I am a 22-year old guy, but today was devoted to pre-teen girlie movies. One was surprisingly good, the other about as expected. The Lizzie McGuire Movie is currently playing on HBO - thankfully, I didn't pay for it. While not specifically bad, it definitely is nothing new in a genre that is already crowded with clones. Compared to Mean Girls and The Princess Diaries, two movies that I have watched recently and that can technically be grouped into similar categories, The Lizzie McGuire Movie lacks intelligence and entertainment value - and that ain't good.
It's no surprise that Hilary Duff stars as the title character, a senior in high school (or is it junior high?) who travels to Italy on a class trip only to find her dream come true when she meets a handsome European pop star who is looking to fill a gap on stage after his girlfriend - who amazingly looks exactly like Duff (and is even played by her) - dumps him. If that doesn't sound stupid enough for you, I don't know what will, but once again it is a film that pre-teens will eat up as it is about a dorky girl (though I've never met a girl who looks like Hillary Duff who actually is criticized in any way or form) who becomes a major international star in a matter of days. Regardless, this movie didn't click with me in any way or form. It was entertaining enough, but just barely. There are some funny parts, but for the most part it is so predictable and disinteresting that it is difficult to become truly engaged. The screenplay just isn't as clever as I have come to expect from the genre in recent years.
It is perhaps unfair to compare Hilary Duff to Lindsay Lohan, but I am going to anyway. After all, Lohan has been choosing intelligent movies such as Freaky Friday and Mean Girls while Duff has stuck to drab... crap, really. I don't think Duff has what it takes to be a theatrical draw - she's good enough for television and her music career, so she should stick to what she's good at. Duff is okay in the lead, but nothing special. Her character has no depth, although those who have grown up with her television show may think differently. Hopefully, it is no surprise that I have never watched the show.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie probably is a satisfying picture for fans of the show, but for those just interested in the genre in general should be able to find more redeeming stuff. This movie just lacks the cleverness that some of its competition has managed to find - it isn't bad, but it isn't good, either.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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