CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN
Review by Michael Jacobson
Lindsay Lohan, Adam Garcia, Glenne Headly, Alison Pill, Eli Marienthal,
Carol Kane, Megan Fox
Director: Sara Sugarman
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Walt Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 90 Minutes
Release Date: July 20, 2004
lied because I wanted to make myself seem more interesting.”
interesting? We are 1,000 miles from home in a New York police station with a
drunken rock star waiting for your dead father to show up. You want to be more
interesting? More interesting than what?”
all the young stars that have currently been making their mark on the
entertainment industry, Lindsay Lohan is my favorite. From her charming debut in the remake of The Parent Trap where
she made you forget that there was only one of her to her teen star making turn
in the Freaky Friday remake, she displayed not only some acting mettle,
but a great sense of comic timing…and a decent singing voice to boot.
figured if nothing else, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen would be a
great showcase for her. I was right
and wrong. Right in the fact that
she carries the movie with gusto and confidence, but wrong in that it was a weak
movie and a poor role. For those
who have seen her before, we recognize that she’s embodying a melodramatic
character, but those who haven’t might walk away with the impression that
she’s an over the top ham.
plays Lola (real name Mary), a high school student with big time acting
ambitions and an imagination to match. As
the film opens, she’s leaving her beloved New York City with her single mom (Headly)
and heading to what she considers the end of her hopes and dreams…New Jersey.
She even imagines the welcome sign reading “Abandon All Hope”.
with new life in suburbia, she makes a new friend in Ella (the delightful Pill)
and a new enemy in Carla (Fox), especially when both go up for the lead role in
the high school production of Pygmalion that has been updated by the
drama teacher (Kane) to modern times with the title Eliza Rocks (don’t
imagination tends to run wild…always starved for attention, and always wanting
to make herself more than she is, she spins wild yarns about her life and family
to the amazement of her friends but to the chagrin of the audience, who can
easily spot where all of this is heading. Once
the subplot emerges of Lola bragging that she not only can get into her favorite
rock band’s final concert, but into the post show party at the home of her
idol, the lead singer Stu (Garcia), she has to find a way to make it come true.
The film aggravates with the worst kind of deliberate plot
manipulation…things pop up like Lola forgetting her money to buy the tickets
just to try and keep the convoluted mess going forward.
course, in the end, Lola learns valuable life lessons about being honest, but
not before her scheming manages to get her everything she wanted (hardly
positive reinforcement for impressionable young movie goers).
The climax is the school show, which of course, is ridiculously over
bloated with enough elaborate sets, music and lights to make Broadway pale.
Only in the damned movies.
main problems are that 1) Lola
isn’t a very likable character, but she’s all we have to guide us through
the story, and 2) the story isn’t
anything we haven’t seen before. Though
based on a novel of its own, I kept thinking about the Beverly Cleary book Otherwise
Known as Sheila the Great. Only
Sheila was an identifiable character, and the difference between her fantasy and
real life wasn’t muddled by a far fetched conclusion.
also aren’t many laughs, which is fatal for a comedy, and no real sense of
urgency. I never cared whether or
not Lola got her starring moment or whether or not she made it to the rock show.
If anything, I only felt for Ella, a sweet naïve girl whose world is
getting turned upside down by Lola’s ambitions.
only glad Lindsay Lohan redeemed her star with Mean Girls.
The talented youngster narrowly avoided a disaster with this picture.
If she chooses her projects more wisely in the future, Confessions won’t
be held against her…it will merely be mercifully forgotten.
complaints here…Disney’s anamorphic transfer is stellar.
Lola’s fantasy life makes for a vivid color palate, and every tone
comes across with clarity and integrity; no bleeding or distortions to mar the
experience. Lines are crisp and
clear, and I noticed no compression or undue grain.
A terrific looking disc.
5.1 audio packs a dynamic punch thanks largely to the music score (several songs
sung by Ms. Lohan herself). Dialogue
is clean and clear, and surround effects are used tastefully, with purposeful
direction and smooth crossover signals. The
subwoofer adds the bass to the music throughout.
main extras are a behind the scenes documentary with cast and crew interviews,
and a commentary track with director Sara Sugarman, the writer and producers.
It was decent, but would have been more fun if the stars had been
involved. There is also a music
video for “That Girl” by Lindsay Lohan and one deleted scene.