National Lampoon's Pledge This!Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 12/27/06 14:40:46
There are many words with which one may describe Paris Hilton, most of them being unprintable even here, with this website’s lax profanity limits. She is a vacant, mouth-breathing, functionally illiterate “celebutante,” or, as my colleague Dawn Taylor once described her, a “celebutard,” a word I have come to adore. You see, every time I look at Hilton, with her Mr. Salty figure and her cheap I’m-a-bad-girl posing, my mind darts back to Stewie Griffin’s question to the prostitute: “So, is there any tread left on the tires? Or at this point would it be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway?”Hilton is famous for, I dunno, being both the village idiot and the village bicycle, although not necessarily in that order. She’s easy to hate, true, but her appearance in “National Lampoon’s Pledge This!” is shockingly not the worst thing about the film, a vile, repulsive, ugly little movie that makes other National Lampoon direct-to-video offerings (among them “Dorm Daze 2” and “Christmas Vacation 2”) seem just a little less unholy by comparison.
Still, Hilton’s appearance in “Pledge This” (I’ll do without the exclamation point from here on out, thanks) is extra repugnant, as she plays a rich skeeze who gets ridiculed for being a rich skeeze and learns, in the end, to be a nice rich skeeze.
Paris is Victoria English, the see-you-next-Tuesday president of a sorority riddled with the sort of hideous people who would actually want to spend their time with Paris Hilton. The plotline has her pledging a gang of outcasts so FHM Magazine (“FHM: The Wank Rag For Boys Who Can’t Afford Maxim”) will see just how open-minded they are about their membership and therefore dub them “FHM Hottest Sorority” (“FHM: Squint a Little and It Looks Like Real Porn”); as soon as she’s crowned Miss Chlamydia 2006, or whatever it is, she’s going to dump the nerds. It’s all a cruel prank, and along the way, she can haze the bejeepers out of them. But, a ha, you see, the outcasts are good girls who will teach Victoria that being a spoiled, shallow, vacuous kooze isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She even gives a touching speech in the end: “It’s not about your clothes… It’s about attitude. And that’s hot.”
So Paris took the role to poke fun of her rich bitch image, letting herself be the girl everybody loves to hate, but then either she or the filmmakers (or both?) chicken out and refuse to let her get any comeuppance. She - both the character and the actress - walks away from the proceedings learning nothing except “oh, now I should be nice to the fat girl, I guess.”
But enough about the anorexic whore for now. For here is a movie which centers an entire set piece around - sigh - backfiring toilets that shoot liquefied human waste onto the entire supporting cast. Here is a movie which includes a dreary gag about a guy receiving oral sex from a dog (only he thinks it’s a hot chick, har har), and then prolongs the joke long after even the most easily amused viewer finds it tedious. Here is a campus sex romp that asks us to believe the characters (fashion design majors all, of course) all partake of a class titled “Secrets of Sex,” in which Taylor Negron gets schooled on the Kama Sutra by Paris Hilton (whose sad interpretations of erotic gyrations are as sexy as a toothless, disease-addled streetwalker trying to hump your leg).
And oh, what dialogue. It took four - count ’em, four - people to come up with such classics as:
- “It’s a ten-point-two on the shitter scale!!”
- “I wanna show you something, baby, and it rhymes with ‘my renis.’”
- “I’m stuck, and the toilet’s eating me!”
- “A mission to turn the wannabes into the be-wanteds.”
The whole thing is narrated by Hilton herself (or what curiously sounds like a Hilton sound-alike), who informs us (and yes, this really is a complete, unedited line from the film): “My dog is such a perv. I love it! Mmm, now I’m craving sushi.”
The clunky low budget comedy, presented with a pure knack for unfunny by rookie director William Heins, is so desperate for yuks that it tosses us Kerri Kenney (from “Reno 911!”) as a middle-aged sexaholic (horny old women are hilarious!) and Geoffrey Arend (still best known as one of the stoners in the opening scene of “Super Troopers”) as some sort of master of disguise (failed comic accents are hilarious!) in a lost attempt to amp up the comedy. Meanwhile, gay porn star-turned-comic actor wannabe Simon Rex shows up as Victoria’s skeezebag boyfriend who inexplicably becomes the love interest for the Good Girl (Paula Garcés), because this is the sort of movie that thinks the best possible love interest for our heroine is the date rapist who gets molested by Paris Hilton’s dog.
Oh, and Carmen Electra shows up for a cameo, then everybody breaks out in a pie fight. Pardon me while I cry for a while.
There’s not a single frame of this movie that escapes contempt. But more impressive is how Heins manages to fill his movie top to bottom with naked women and still manage to make this one of the most unsexy experiences possible, even by FHM’s low standards. (“FHM: What Discerning Assholes Masturbate To.”) Heins actually manages to make sex ugly and disturbing.
“Pledge This” was intended for a wide theatrical release over two years ago, as part of both National Lampoon’s efforts to grow beyond its direct-to-video rut and Hilton’s efforts to become a big-time movie star. Then the release date got moved, and moved again, and then there were reshoots, and another rescheduling, until it finally fell into movie oblivion, finally resurfacing now, as one of Lampoon’s too-numerous DTV releases.So yeah. It’s a National Lampoon/Paris Hilton movie that nobody wanted to release. And yet it manages to even be far worse than that. It’s a vanity job for the celebutard, a wank job for guys desperate for any amount of movie nudity, and a nauseating display of some of the worst comedy in recent memory. But at least Hilton learns to be nice to the fat chick for a while.
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