Here's a movie review in the local city's most prestigious newspaper, The Boston Globe, followed by a response by the city's most prestigious big
mouth, me. My review of the review was sent in an email to the paper & the movie critic, as well as blogged in the paper's forum. I urge you to
respond there as well (at the end of my comment I provide the blog link and email addresses).
There's something 'Nottie' about Paris
By Ty Burr, The Boston Globe, a movie review
The problem with "The Hottie and the Nottie" is - wait, let me start again. The most crippling of the many problems afflicting "The Hottie and the Nottie" is the radical disconnect between the title and our perception of the movie's star. I'm not sure on what planet Paris Hilton is considered "hot" - one that involves hazmat suits and tongs, possibly - but it hasn't been Earth for some time.
This may not be fair. For all I know, Hilton is in reality a demure young thing who spends her spare time contemplating String Theory while knitting fingerwarmers for the lepers of Molokai. Her indelible public persona, however, is that of a - what's the word? Oh, yes: skank. A rich, brainless, clueless skank.
Well, we need our entitled fools. Always have. From Marie Antoinette to the brats on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16," they serve a social function by reassuring the plebes that money can't buy intelligence or class. Or, in this case, acting ability. "The Hottie and the Nottie" - the title makes it sound like a picture book for remedial readers - is a limp low-budget romantic comedy that more or less remakes "There's Something About Mary" with Hilton in the Cameron Diaz role. Suddenly Diaz is looking like Dame Judi Dench in comparison.
Joel David Moore, a likable beanpole usually relegated to nerd character parts, plays the hero, Nate Cooper, who has never gotten over his grade-school crush on little Cristabel Abbott and decides on a whim to drive cross-country and woo her full-time. Cristabel is grown up now and played by Hilton (who also executive produced), and the nonsensical gag is that she's so beauteous men line up on her Santa Monica jogging route with "Marry Me" signs.
Cristabel is still best friends with June Phigg (Christine Lakin), a.k.a. "the Nottie." Hairy, clumsy, plagued with sores and green teeth, June's the first line of defense against anyone hoping to score with Cristabel. Nate plots to clean her up and set her up, only to wonder if he's falling for the newly refurbished June himself.
As written by TV scribe Heidi Ferrer and directed by Tom Putnam on a budget lower than Hilton's per diem, "The Hottie and the Nottie" is more harmless than hateful. You've seen dozens of movies like this on cable in the wee hours, and most of them were made during the Reagan administration. The tone wobbles between gross-out comedy (June's diseased toenail flies off into someone's mouth) and overwritten rom-com earnestness. The lighting is dimmer than the characters.
Since Moore and Lakin are professionals, they're able to give Nate and June's sub-screwball dialogue a bit of snap even when the momentum slows to a crawl. As Nate's fat-slob best friend, The Greg Wilson (that's how he's billed) is supposed to be crassly charming and manages the first half of the equation.
Then there's Hilton. She delivers her lines in an unmodulated near-whisper and keeps her head lowered, gazing up at Nate as if she'd learned Acting Position #1 and then dropped the class. The film poses her in a succession of bikinis, mini-tops, and short shorts, none of which give her the presence necessary to actually hold the screen. Her head seems too small for her body and stuck on at an odd angle. She resembles nothing so much as a tiny blond velociraptor.
That's cruel, I know, but one's mind wanders when a movie's evaporating up there on the screen. More crucially, there's not a whit of mystery to Hilton, as there must be for any proper movie star. How can there be mystery when she's everywhere in our culture, from reality shows to Internet sex videos to tabloid websites to perfumes and other personal brand extensions? With all her wealth and meaningless celebritude, Hilton is incapable of doing the one thing most of us desperately wish she would do: Go away.
There's Something Rotten In The State Of The World's Hate-On Paris & TH&TN
Dear Mr. Burr,
I have enjoyed reading your movie reviews. I have thought you were a very good movie critic.
You are still a critic, aren't you? Does that not mean at least some pretense of objectivity? There is none in your review of Paris Hilton's performance in "The Hottie and The Nottie" ("There's Something Nottie About Paris"). This is a hatchet job. The opening and closing couple of paragraphs are beneath you and The Globe. I expect more from both of you.
The final line of your "review": "With all her wealth and meaningless celebritude, Hilton is incapable of doing the one thing most of us desperately wish she would do: Go away." Well, if it's so desperately hard for your Mr Burr, perhaps you need to go away from your job as a "critic."
You are entitled to your opinion of Miss Hilton. You should have put this article in the gossip section, or just made it into a column.
Speaking of opinions, (What Would Jesus Say About "The Crimes Of Paris?") I wish I found the hate and self-righteous outrage funny. Over Paris Hilton. How pathetic, classless, gutless, & boring.
There's so many online devoted haters, it seems to me that most people in this world must never ever make a mistake, and must be just oh so totally perfect. & only they get to decide who gets any love & respect. For if you don't live up to their perfect standards, then you get hated-on forever, case closed.
Alexander Pope wrote, "to err is human, to forgive divine." Jesus must just be a ghost because forgiveness is on vacation. Oh how it must be so cool to choose not to forgive, to withhold love, and instead be a snob, a holier than thou, a diva hata, a mean person, a buzzkiller. To thrive on the cheap thrill of spewing jealous venom 24/7.
Well, to me anyone who hates another person, who hates-on a celeb who has never hurt anyone, is far from perfect. Love is as close to perfection as you're going to get. "I'm talking about love." To show hate has become so in fashion, is so expected, so cliché. Therefore then to forgive, to let live, to show love to another, actually shows balls, "muchos huevos grandes." L.o.v.e. is so much more damn punk than h.a.t.e. And this is coming from an old punk rocker.
Thus the most over-hated are just naturally the most underrated. & so it is that the first shall be last & the lass shall be a blast! Paris is a She of the First Degree. The more she is hated-on, the more I will always love her all ways.
Just for that reason alone, if none else. But there are plenty of other reasons Paris inspires me. Yes, you read right - inspires. I happen to think that Paris is an entertainer, an excellent model, and "Paris" was the best album of 2006. (I'm not interested in "The Hottie & The Nottie," but then the genre is not my cup of tea. I am holding out to see how she does in "Repo!" due out in April.) She's a showgirl. And she shows up despite wave after wave of abuse, and endless death-wishes, that follow in her wake.
In this PC world, is hatred of others PC? If an entertainer is not your cup of tea, move on to someone who is. No one tells this punk who I can or cannot like. There are lots of entertainers out there who don't do it for me, but I don't go around hating on them.
Like I said, I am not interested in TH&TN. Even as a fan of Paris Hilton's, I try to be objective. I read last summer about how the producers wanted to bury it because the director screwed it up. The movie has a very limited release. From what scenes I've seen, it may very well be a bad dog. But from what I've seen it seems highly doubtful it is the worst movie of all time, as it has been voted on IMDB. But then I've come to expect that from the lowest common denomi-nation, i.e., the general jealous/hateful public. You'd think from the horrific reaction, the absolute utter outrage at TH&TN that it was a snuff film or "The Triumph of the Will."
At a time when the country is fighting a War of Terror, the American media & general public apparently feels left out, so it collectively & openly pines to wage a Reign of Terror on Hollywood celebs. Paris is not Marie Antoinette. Besides, I'd say in the end, Marie was treated unfairly. But then I would say that about such a misogynist world.
All I ask when you review someone's work, be as fair and objective as possible. Save the 40 whacks with the ax, if you must have your pounds of flesh, for an op-ed piece.
I have just read your response. Thank you for standing up for Paris and for fairness in writing a movie review. I don't understand people who hate her when they have never met her personally and will never meet her their entire life. I think people who bear such hatred over someone they have never met have problems in their own lives.
Agreed! People like that say nothing at all about Paris, but reveal a great deal about themselves and who they allow themselves to be - and it's far
How could anyone actually look at Paris and say she's not pretty or hot? "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" only goes so far. And yet there seems to be quite a few jealous people like this, lying through their teeth, who might even have managed to convince themselves it's what they really believe.
I think I responded elsewhere when this was first posted on the site, but it still angers me when I see what a needless and undeserved hatchet job was done on Paris in that article of hate (I'm not going to call it a "review" - it is nothing less than a unprovoked attack). I despair for a time when blatant libel passes for a "review" in an established newspaper.
I also despair when I read such scurrilous attacks on the person of Paris. Critics seems to invent ever new ways to put her down. For ex., New York Daily News article about her b-day party at Butter where she was called a celebutard, did not learn anything from the fashion show, vamp her way in the club, danced on banquette, could not believe that Mickey Rourke will attend her birthday, etc., etc. If you read that article you will get the impression that Paris held a frat like party with losers. And this coming from a widely read newspaper- not a tabloid or a blog. It is very clear from the article that the "writer" was not in the birthday party, did not interview any of the guests or Paris, but went ahead and wrote a hatchet job article.