Last weekend Paris Hilton's latest endeavor The Hottie & the Nottie tanked at the box office. It's no wonder why.
The film promoted the wrong star.
Paris was everywhere hyping up the gross-out rom-com, which falls into the category of "douchebaggery" with its morally suspect message of "Don't judge a book by its cover, or a girl by her crooked teeth, whiskered mole and thinning hair, 'cause after a makeover she might be totally bangable." In hopes that audiences would actually pay to see this crap, Paris spent her time pouting on red carpets, stringing together giggles on Letterman, getting cussed off 50 Cent's stage, and launching a new shoe line.
All well and good. But ... despite her ubiquitous presence and success in marketing herself as some sort of Generation Me icon, we hate Paris Hilton. She's dumb and vain and slutty and a felon, and what's more, mean.
Paris Hilton cannot open a movie. She cannot, under any circumstance, be the top-billed star, unless that film happens to be 1 Night in Paris. Because the thing is, we have to like a star in order to see their star vehicle. I didn't see 2001's Get Over It because I thought the trailer with the terrier humping the basketball was even close to hilarious; I saw it because I genuinely like Kirsten Dunst as an actress and, from what I can tell from her carefully groomed interviews, as a person. Same goes for Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, America Ferrara, Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon and, of course, Julia Roberts. They've all worked real hard to foster personas of genuine niceness and of beauty that's striking but not intimidating. They play the girls next door, our silver-screen doppelgangers, if only we were wittier, and had shinier, higher and more expensive shoes.
You know who else I like? That Al chick from TGIF's Step by Step. Yeah, Frank Lambert's tomboy daughter who was always so much cooler and more laid back than beauty queen Karen, or anal retentive Dana. And the actress who played Al, Christine Lakin, seems pretty awesome, too. Graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, performed a bunch of Garry Marshall-produced musicals, and has a look that's totally cute, rather than starved, plucked and painted.
Well, Christine Lakin was in The Hottie & the Nottie. She, of course, played the Nottie.
If The Hottie & the Nottie had promoted itself more along the lines of "Al Lambert, All Grown Up," maybe more than three people would've seen this flick. Or it could've gone the way of House of Wax, the only Paris Hilton film I think anyone's seen on purpose. That movie's tagline was "See Paris Die!," and y'know what? It worked. House of Wax made more than $12 million its opening weekend, compared to the measly $25,000 The Hottie & the Nottie pulled in with its retch-inducing proclamation that vapid, soulless Paris is "hot" and Al/Christine, in all her radical, fugged-out, nice-girl glory, is "not."