Lindsay Lohan’s big comeback on the little screen in Lifetime’s “Liz & Dick” predictably has been savaged by critics and snarkheads. But is it that bad? Or has LiLo been a punching bag for so long, no one can see her any other way?
Lifetime movies have always been known for middling production values, so anyone expecting cinematic art is probably being a little absurd in their criticism.
What’s more, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were such larger=than-life figures, attempting to portray them in a movie invariably invites caricature.
Much of the criticism seems to be directed at the writing and directing, which is typical of most Lifetime movies. Say what you will about Lohan, she’s still a nice piece of eye candy.
A for Grant Bowler, who plays Burton, now there’s an overwrought piece of work. The most intense scenes focus on him while Lohan is, well, eye candy.
During Liz and Dick’s time together in real life, Burton was spiraling out of control. He was a drunk, a serial womanizer and his career was in tatters. But together on screen they were box office gold.
She was still at the peak of her career in the ’60s, during half of their first marriage (1964-74). They appeared in six films together during that time and grossed more than $200 million, a soaring amount. Adjusted for inflation it would equal $1.3 billion today.
By the end of their second marriage (1975–76), they were both washed up. After 1976, Taylor made mostly television movies, or guest appearances on television shows. Burton, of course, was dead by 1984, at 58.
The movie covers one of the most tumultuous decades in their lives, so the writers chose to use Liz and Dick as narrators, sitting in director’s chairs on a darkened sound stage, as if that was their punishment in hell. Critics have had a field day with it.
“This is not only annoying and an expository cheat, it becomes ridiculous and laughable when Burton dies and Liz talks about how much she misses him,” writes Tim Goodman in The Hollywood Reporter.
Goodman was out with one of the first reviews, and has set the tone for all the snarkheads that followed.
Whatever the case, Lifetime will get more than its money’s worth for Lohan’s trouble. The movie is projected to be their highest rated in history.
It premieres this Sunday, Nov. 25 at 9 p.m. Be sure to let us know your thoughts, check out a clip below, and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for more Lindsay Lohan updates.