The Hottie & the Nottie (2008) (part 4 of 5)
In the next scene, Nate has somehow roped “Cole Slawsen” back into his plans. He’s got the guy tied up in Arno’s basement, strapped to a machine, all wrapped up in duct tape and wires, with electrodes taped to his nipples. Ugh. I’m getting so very tired.
Nate explains that they’re going to do “aversion therapy”. Which translates to: showing him a blown-up photo of a hot bikini model, and giving him an electric shock, and then showing him a blown-up photo of June, and feeding him ice cream. Moving on.
At one point, Nate tells “Cole” not to dwell on the negatives. “Your Medieval Times goblet is half full!” What? I’m guessing “Cole” was supposed to be like a stock nerd character (because we all know how much nerds love Medieval Times), but in reality, the actor they got doesn’t look that much nerdier than the actor playing Nate, or The Greg Wilson.
Then Arno pulls out a pocket watch, and dangles it in front of “Cole’s” face. It appears Nate intends to hypnotize “Cole” into being attracted to June. Well, at least they’re being upfront now about completely ripping off Shallow Hal.
Nate plants a suggestion: Whenever Cole sees June, he will actually be seeing… And then Arno pulls out a blown-up photo of a woman covered in green body paint. “Cole” gets all sexed up, porno-style music kicks in, and Cole says, “Hi, space lady!” (And as I later learned from the two [!] commentary tracks on the DVD, the “space lady” is actually Heidi Ferrer, screenwriter of The Hottie & the Nottie, all painted green.)
Nate consults his book—The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hypnosis, if you must know—and tells Cole to follow his suggestion until he hears the trigger phrase, coming up shortly. And why exactly does Nate need a trigger phrase to make the suggestion wear off, you ask? You really, really don’t watch many comedies, do you?
Nate asks Arno for the trigger phrase, and Arno makes it up right there on the spot. It’s: “I love midget mimes.” I wonder if Arno loves them as much as the ’80s, or the ’90s, or video games, or toys, or whatever he’s talking about on VH-1 this week.
Nate snaps his fingers, and holds up the photo of June, and it seems the suggestion has taken hold. “Cole” looks lustfully at June’s picture and declares, “Resistance is futile!” Now, some of you fans of say, Star Trek, whatever you may be called collectively, as a group, might feel a twinge of recognition upon hearing this line. But there’s an even more overt Trek reference coming up in a minute, so just sit tight. Set your phasers on chill, or whatever the popular catch phrase is among you Star Trek-loving peoples.
A brief scene has Nate picking up the girls from the spa, and he’s standing in front of his car and trying desperately to hide the word LOSER, still spray painted on the side of his car. Seriously? If he’s not getting his car repainted, the least he could do is buy a can of spray paint and scratch out the word. But I guess that wouldn’t be “hilarious” enough.
Regardless, this scene only exists to impart the knowledge that June will be getting her mole removed next week. One step closer to hotness, and one step closer to ending this movie.
Next, they’re all double-dating with “Cole” on the Santa Monica pier. Excuse me—Arlington West. June makes idle chitchat about how they told her at the spa to use Rogaine for Women, and they also gave her prescriptions for her skin and toenails. I honestly had no idea they could dispense prescription drugs at a day spa, and I honestly don’t care. If she gets enough drugs and/or makeover tips, there’s a good chance this movie could be over within the next ten minutes.
But “Cole”, thanks to hypnosis, is infatuated with June, and calls her a “saucy minx” and a “luscious, pouty-lipped, intergalactic vixen”. He throws his ice cream cone to the ground and declares his undying love for her.
Nate explains his odd behavior by saying that “Cole” is a “Trekkie”. Oh, right, Trekkies. That’s what they’re called. Sadly, I’m enough of a Trekkie to know what they were going for here. And I’m also enough of a Trekkie to know that the screenwriter did her homework, and actually watched Voyager.
Basically, they’ve hypnotized “Cole” into believing that June is Seven of Nine. And on Voyager, they actually did neutralize the neuro-transceiver in Seven’s upper spinal column (c.f. “The Gift”). But obviously, they couldn’t get permission to use a photo of Jeri Ryan in the hypnosis scene (I doubt they even tried); Hence, the screenwriter in green makeup.
Just then, they all happen upon a street performer out on the pier. Can you guess what type of show this particular street performer is putting on? And can you guess other things about him, like, say… his height?
Yes, the street performer is—say it with me now—a midget mime.
Nate can’t believe his eyes, and the camera whips over to a little girl who tells her dad that she loves… yeah yeah, it’s the trigger phrase. Just shoot me now. “Cole” snaps out of his trance, and is instantly horrified. He starts screaming like he’s having brutal ‘Nam flashbacks, and he screams, and screams, and then…
…the little girl’s dad stoops down and says, “They’re called ‘little people’, honey.” Why I laughed at this line, I have no idea. As “Cole” runs screaming into the distance, Nate tries to play it off like “Cole” once had a traumatic experience in his childhood with mimes. Hey, who hasn’t?
So… they all stop to watch the midget mime show. Well, sure, why not? June was only traumatized by a guy screaming bloody murder directly in her face.
The midget mime goes out into the crowd to find a volunteer. And guess who he picks? Go ahead, make a guess. You only get one, and please keep in mind that the movie is currently on autopilot. That’s right! June!
The midget mime then proceeds to whip out a sketch pad, and draw a caricature of June. As mimes tend to do. Three seconds later, he shows off the drawing, and it’s June’s head on the body of… a dog? A deer? Some kind of leopard-canine hybrid? I have no idea.
The crowd laughs and laughs, and June has her own PTSD flashbacks to kids laughing at her back in the first grade. Which is odd. I mean, we know why Nate has flashbacks to June in the first grade—that’s the last time he saw her. But why would June flashback to that age in particular, especially since we know that she’s looked just as ugly ever since?
Suddenly, a strapping male model-type emerges from the crowd. Totally unprompted, he backhands the mime, sending him flying off through the air. The guy has a vaguely Eastern European accent, and he introduces himself to June as “Johann”, and shows off his perfect teeth.
Cut to the four of them at Johann’s lavish beach house, eating food that Johann just “whipped up” for them. In the space of a few seconds, Johann reveals that he’s a Harvard graduate, a former Marine, and a dentist. He then gets all choked up when he talks about how “lonely” it gets when you’re single. Paris and June are instantly smitten, and Nate is instantly resentful, because the guy is ludicrously perfect in every possible way.
And all throughout this scene, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and the kicker line where we would find out the guy’s fatal flaw: e.g., he’s gay, or a priest, or he has herpes or something. But as it turns out, this is not a setup for a quick punch line. We won’t find out Johann’s fatal flaw, if it can even be called that, until very near to the end of the movie.
But the script keeps piling it on: Johann is a male model, and he started doing it so his parents wouldn’t have to pay for dental school, and Paris even recognizes him from the cover of “Men’s Abs”. Johann says he didn’t get to see that cover, because he was in Central Asia at the time, doing “Doctors Without Borders”. And you can see Nate completely losing his will to live. And I had no choice but to laugh here, because I sympathize with him way too much.
And then it’s time to further illuminate June’s path to becoming hot: Johann tells June she has the most “intriguing case of fluorosis” he’s ever seen. Fluorosis being why June’s teeth are all black and mottled. Turns out it’s a real condition, caused by excess intake of fluoride at a young age and… okay, this is where the film loses me.
June’s hideousness has been the only joke of the movie, and now we’re supposed to believe it’s caused by actual medical disorders? Why not just have her be an amputee, and we can all have a laugh at that, too? Ah, crap, I think I just gave the screenwriter ideas.
By the way, Johann, the supposed dentist, completely mispronounces the word “fluorosis”. And no, that’s not the joke here.
However, there is a genuinely funny inside joke here, which is that the actor playing “Johann” is actually named Johann in real life. Johann Urb, to be exact. Which means that there are two actors essentially playing themselves in this movie. Which of the two do you think does the worse job?
Over at Arno’s house, Arno tells Nate he’s screwed, because Johann is obviously trying to impress June just to get to Paris. Arno says Nate’s approach is doomed to failure, because he’s going through the “front door”, whereas Johann is going through the “back door”. Arno yells, “He’s a backdoor man!” The men don’t know, but the little girls… hate this movie and want it to die, too.
Nate says that Paris “doesn’t have a back door!” Hmm. I’m not so sure that’s true. I may need to re-check the tape. Arno has a strategy, though: he tells Nate to make sure Johann and Paris are never alone together, and to make sure that Johann keeps his shirt on at all times, and various other things not worth getting into.
A hard edit on the soundtrack takes us to a hiking double-date. Paris and Johann are having a grand old time on the hike, whereas Nate and June are exhausted and sweaty and suffering, and bonding over their mutual disgust with all this physical activity. And I am dazzled once again by yet another well-placed clue that foretells the ending of the film.
Speaking of which, June brings us up to date on her inevitable transformation into the Hot Chick: She just got all her body hair “lasered” off, and she has a Band-Aid on her chin where the mole used to be. Also, her teeth have been shaved down by Johann, to make way for new porcelain veneers. Yes, it’s all coming together in an amazing and wondrous and totally unpredictable way.
Johann says that when he’s done with June, “She’s gonna look like Farrah in ’79!” When Johann Urb himself was… 2 years old? Fine, fine.
And then Johann reveals that he’s also a pilot. Yep, just keep heaping it on, movie. Because 8 or 9 iterations of the “Johann is ridiculously perfect” joke just weren’t enough. Then Nate weaves a ridiculous lie about being a stunt pilot and flying around “needy children from the ghetto”, and it’s not even remotely funny. You might think this movie is scraping the bottom of the barrel, in terms of funny material, but it actually still has a long way to go, straight down.
Then Johann comes up with a flimsy pretense to take off his shirt. He says the hike has made him hot, and “as the expression goes, I am sweating like a race horse!” Nate points out the expression is actually pissing like a race horse. And then he tackles Johann to the ground to keep him from taking off his shirt. It happens pretty much just like that.
Cut to a phone conversation between Arno and Nate. Nate is trying to figure out ways to impress Paris, and thinking of all the stuff he knows how to do well. He finally figures it out, and hangs up. The call ends with a shot of Arno on the toilet, with shitting and farting noises dubbed in. Words can’t express how incredibly necessary that was.
So Nate’s big scheme is to show off how well he plays guitar. He’s at a beachside coffeehouse with Johann and the girls, and he pulls out his acoustic guitar, which is all held together with duct tape, because it’s the same guitar his girlfriend bashed over his head at the start of the movie, ha ha.
Nate announces, “Hey! Who wants to hear some Cat Stevens?” Before he gets a chance to climb aboard the Peace Train, Johann asks to see the guitar. He immediately begins playing and singing, and the whole coffeehouse stops to listen to him. Soon, everyone in the café is swaying blissfully to the dulcet vocal stylings of Johann Urb. You know what I just realized? Johann is supposed to be amazingly, ridiculously perfect. I don’t know why I didn’t get that until just now.
Now they’re all at a nightclub, and here’s the latest June Hotness Progress Update: The Rogaine is working. And at this point, they’re not even trying to make her seem gross anymore. She basically looks like a hot chick with no makeup, and fangs. You know, just like Robert Pattinson.
Johann and Paris go off to dance, giving June and Nate more time to bond, and set up the inevitable moment towards the end when they realize they’re perfect for each other. Uh, spoiler alert? They goof around, and give each other That Look, which can loosely be translated as “I really want to kiss you, but my significant other would not be cool with that”.
And then Johann starts to take his shirt off, so Nate again charges at him. But this time Nate misses, and tackles Paris instead. At least, I think that’s the point of all this. I just saw a guy fling himself through the air at Paris Hilton, and honestly, it’s only in retrospect that I can frame it within any sort of context.
Outside, Paris yells at Nate for acting jealous. Nate says he can’t compete with Johann, and that Johann is perfect for Paris, and he’s giving up. But as it turns out, Paris really liked Nate, but now she’s so disgusted with him that she tells him it’s over. Remember this moment. It may be completely forgotten about shortly.