Animal Antics

A disastrous script and direction turn this movie into an unpleasant mess.

To imagine Rob Schneider as "The Animal" really requires no great effort but to picture him prancing around in Powerpuff Girl t-shirts and hot pink lingerie is a sight certainly left best unimagined. If you think that Schneider’s wardrobe is bizarre wait until the plot unfolds.

High school glam queen Jessica (Rachel McAdams) has it all- she’s the captain of the cheerleading squad; a boyfriend who is a quarterback on the football team (played by Matthew Lawrence); and a childhood best friend April (Anna Faris) but she still wants more so she shoplifts a pair of cursed earrings. Overnight the all American doll switches places with a human fuzz ball, a petty criminal who goes by the name of Clive (Rob Schneider). Will Jessica regain her own body before the cheerleading finals and the prom? What ensues is a gender bender comedy with hilarious consequences. Or at least that’s what The Hot Chick wishes it were.

What we get is instead is 101 minutes of every teenage trauma cliché in the book- from love-struck boyfriends, jocks desperate for sex, dumb blondes, and lewd genitalia jokes that don’t arouse the merest hint of a smile forget raising any laughs. When Jessica and her pals aren’t having slumber parties and pillow fights in skimpy nightdresses, they spout the tritest expressions of bubblegum friendship and love.

There is absolutely nothing inventive or original in Brady’s direction. The bathroom scene where Jessica in Clive’s body attempts to use her new male appendage, which seems to go all over the place, leaving behind an unpleasant mess perhaps best illustrates the disastrous script and direction.

This article was first published on 09 Feb 2003.