REVIEW – She’s lean, she’s clean and she’s invading the silver screen. That was Paris Hilton’s message during an intimate college press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Center City last Thursday.
The 26-year-old starlet was in Philadelphia for an autograph signing at the Franklin Mills Mall and to promote her upcoming gross-out comedy, The Hottie and the Nottie, which opens nationwide Feb. 8. She also made an effort to cement her reputation as a multi-talented artist, designer and businesswoman who intends to stay in the spotlight for a long time.
“I’m 26 years old now, so I’m definitely an adult, and I have learned a lot in the last couple of years about being a strong woman and not letting anything get to me,” Hilton said. “I’d just like to be remembered for being a good person and making people laugh and entertaining the world and living life to the fullest.”
Hilton said that Hottie was the first role she seriously prepared for. She worked with an acting coach for six hours a day prior to shooting.
“I know a lot of people are going to want to bash me because people are like that, so I really did my best with this movie,” she said.
Hilton produced the film, so her character Cristabel is much like how she perceives herself off-camera: a loyal, fun-loving and generous woman that every man wants to be with.
Like Hilton, Cristabel has had problems in the past involving boys and saying “no” to their advances. In one of many quotes that ring of Hilton, Cristabel says that a world without orgasms is like a world without flowers.
Thus, she decides to abstain from sex until she can get her best friend June (Christina Larken) to lose her virginity. The protagonist of the film, Nate (Joel David Moore), insists that Cristabel is the love of his life and commits to giving June a makeover to win Cristabel over. The dilemma is that June is the “nottie” to Cristabel’s “hottie” and looks like David Lynch’s version of the GEICO caveman, but uglier.
What ensues is an adolescent retelling of The Ugly Duckling that reminds the audience that the only happy endings to life’s fairy tales are those which we make for ourselves.
“I pick movies by their messages, and this one has a great message: that you can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge people by the way they look,” Hilton said. “I think that it is a really great movie for people, and I think that people can relate to the characters.” She must have been referring to the characters like June and Nate, the lovable losers.
“I see people on the inside and not on the outside,” Hilton said. “People don’t really know me because they have a different image because the Internet makes up mean stories.”
The film’s biggest flaw comes not from Hilton’s acting but the poor script, which tells most of the story through trite dialogue. Aside from being highly unlikely, the plot is so predictable that most viewers will be left with few surprises. The humor is as abrupt, enduring and sophisticated as a wet fart.
Hilton illuminates her every scene with enough grace, charm and presence to save the film from being as totally panned as a dim-witted comedy. Her acting skills are comparable to Jessica Alba’s.
It may take years for Hilton to make a film that overshadows the infamous video that fueled her popularity. The Hottie and the Nottie falls short by that criterion, but for the price of a ticket, it’s better than 15 minutes of night-vision footage.
Regardless of the “haters,” Hilton said that she has many projects planned for the near future. Her next film, Repo! The Genetic Opera, which hits theaters April 25, is a musical directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (of Saw fame) and co-stars Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas). She said that it will be a departure from her iconic blonde look.
“[Repo!] was a pretty serious role. In every scene, my hair was a completely different color,” she said. “I sing 12 songs in it.”
Hilton said she is also in the process of developing the Paris Hilton Charity Fund in addition to working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The fund will work with children, though she did not clarify whether it would be a serious cause, or just her way of saving some of America’s youth from being fashionably destitute.
Jimmy Viola can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.