The Lizzie McGuire Movie

[rating=1]Starring: Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas, Yani Gellman
Director(s): Audrey Wells
Writer(s): Susan Estelle Jansen and Ed Dector

Hilary Duff takes her television series character to the big screen in 'The Lizzie McGuire Movie'
Hilary Duff takes her television series character to the big screen in ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie’

The Lizzie McGuire Movie is not safe for adult consumption. It is a terrible version of a Mary-Kateand Ashley Olsen straight-to-video film, which means that essentially it is very bad. If it seems like I’m being unkind, let me say, that I have sat through many a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen film and found them more enjoyable.

Parents leave the tweens at the theater entrance. This is a film to avoid at all costs. Taken from the highly popular Lizzie McGuire show on the Disney Channel, the movie is an ego driven finale that brings the show to a close. Only tweens that adore the spunky, slightly screechy Hilary Duff will adore this film. Duff does not have the acting or comedic skill of competitors, Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bines. A witty cartoon version of Lizzie consistently upstages her throughout the film.

The premise of The Lizzie McGuire Movie finds Lizzie (Hilary Duff) on her way to Rome with her classmates after having trashed her junior high school graduation in a rather unfortunate clumsy accident. You see, Lizzie is always tripping over her feet, fairly inarticulate and awfully awkward. While it would seem that this sort of slapstick should be considered funny and endearing, for the most part it becomes sad and pathetic as the film goes on.

As in all films set in fair Italy, Lizzie becomes entranced by a typically suave Italian male named Paolo (Yani Gellman). The only thing amusing about all this is that the actor reminds me of Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) from That 70’s Show. This Italian male, though, happens to be a famous pop star in dire need of Lizzie’s help at an upcoming award show. Blond, tongue-tied Lizzie will double as her doppelganger brunette Isabella (Duff), Paolo’s ex-girlfriend and partner in singing crime. I can’t explain what it’s like watching Duff sing a duet with herself.

The only respite to be found is Gordon (Adam Lamberg), an earthy curly-cued adversary to Paolo’s sleek Romeo. He’s in love with Lizzie (forgivable) so he tries his best to cover for her while she’s off touring Rome with Paolo. At one point, for Lizzie’s sake, Gordon heroically throws himself at the mercy of Miss Ungermeyer (Alex Borstein), playing a scary teacher/tour guide. Borstein is usually hilarious on Mad TV but here she and rest of the supporting cast have little to work with.

Apparently, Hilary Duff is now an actress and singing superstar but in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, she uses a dancing double for the scenes where she and Paolo boogie (badly) together. Her acting chops are also highly suspect in this film. It is difficult to watch her generic brand of acting. While she really does try, the film in the end becomes nothing more than an attraction created to feature catchy songs from her new debut CD.

The DVD features are a bit more entertaining than the film. “Hilary’s Roman Adventure” is a behind-the-scenes tour of Rome. “In the Recording Studio with Hilary” is all about Hilary and her music. It’s hard on a full stomach, again, if you don’t idolize Hilary Duff. The deleted scenes are a quite dull but the alternate ending should have replaced the sappy one utilized in the film.

Rated: PG
Run Time:  1 hr., 34 mins.

Aliza Hausman

A native New Yorker, Aliza Hausman is a freelance writer with an obsession for film who will watch anything for the sheer thrill of being entertained. See more at WWW.ALIZAHAUSMAN.NET.

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