The Hottie & the Nottie (2008) (part 2 of 5)
The film begins, like many an alleged romantic comedy, with the leads meeting each other as children. It’s exactly the flashback scene you’d expect, with a tender pop song, and voiceover narration provided by the Lead Guy, now an adult, looking back upon the time he first met the girl of his dreams.
In this case, the guy is a redhead named Nate, and the girl is a blonde named Cristabel. In case you can’t guess, these are our two leads as kids, but just to underline it, the credits for Paris Hilton and the guy playing Nate are shown next to their childhood versions.
Li’l Nate is instantly smitten with L’il Cristabel. Cut to Li’l Nate making a big elaborate Valentine’s Day card for Cristabel, with glitter, glue, and candy hearts. He’s about to give it to her… and then we cut to, per the captions, “TWENTY YEARS LATER” and “SOMEWHERE IN MAINE”.
In an apartment, adult Nate has an acoustic guitar and sings a terrible song to his girlfriend. The song is all about the evil things she did to him, such as ripping up his suits, and shaving his head while he was asleep. That’s actually what the song is about. I’m not paraphrasing at all.
In response, the girlfriend grabs the guitar and smashes it over Nate’s head, and she cries and sobs that the songs he writes are not songs about being in love with her, but rather about all the awful things she did to him. It’s revealed that, in addition to shaving his head and ripping his suits, she also spray painted his car. And yet, he still wants to be with her. Why does he want to be with a woman who shaved his head and spray painted his car? Or am I thinking too hard about this movie already?
She says she’s leaving him, and “taking [her] drawer!” As promised, she’s soon outside, carrying a drawer that she pulled out of Nate’s dresser, and she throws it in her car. We also see Nate’s car, which has “LOSER” spray painted on the side, luckily providing a hilarious running gag for the rest of the film.
Nate tries to stop his girlfriend from leaving, so she runs him over at high speed. Inexplicably, and unfortunately, Nate survives, and while he’s lying on the pavement, she opens her car door to yell at him. She knows he’s never going to love her back. I have to agree: if nearly killing a guy isn’t enough to win his heart, then it’s pretty much a lost cause. He’s just not that into you, and your homicidal tendencies.
While Nate is lying in the street, his voiceover returns to share an epiphany. At this exact moment, he realized he had to find his one true love. “Cristabel Abbot was the one!” Meaning, a girl he crushed on when he was seven, and hasn’t seen since? Sounds reasonable.
And then the rest of the Valentine’s Day flashback plays out. L’il Cristabel has tons of valentines all over her desk, and then the camera pans over to Cristabel’s best friend, who has nothing on her desk, save a brown paper bag with her name on it.
And that name is “June Phigg”. June is hideous. By which I mean Movie Hideous, in that she’s actually an adorable little girl who’s had all kinds of makeup applied to make her look hideous. This, as you might have guessed, is the “Nottie” promised in the title.
To find Cristabel, Adult Nate’s VO says he had to go to the house of his best friend from first grade, Arno Blount. Thing is, Arno lives in L.A., meaning Nate has driven all 3,000 miles from Maine to Los Angeles in his run-down LOSER-mobile. Yep, that’s the joke here.
Nate discovers that Arno is a total slacker, who still lives with his mom in the same house he grew up in. Nate is horrified that the house looks exactly the same, and let me tell you, I sympathize. I remember when me and my siblings went to visit my grandparents for the first time in ten years, and absolutely no piece of furniture or any decoration had been moved even slightly in the entire house. It was like stepping through a time portal back to the year 1992.
Arno enters, played by The Greg Wilson. That’s no typo. He’s actually credited as “The Greg Wilson”, meaning he’s got to be a standup who needed a hook, and came up with “The” as a desperate last-minute thing. Actually, I recognize The Greg Wilson from something. I want to say he’s a frequent commentator on Best Week Ever, but I don’t see anything online that connects him to that show. And now I believe I’ve spent more time thinking about The Greg Wilson than any sane person should ever spend. Assuming I’m still sane after thinking this much about him.
Arno’s got yearbooks, and he shows Nate how Cristabel looked at age 13. Which is important to Nate tracking her down… how? And then they come across a picture of June Phigg, the Nottie, also at age 13. We don’t see the photo, but the subtle horse-whinnying noises on the soundtrack, along with Nate’s dry heaves, provide understated clues as to how she looked at that age.
In case you couldn’t guess, Arno is the dumpy, chubby Best Guy Friend in these kinds of movies, whose sole purpose is to explain whatever idiotic rules will be driving the idiotic plot. Arno fulfills this role expertly, explaining that Cristabel is the “Hottie”, whereas June is the “Nottie”, and that it’s “a very well known law of physics! The hotness of one girl is directly proportional to the ugliness of her best friend!” Ah, yes. The conservation of hotness. I know it well.
Arno uses bad standup theatrics to explain that to get with the Hottie, you have to get past the Nottie. He even brings out “the file”, which is a big file folder labeled “The Hottie and her every move”, but really this is just a sight gag to explain that Cristabel jogs on the beach at the same time every day.
Cut to… hey, the beach! As Arno explained in the previous scene, Cristabel is supposedly the hottest woman in L.A., so guys are waiting around to watch her jog past. Yeah, sorry, Paris Hilton may be Pioneertown Hot, especially in a movie this boring, but there’s no way she’s even close to being the hottest woman in Los Angeles. Especially when there are babes like KCBS meteorologist Jackie Johnson running around.
Among the Cristabel Watchers is a guy is in a tux with a “Marry Me” sign, and another guy with a T-shirt that bears Cristabel’s name. And sitting between them is Nate, waiting anxiously.
And then, she appears: Cristab—eh, who am I trying to kid? It’s Paris Hilton. As I said, she doesn’t completely embarrass herself in this role, but it would be a grave insult to the acting profession to suggest she’s doing anything remotely like creating a character here.
Paris goes jogging past with her bobblehead-shaped head bobbling, and her ponytail flailing around in slow motion, and the guys all fall down and become disoriented as she runs past. So, Paris Hilton was one of the executive producers of this movie, you say?
Nate jogs after her. He catches up to her, and upon getting this close to her for the first time in twenty years, he decides to… sniff her hair. But of course. Then she suddenly stops, causing him to inadvertently tackle her to the ground. And here’s where Nate finally introduces himself, saying they went to first grade together. Eventually, she pieces it together that he’s Nate Cooper.
Cut to them having lunch at a beachside café. Nate points out the window at the guy with the Cristabel T-shirt who, for reasons unknown, also happens to be an albino. He’s also making weird, palsy-like hand motions. Boy, albinos just can’t catch a break at the movies, can they? First Powder, then The Da Vinci Code, then Epic Movie, and now this. But really, it’s their own fault, for being so naturally creepy.
Paris asks if Nate is still into “finger painting and Smurfs”, and the look on his face says that yeah, he totally is. Instead, Nate lies and says he’s now a “personal trainer”, which is hilarious, because he’s skinny and out of shape, get it?
So Paris invites him to go to yoga with her and her roommate. And then she reveals the incredible news, which Nate is already well aware of, which is that her roommate is June Phigg from the first grade. On this, there’s another flashback to Li’l June, with loving close-ups of her monobrow, chin mole, and a snot bubble popping from her nostril.
Paris wants Nate to meet them there, and she also writes her phone number on his hand. It’s 555-1212. In this movie, even the fake phone numbers are uninspired.
And then to further prove Paris’ status as every man’s object of wanton desire, there’s a shot of her cleavage as she blows on Nate’s hand to dry the ink. And Paris almost, but not quite, tops the raw eroticism of the Borg Queen blowing over Data’s arm hair. Nevertheless, Nate is in love. Meanwhile, Albino Guy does weird palsy moves outside the window, before promptly disappearing from the movie.
At yoga class, the soundtrack is filled with the expected sitar and tabla drums. Nate meets up with Paris and gets introduced to adult June, and here’s the big side-splitting moment where we first see the “Nottie”, and all the stuff they did to make Christine Lakin look hideous.
Let’s see. They thinned out her hair, to make her look like she’s going bald. She has a monobrow, sort of. A bit of upper lip hair. Some acne. A big mole on her chin. And really bad, crooked, black teeth. That’s about it. It’s fairly repulsive, but even here it’s obvious that this “Nottie” is eventually going to clean herself up and turn hot. But hey, there’s those horse whinnying noises again, so I’m sold!
In a weird bit, Nate tries to do the European air-kiss thing with June, but someone bumps him from behind, causing him to actually plant one on her lips. The horror! There’s a point to this, sadly. Then June takes off her socks, revealing lots of leg hair, as well as her blackened, infected toenail. Yep, she’s gross. I think I get it now.
Then the yoga stretching starts. This is so Nate can gawk at Paris’ ass while she stretches, and get turned on, and then get instantly turned off when he gawks at June, with her hairy legs, and dumpy clothes.
There’s more gawking at sexy Paris, followed by June showing off the sores on her back, one of which even has black Band-Aid residue around it. And then while they’re stretching, Nate ends up with June’s dirty, stinky sock in his face. This is funny, you see, because one’s hot, and one’s not.