Jessica's body and soul, through the retrieval and re-pairing of the missing earring with its twin.

What follows is a standard high-school-pic-by-numbers adventure
that allows Schneider to perform a series of gender-confused set-pieces - Jessica has to take on a man in a fist fight, has to learn to pee standing up and has to cope with bodily odour and hair - while the rest of the cast look on in wide-eyed amazement.

Co-written by Schneider and director Tom Brady, who worked together on The Animal and NBC's Men Behaving Badly, The Hot Chick is a lazy, sloppily constructed film that, for the most part, falls flat.

Not only because too much is invested in the slim talents of Schneider, at the expense of the superior McAdams, but also because of a storyline that has more holes in it than a piece of Emmental, and humour that is so pathetically clichéd and contrived that even confirmed gross-out movie fans may find it simply too stupid to laugh at.

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