Dec 042002
Authors: Eric Todd Patton

Honestly, I did not talk with the entire cast of Rob Schneider’s ‘Hot Chick,’ it was only Anna Faris, director Tom Brady and co-writer and star Rob Schneider. I watched the film at the University of Colorado where there was open Q&A with the cast and then I was a part of the round table press junket at the Brown Palace in Denver.

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to review the film until opening day. I can only explain the premise and such.

Rachel McAdams plays a cruel popular girl who wakes up one morning in the body of 30-year-old Rob Schneider. Now, she must try to keep her life in order while trying to get her body back.

It may not sound interesting, but it made me laugh more than “Deuce Bigalow” and “The Animal.” But how in the world did they come up with such a premise? “Basically,” Tom Brady told me, “I just wanted to see Schneider dressed up and acting like an 18-year-old popular girl, and we made it work from there.”

So, I cannot give you more of a review until opening day. But if you would like to C, PLUS enjoy this new comedy, it will open everywhere Dec. 13. Plan on laughing more than in Schneider’s previous two films but do not plan on it being packed with more laughs than any Adam Sandler movie.

What do you suppose the cast has to say about it? Well, director Tom Brady (who also wrote for TV’s The Simpsons and The Critic) told me, “It was tough to write. If we made Schneider too annoying, the audience would be running for the doors and if we made it so there was no feeling at all, the audience would have no interest in what happens.”

Rob Schneider had many reservations about doing such a movie. When he heard Tom Brady pitch the idea, Schneider responded with, “Oh, that sounds funny… I’m never doing it.” This comedian who started out when he was 15 on a stand-up circuit did stand-up until 1991 when Lorne Michaels gave him a writing job on Saturday Night Live. He continued by becoming a regular actor on the show until making a change into movies because, he says, “Television is disposable.” And once he was handed the script for “Hot Chick,” he told us, “Tom Brady wrote a hilarious first draft. So we sat down and did a few re-writes and Sandler agreed to help produce it.”

“What did you have to relate with to play an 18-year-old popular girl?” one reporter asked Schneider. “It was tough to find the right mannerisms. I had to just ask Rachel (McAdams) and Anna (Faris) ‘how would you do this?’ and they would give me little bits of help. Like Rachel told me, ‘if I were holding a bottle, I’d kind of hold it close and maybe pull on the label a little like this.’ And I yelled, ‘that’s good! I can do that.'”

We, he press allowed at the round table interview, asked Schneider, what made this one work so well? “It was really Anna (Faris). Not only did she help me find those graceful movements a woman has, she has incredible timing. Times like when she wants to see her friend’s newly acquired penis and she says ‘yeah, I shouldn’t see it … so … can I see it?’ That is all Anna and it was really funny.”

Faris, the lead from “Scary Movie” and “Scary Movie 2,” is the highlight not only of the film but the press junket. The best way to describe her would be charming. At the University of Colorado she arrived to the Q&A in what seemed to be pajama pants, a T-shirt and her glasses with her hair pulled back. She always seemed very relaxed and very open to anybody who wanted to know anything about her.

At the press junket, casually sitting with her legs Indian-style up on her chair, she told us about her entire life, relieving even her regrets. “Have any of you seen “Lover’s Lane,” my first movie? It was really a horrible movie, I’m probably going to get in trouble for telling you this, but it was.”

I had to ask her, “what compelled you to do the scary movies? There is some very raunchy material in those films.” “Well, it comes down to what Keenen (Ivory Wayans) told me. ‘There is no vanity in comedy.’ And I don’t know what feels better than making people laugh.”

“What helps you to make people laugh?” asked another reporter. “You have to know pain to be a funny person. I’m glad I was never that cheerleading type and I was never that popular girl like in the movie, but I was pretty miserable in high school.”

It was hard for me to believe that such a wit was miserable in high school, but college ended up going better for her. Attending the University of Washington and obtaining a bachelor’s in English Literature, Faris then got her role in “Lover’s Lane” in 1999. Due out soon with Faris is “May,” a more serious and yet comic look at a girl adapting to real life. Faris plays the sexually aggressive lesbian that the young girl meets on her misadventures.

“How was that,” I asked her, “playing a sexually aggressive lesbian.” “It was hard,” she told me, “I didn’t think it would be as difficult as it was, but it is going to be really good I think. Go and see it.”

And what is coming up for Tom Brady and Rob Schneider? They were very candid about saying anything, but Brady did mention talks about a sequel to “Deuce Bigalow.” And from outside research, Schneider is apparently going to start filming on “Harv the Barbarian” late in January. “Harv” is something they hope to start a series of films about if the first one is successful.

Before the interviews were over I had to ask Schneider and Faris, what advice do you have for anyone out there that may want to break into such an industry. “Get out there,” Schneider said. “If you have ever thought of doing stand up, do it. Write your own material and get on stages anywhere you can and as often as you can. There are open-mic nights and just sign up everywhere.”

“Be brave, that’s a big one for me,” said Faris. “In comedy you are going to have to take a lot of risks.” She then said separately, “Part of my success has come from my willingness to make a complete fool of myself.”

So go out and watch Faris and Schneider in “Hot Chick” coming out Friday Dec. 13.

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