I would’ve been so pissed if Liz & Dick—the Lifetime TV movie about the infamous love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that also serves as beleaguered actress Lindsay Lohan’s comeback vehicle—ended up being good. I mean, we knew it couldn’t be just by virtue of the fact that it was airing on Lifetime, a network that’s notorious for dispensing delightful campy trash, but we’d be lying if we said that there wasn’t a glimmer of hope. After her lackluster appearance on SNL, people were really starting to wonder if Lindsay had what it took anymore. Years of partying and doing drugs seem to have fried her reserves. Instead of coming across as compelling and raw like she did in her earlier films, Lindsay now appears as a fragile ghost, someone who’s own emotional baggage is too heavy to breathe life into any new role.
So, let’s just get the obvious out of the way, shall we? Liz & Dick is terrible. The acting is something out of a 9th grade drama camp, the score is hilariously low-budget, and the make up, which never bothered to age Lindsay Lohan even though the movie spans 40 years, leaves a lot to be desired. One plus? Lindsay looks good — too good in fact. How does she actually still look so beautiful given all of the hard partying she’s done in the last decade? By my estimates, she should resemble the Crypt Keeper by now but instead she — dare I say it? — manages to bear a striking resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor. Seeing her beauty still intact just made watching Liz & Dick even more #dark though because it’s really the only thing that’s left of her. A face. A look. That’s it.
Lohan’s natural beauty notwithstanding, Liz & Dick is perhaps one of the ugliest TV movies in recent history. The sets are laughable, the dialogue is stiff. But that’s what makes the viewing experience so fun! We’ve been waiting for Lindsay to deliver her Nomi Malone performance and with Liz & Dick, we finally get it. Everything is over-the-top. In the first 20 minutes alone, Lindsay manages to have 5,000 sex scenes with Grant Bowler, the lucky ex-Radio Shack salesperson who was presumably discovered in front of a Panda Express and picked to portray Richard Burton, and OD on pills and alcohol. By the way, that suicide scene was one of my favorites. Liz Taylor storms up to Dick and is like, “Pay attention to me!” and Dick is like, “Um, no. I’m busy drinking and being an insufferable human being.” and Liz is like, “Fine. BRB, gonna OD.” Okay, that’s not exactly how it went down but it’s the gist. With this movie, there really is no need to exaggerate anyway. It truly is that insane and incoherent throughout.
So where does this leave Lindsay Lohan, besides crying in a Yogurtland over the bad reviews? #NotClear. We’ve created this myth about her so-called amazing acting chops but now we’re realizing that may’ve not even been true. Sure, she starred in some good movies when she was a kid and a teenager but Lohan has yet to recapture her essence as an adult. Like many others, she’s failed to translate from child star to serious actress. The drugs have obviously played a role in this but even without them it’s hard to say if Lindsay would’ve met the expectations we set for her. There were only a few years there when Lohan wasn’t a hot mess. It’s difficult to even recall the original narrative, the brief time when she was considered an actress instead of a professional fuck-up.
It’s time to give up the dream of Lindsay reclaiming her original glory. Her next film, the ultra low-budget The Canyons in which she stars opposite a male porn star, looks even more wretched than Liz & Dick. If she ever in fact has a comeback, it’s not going to be anytime soon. Why? Because she’s still an addict. Lest we forget that during the brief filming of Liz & Dick, Lohan managed to crash her car and pass out in her hotel room, requiring the attention of paramedics to wake her ass up. This girl is as sober as a sorority girl on New Year’s Eve. Until she gets clean, we may never see her full potential. That being said though, why do we give such a shit about Lindsay? She’s clearly a sick girl whose addict tendencies feeds off the media attention. The best thing she could do for herself right now is to go off-the-grid and move to Texas, where she can do pottery, get into another lesbian relationship, and sing Kumbaya around the fire. But Lindsay would never do that because she needs the limelight, it fuels her. Fame is her real drug, more so than anything else. Until she goes cold turkey off Hollywood, she’ll remain just another casualty of excess.