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Now that Liz & Dick has officially debuted on Lifetime, the question of whether Lindsay Lohan successfully pulled off her much-hyped, critically panned comeback role as Elizabeth Taylor is everyone’s to answer — and pick apart.
Not surprisingly, the most cynical of viewers tended to agree with THR‘s Tim Goodman, who — in a hard-eyed review — roasted Lohan’s performance like The New York Times did Guy Fieri‘s restaurant. (But hey, some people thought the 26-year-old troubled tabloid fixture wasn’t “woeful as Taylor from start to finish.”)
If you’ve seen the movie — a must-watch for lovers of guilty pleasure, trainwreck-y TV — and want to relive some of its most memorable moments, read on. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to see La Lohan impersonate Liz, and Grant Bowler take on Richard Burton, warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.
1. Lohan’s portrayal of a middle-aged Taylor, circa 1984. Out of the 66 costume changes in Liz & Dick, the actress’ mid-’80s getup is perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious. Resembling the old SNL Linda Richman “Coffee Talk” sketch rather than The Real Thing, Lohan is the eighth-grade drama camp version of the iconic movie star. When she abruptly faints upon hearing news of Burton’s death, the effect is funny rather than sad.
2. Liz and Dick are shocked that there are love scenes in Cleopatra. When the married actors meet on the set of the 1963 film, sparks fly — but first, there is animosity. In writer Christopher Monger‘s screenplay, both express outrage after learning they have to kiss for the camera. SHOCKING! It’s hard to believe that either star, knowing the romantic history of Mark Antony and the Egyptian queen, would not be prepared for that.
3. Lohan-as-Liz attempting suicide after Dick’s wife’s attempted suicide. Such a heavy moment should not be for laughs, but the scene is nothing short of ridiculous. First, there’s Dick’s line, “Well, she’s alive — I fear I am dead,” as told to Liz concerning Sybil Burton (Tanya Franks), whom the self-serious Welsh thespian wishes to leave for the multiple-divorced, violet-eyed vixen. Yet he decides to stay with Sybil because of his children. That’s when Liz goes berzerk, bellows “I won’t live without you!,” swallows pills and guzzles a bottle of vodka, declaring with zero believability: “This shouldn’t take too long.”
4. The Brangelina of Their Time finally tie the knot. A triumphant Dick informs Liz he’s recruited a Unitarian minister,allegedly the only officiant who will marry the couple (branded sinful adulterers in the media and by the pope). At the nuptials in Montreal in 1964, Lohan’s flower-strewn updo — not to mention her ’60s eye makeup, immaculate throughout the film — is Oscar-red-carpet-worthy. If LiLo doesn’t pick up any awards for her turn as Liz, then her costume designer could certainly be an Emmy 2013 contender.
5. Lohan’s best worst line: “I’m bored! I’M SO BORED!!” Portrayed as a love-obsessed princess, the actress’ Liz loathes taking time off from her nonstop filming schedule to spend time with her kids in scenic Gstaad, Switzerland. Her ennui dissipates, however, during a rendezvouz with Dick; Lohan, whose tabloid persona is that of a restless, can’t-be-alone loose cannon, is entirely convincing when uttering “I’M SO BORED!!” Can’t you imagine it?
6. Dick forces Liz to choose between him and Eddie Fisher. Although the Liz-Dick affair is all over the news, Fisher (Andy Hirsch) — husband No. 4 — acts all nonchalant and “whatever,” especially when Dick, a Shakespeare-quoting hothead, abruptly puts Liz on the spot at a party for Cleopatra, yelling: “WHO DO YOU LOVE — ME OR EDDIE?!?” Lohan, long seen as a good actress despite her vast personal problems, seemingly phones it in when she flatly responds “I love you” and runs out of the room. It is the acting equivalent of Britney Spears‘ sleepy, false-alarm comeback performance of “Gimme More” at the 2007 Video Music Awards.
7. Liz whips out a Van Gogh painting and mounts it on a wall in Dick’s hotel room. The five-second span when Liz makes a beeline for the wall, busts open a package containing the picture and treats the hotel as her personal Louvre while a hotel staffer objects (the walls are “silk!”) and Liz replies, “Mr. Burton deserves a Van Gogh more than all your silk,” is enjoyably over the top. As Liz might purr: “More please! I want more!”
Tell us: What’s your verdict? Has Lohan been unfairly mocked for her Liz impression? What do you think of her chemistry with Bowler? And if the late, great Taylor were alive today, what would she think of Liz & Dick?
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