review for The Hot Chick on AllMovie

The Hot Chick (2002)
by Derek Armstrong review

If The Hot Chick had come out two years later, it might have concentrated on the actress playing the actual "chick," Rachel McAdams, and relegated Rob Schneider's fading star to the secondary role. But in 2002, McAdams had yet to be identified as the next luminescent young talent, so she has teasingly little screen time here. She leaves the larger chunk to the SNL vet, who hams it up as a teenage girl trapped in the body of a criminal low-life. Schneider's not terrible -- in fact, he does some likeable work as the displaced Jessica, when he's not going way over the top. It's just too bad the plot has to exile the charismatic McAdams in order to follow Jessica's brain, rather than her body. The Hot Chick isn't much different from most body-swapping comedies, which find "freshness" through small variations on the same formula. It does distinguish itself, however, by being weirdly committed to grappling with issues of sexuality -- which naturally arise when the body swapping crosses genders. Yeah, there are the cheap jokes, like the bartender who always catches Schneider acting feminine in suggestive ways, and even the mean-spirited jokes, like the boyfriend who blows kisses to the person in the mascot costume, thinking it's his girlfriend, then becomes nauseous upon realizing it's a man. But more interesting are the non-judgmental episodes of possible homosexuality, such as Jessica's younger brother being accepted despite dressing up in his sister's clothes, and Anna Faris' April developing genuine romantic feelings for her best friend while she's trapped inside Schneider's body. Despite these few gestures toward enlightenment, however, The Hot Chick is a lot better described as a lowest common denominator yukfest. Jokes regularly miss, and caricatures rule the day -- most notably the awful parents of the teenage girls.