Paris an actress? Nottie at all

Posted: February 08, 2008

Paris Hilton's greatest professional achievement thus far might be the mug shot after her DUI arrest: hair, eyeliner and lip gloss all camera-fabulous.

In The Hottie and the Nottie, a vanity picture starring Herself as the vanilla cutie unaccountably loyal to her grotesquely unattractive best bud, Hilton has the meticulously manicured appeal of a lawn where every blade of grass has been individually cut and polished. Head coyly tilted, hip out-thrust, she makes purring kitten, predatory lioness moves not often seen outside of beer ads. Though Hilton may be a model, if her work in Hottie is any indication, she is no actress.

This, even though the role of Cristabel, the privileged L.A. woman-child gracious even to her stalkers and lust object to the film's central character, Nate (Joel David Moore), fits Hilton like a white Lycra dress. All she is required to do is slink and smile, skills in which she could conduct a master class.

In order to win a date with Beauty, Nate has to find a guy for her friend and gatekeeper, June, the Beast, likened to a flame-breathing dragon guarding the princess. June doesn't just have thinning hair, she is balding. She doesn't just have acne, but festering boils all over face and body. Her teeth are not merely tobacco-colored, but cratered and cavitied. In this lame attempt to make a Farrelly Brothers gross-out comedy, June is the dung heap that makes Cristabel look even more like a pearl.

In Cristabel's devotion to June, the screenplay intends to present Hilton's character as the soul of sweetness and decency. But because it makes Cristabel look like a pet owner who wants points for adopting the ugliest mutt from the shelter, the intention backfires.

Hard to believe in Cristabel's sweetness and decency when the only line of dialogue Hilton delivers with any degree of animation is her retort to a preening guy hitting on her at a club: "Pay the bar tab, bitch!"

Enough said.


Contact movie critic Carrie Rickey at 215-854-5402 or crickey@phillynews.com.

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