The long wait to see Lindsay Lohan as Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor is almost over. On Sunday night, the problem-plagued actress and her once-promising acting chops will be on full display in Lifetime’s problem-plagued production> of “Liz & Dick.”
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the former Disney star onscreen, and given all that has happened in her personal life during that time — most of which overshadows her early and well-received work like “Mean Girls” and “The Parent Trap” — expectations are all over the place and so are the critics’ reviews of the Lifetime Original Movie. Prepare yourself for some melodrama as we read through the “Liz & Dick” reviews!
” ’Liz & Dick’ is a very peculiar TV movie indeed. The opening seconds flash a ”based on a true story” message across the screen. But the ’story’ — that is, the life that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton shared mostly during the 1960s, after meeting while making Cleopatra (1963) — was much richer in reality than it is in this dinky, tin-eared production. Instead, the primary interest in watching ’Liz & Dick’ is to behold Lindsay Lohan trying, with varying, wobbly degrees of effort, to make her own career comeback.” — Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
“It should come as no great surprise that Lifetime’s ’Liz & Dick’ movie starring Lindsay Lohan is spectacularly bad. After all, it’s Lohan, more memorable in the tabloids than she ever was as an actress. No, the mystery here is whether Lifetime actually believed it had a major ’television event,’ as it says, because this was Lohan’s ’highly anticipated comeback movie role,’ as the channel’s website notes. Was Lifetime made giddy by the potential, or made blind by it? Most intriguing, did it know that casting Lohan of all people as Elizabeth Taylor would nearly burn Hollywood down — and shock the rest of the country as well, thus ensuring enormous ratings? Lifetime’s website breathlessly asks visitors, ’Are you finally convinced?’ — with a link to a photo of Lohan as Taylor and a young Liz side by side. No, the photo is not convincing. Hair and makeup miracles do not make a movie. So calm down, Lifetime.” — Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter
“From a distance, and perhaps more so when she was younger and her notorious partying hadn’t started to show on her face, Lohan bears a certain resemblance to Taylor. But it’s not enough by half to make her credible here. For one thing, virtually no attempt has been made to reflect Taylor’s physicality. Unlike Lohan, she had hips. And at certain times during the period the film covers, she had a lot more than that. The recreated scene from ’Virginia Woolf’ is absurd: It’s as though Burton is trading barbs with a 14-year-old boy in drag.
… Lohan also doesn’t sound much like Taylor. The actress’ voice is ragged and dry, where Taylor’s voice was high and rather lyrical, unless she wanted to allow herself cackle and bellow.
But in the hands of a skilled actress, speech and looks could be overcome with a credible performance, a performance that finds the common thread between the two actresses. Lohan knows what it’s like to be hounded by the press and knows what it’s like to be the subject of scandal.
She also knows what it’s like for one’s craft not to be taken seriously because of those scandals. Yet she doesn’t seem to mine any of that. Her attempts at recreating Taylor’s signature temper flare-ups are wan and unconvincing, and she fails repeatedly at embodying the star presence that Taylor had fine-tuned over a lifetime in front of the camera and in the public spotlight.” — David Wiegand, The San Francisco Chronicle
The Final Word
“I’d like to say that it’s not apparent that ’Liz and Dick’s’ director also helmed not one but two Mitch Albom-based movies, but it really, really is apparent. ’Liz and Dick’ is badly paced, cheap-looking and encrusted with a tinkly, preposterous soundtrack that is designed to make viewers go insane. It’s also littered with exposition-heavy segments in which Liz and Dick reminisce about their past, perhaps from beyond the grave. In those segments, they wear matching black ensembles and essentially narrate their own lives, much to their own amusement. In doing so, they make these rich and eventful lives sound a lot less interesting than they actually were. There is drinking game fun to be had here, but that’s all ’Liz and Dick’ really offers. Please, don’t drink every time one half of the lead duo downs some vodka or every time Lohan provides an absolutely affectless line delivery — I don’t want to be responsible for any deaths by alcohol poisoning.” — Maureen Ryan, The Huffington Post
“Liz & Dick” airs Sunday, November 25 at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Tell us why you’ll be watching in the comments!