It’s my blogging duty to be on top of all pop culture events, and this week’s debut of Lifetime’s “Liz and Dick,” starring Lindsay Lohan, was one I couldn’t ignore.
These are the sacrifices I make for you people.
I took one for the team this time…and poor Wilson did too. While Wilson would rather go mall shopping or have his eyes gouged out than watch a Lifetime movie of any kind, he sat patiently through it, and even refrained from making nasty comments, which wasn’t easy. (Perhaps he did this because he felt guilty that I just spent an entire week sitting through 37 football games.)
He’s a good man.
So back to fun with Dick and Liz. The production value was better than your average TV movie, but still so cheesy I was craving a cracker. I was conscious of the canned, breezy instrumental music in the transition scenes and could tell that several locations were fake or on a green screen. The makeup looked cheap and obvious. The script was lame and soapy.
While I could have turned it off at any point, I didn’t. I’m not sure if it’s because I was interested in Liz and Dick, or just watching Lindsay. This role– hailed as her comeback– was anything but, and sank her stock as an actress even further.
But she is compelling on camera.
Despite her silly big lips, she’s very attractive and commands attention. The irony of playing a famous actress with drug, alcohol, and love problems, hounded by paparazzi is not lost on the viewer. But she didn’t capture the essence of Elizabeth Taylor– who was breathtakingly beautiful, regal, and mature. Lohan struggled to play her, and at times seemed like a teenager dressing up in mom’s clothes, trying to act grown up.
Lohan pouts through much of the movie and the gratuitous glass throwing and bottle swigging quickly became laughable. The final scenes when Liz sports her short 80’s haircut and giant tinted glasses make her look ridiculous, or– as the Hollywood Reporter suggests in this scathing review— worthy of an SNL skit.
I didn’t believe there was chemistry between Lohan and forgettable costar Grant Bowler, and isn’t that the whole point of the movie? He’s not handsome or charming, the way I pictured Richard Burton, and his Hair-Club-for-Men wigs were distracting.
What kept me watching? I was curious about Liz and Dick’s love affair and ate up all the glamor. Seeing Liz wearing giant diamonds and fabulous outfits, accessorized with hats, furs, and a cigarette holder was fun eye candy. And maybe deep down I was rooting for Lindsay to pull it off.
Most of the reviews make mine look like a rave, and the big story is that the movie only grabbed 3.5 million viewers–much less than other Lifetime movies with lesser known stars and attention.
This is one time you can be glad that you don’t know Dick. Or Liz for that matter. I wish I had that two hours of my Lifetime back. Hope you did something much more productive with yours.