October 2, 2006
Bottom’s Up (2006) is a cliché-ridden, fish-out-of-water comedy that parodies the bottom feeders who troll the often sleazy Hollywood scene. This isn’t the posh side you see glamourously portrayed in films like Pretty Woman (1990) but rather the trashy side you see in countless entertainment news shows. And so it is with no small amount of irony that one the queens of this scene, Paris Hilton (ditching her trademark blond locks for a brunette look – to be taken more seriously I’m sure), stars as spoiled starlet Lisa Mancini in this forgettable time waster.
Owen (Mewes) is an ambitious bartender who lives in Minnesota and decides to enter a King of the Bar contest in Los Angeles and win the $10,000 prize to help his father’s floundering steakhouse. He ends up staying with his flamboyantly gay uncle Earl (Keith cast strangely and surprisingly against type) who gives him a crash course of the Hollywood night life with predictably disastrous results. Owen loses the contest and doesn’t want to go home with no money and feeling like a loser.
Owen literally runs into Lisa and this results in Earl and him getting fired from the movie set they were working on and so they proceed to blackmail her to get their jobs back. Owen also plans to use her to get access to the in-crowd that she runs with. But of course you know that they are going to fall madly in love with each other while much hilarity ensues.
To his credit, Jason Mewes does a passable job with the crappy script and the awful dialogue he’s forced to spout. One wonders if doing this film was a part of Mewes’ court-appointed community service as a result of the numerous run-ins he’s had with the law over the years. This film is also proof of just how good of a friend Kevin Smith is to Mewes, doing an uncredited cameo as one of Owen’s best friends. Not surprisingly, there is zero chemistry between Hilton and Mewes. Owen spends quality time with Lisa away from all of the trendy parties and discovers that under her slick façade exists a real person. It’s actually a semi-poignant moment – too bad it’s ruined by the bland dialogue.
Potty humour is the level that Bottom’s Up aspires to. For example, there is a running gag that references a fecal therapist (or shit whisperer), a man who reads celebrity turds, or, as one character so eloquently puts it, “turd reading.” With the amateurish editing and pedestrian camerawork, it’s a miracle that this film was even made. In fact, early on in the movie while I was supposed to be paying attention to what was happening, I started to wonder how Bottom’s Up had ever even been released. Not even the obligatory, gratuitous nudity titillates. Like everything else in this movie it is awkwardly placed and all the actors look like they’re going through the motions on the way to cashing in their (what I can only imagine) meager paychecks. While not morally repellant as a movie like Tomcats (2001), Bottom’s Up has nothing to make it stand out either good or bad. Save your money. For Kevin Smith completists only.