Bottoms Up (DVD)

Bottoms Up DVDBottoms Up might have been sold to us as a Paris Hilton film, but she only appears about 30 minutes in, with dyed brown hair, looking distinctly un-Paris-like. Mewes, of Jay and Silent Bob fame, is Owen, a bartender from Minnesota who moves to Los Angeles in order to win a barman competition and save his father’s struggling business. He stays with his z-list celebrity uncle Earl (Keith). When he arrives, Earl is wearing a hastily pulled on T-shirt that says, "I love cock".

The latter spends much of the movie unsuccessfully hiding the glaring fact he is gay. Owen gets mistakenly papped as the ‘stalker’ of socialite Lisa Mancini (Hilton). He then ingratiates himself with her actor boyfriend Hayden (Brian Hallisay), after blackmailing her for some unexplained reason. Owen finds himself increasingly attracted to the luminous Lisa, while being drawn further into industry machinations in order to raise money and fund his new extravagant lifestyle.

The film’s title seems to refer back to Owen’s bartending but then it could just be a gay pun, given the scriptwriters are somewhat obsessed with horribly stereotyped campy gayness. The bartending story is soon forgotten, and instead director Erik MacArthur focuses on Owen’s adventures in Hollywood. It’s near impossible to work out what’s happening, and the dialogue seems to consist uneasily of crude sub-American Pie jokes, and stoner conversations which add nothing to the already scanty plot. The film tries to be witty with its self-referencing ‘sex tape’ subplot and then expects its audience to believe in Paris as a socialite who spends her dress allowance financing a soup kitchen.

Mewes has the onscreen presence of stucco. Keith manages to be sympathetic, despite playing a near-offensively clichéd idea of a gay man. Hallisay spends much of the film being likeable and handsome, which further weakens the film’s flailing attempts at satire. Kevin Smith does a cameo, but that’s the least confusing thing about this disastrous project. Bizarrely, the best thing about this film is the animated sequence at the beginning, which seems completely unrelated to the rest of the film’s subject, tone or style. While it’s arguable that Bottoms Up didn’t have a fighting chance with Paris or Mewes in the lead roles, you know a film is bad through and through when you can’t even say these two are the worst things about it. 

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Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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