I love to read other critics’ reviews. When movies are good, they’re very, very good, but when movies are bad, they’re better. Paris Hilton’s new movie, The Hottie & the Nottie at least inspired two of my favorite critics and gave them a chance to demonstrate their own insight and humor. Now that’s hot. Jeanette Catsoulis in the New York Times:
One would think that after increasingly embarrassing forays into reality television, the Internet and the penitentiary, Paris Hilton might have taken a moment to reflect on her choices. Or perhaps not: with “The Hottie & the Nottie” Ms. Hilton proves yet again that introspection — not to mention shame — is as alien to her as a life without paparazzi. Custom designed for its smirking star (who is also an executive producer), this tasteless train wreck asks only that she preen and prance on cue.
“Hottie” could have been a witty, playful affair in which love is played up against beauty and Hilton’s larger-than-life presence is the inside joke at the heart of everything. But Nate’s quest to end up with Cristabel is as hopeless as Wile E. Coyote’s, forever chasing that elusive Road Runner. That he gets close enough even to befriend her is laughable. Like Nate, we are mere Notties. And we are supposed to feel oh-so privileged for getting to watch Paris through the glass.
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and some drug references.
Strong and crude language for a PG13
Drinking, drug references
Comic peril and violence
Diverse characters, a strength of the movie is the positive portrayal of an inter-racial relationship
Date Released to Theaters:
February 8, 2008
“Family is a 24-7 reality check,” explains one of the parade of nightmare relatives. “This is one hell of a family,” says another. These two statements pretty much summarize the movie. And that’s the good news.
Family reunions on screen create immediate identification. We all know what it feels like to come home to our families of origin and discover how quickly those carefully-assembled grown-up personas disappear and those just-below-the-surface rivalries take over. That is why it is fun to see it happen to someone else. This set-up and a talented cast provide the engine that keeps this movie going even when the screenplay lags behind.
Martin Lawrence plays a therapist/author with a successful talk show. He is engaged to Bianca (Joy Bryant) the gorgeous and intensely competitive champion of the reality show “Survivor.” He brings her to meet his family on his first visit home in nine years, for his parents’ 50th anniversary celebration. Although his son Jamaal wanted to be with the family, R.J. had not planned to go – he sent a giant flat-panel TV instead. But Bianca points out that it would be great publicity to film it for his television show, showing the hometown boy made good, surrounding by adoring relatives.
Drinking, including drinking to deal with stress and getting tipsy
Comic peril and violence, fighting
Date Released to Theaters:
February 8, 2008
This pea-brained vanity production does not have the energy to remember from one scene to the next what it is about or why it is on screen. It is attention-deficit film-making. Famous-for-being-famous Paris Hilton is not only the star, but also the producer of the film, and it seems to have been entirely generated by whatever she thought would be fun to do in front of a camera, with no thought whatsoever to the misery it would inflict on those who might watch it.
Hilton cast herself as Cristabel, the “hottie,” a perfect beauty and object of universal desire with a heart of gold. She even gives her stalker a dazzling smile and a perky wave as she reminds him that he is required by a restraining order to keep his distance.
I have family-friendly DVDs to give away to the first ten people who send me an email at email@example.com and identify themselves as Beliefnet readers. If you let me know the ages and genders of your children, I’ll try to keep that in mind as I decide who gets what, but I can’t promise, especially for the last few who qualify. No need to send your address yet; I will notify all who win and get the info then. But as long as you are writing me anyway, let me know a little bit about the movies your families enjoy and what I can do to make this site more useful and entertaining for you. Thanks for visiting and I hope you win!
Meeting with the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Posted on February 6, 2008 at 4:50 pm
Yesterday I attended a meeting with Kevin Martin, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to talk about media and family issues. It was arranged by the Parents Television Council, which has been very active on issues of non-family-friendly content and especially on “cable choice,” unbundling of cable channels so that consumers can buy only the channels they want.
Chairman Martin spoke frankly to us about his views and his frustrations. He, too, believes that consumers should not be forced to pay for channels they do not want to watch. But there is so much money at stake that industry is pouring a lot of money into opposition and it is not likely that legislative proposals will get much support. He has some hope that at the local level, as communities select their cable providers, they may be able to insist on unbundling. The Chairman also looks to local communities to oppose the licenses of broadcast stations that do not meet their commitment to the public interest. He pointed out that local complaints led to the largest fine in the Commission’s history, $24 million paid by Univision for claiming that it had three hours of children’s programming when what they were airing was a Spanish language soap opera. He said that what he found even more outrageous was something over which the FCC had no authority. “Sesame Street,” originally created with government funding and broadcast at no charge over PBS stations, will be moving to cable on an exclusive basis when television goes all-digital next year. This also slows down the creation of an all-children’s public television channel because they will not have access to the content. The Chairman feels strongly that programming created with public money should not be able to sell exclusive rights to channels that are not available to everyone.
PTC’s Tim Winter commented on the meeting and the issues he finds important.
PTC has pioneered activism that holds advertisers accountable for the programs they sponsor, and their website has a lot of very useful informtation about television programs and policy initiatives.