Lindsay Lohan’s new Lifetime channel movie “Liz & Dick”, in which the 26 year-old portrays screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, hasn’t even aired on television yet but is already getting a bucket load of bad reviews. Fox News says today that, “It’s just bad”, and continues to rip the troubled starlet with multiple snippets of critical slams. The Hollywood Reporter goes as far as writing, “Drinking games were made for movies like this”. Lindsay Lohan’s producer on the film however, dutifully and expectedly defended the actress in a pre-release presser insisting her performance will break your heart. Of course who knows what that means, is it good? Executive producer Larry Thompson seems to divert the negative press in saying Taylor fans, “will believe there is no actress who could possibly play her”.
Elizabeth Taylor died last year at the age of 79 after living a whirlwind life punctuated by eight marriages, drug and alcohol abuse and multiple serious health problems. Lindsay Lohan is more memorable for her exploits in the tabloids than she ever was for her acting prowess, according to the Reporter.
They pose the question whether the Lifetime network knew that, “in casting Lohan of all people as Elizabeth Taylor would nearly burn Hollywood down – and shock the rest of the country as well, thus ensuring enormous ratings”?
Larry Thomson sat down with reporters ahead of the movie’s November 25 premiere to talk up the film and Lindsay Lohan’s acting. He claims the payoff was well worth all the troubles he had to endure in casting the “wayward” star in the movie, according to CNBC.
“Let’s say that producing a movie with Lindsay Lohan is not for the faint of heart”, said executive producer Thompson. “I turned 50 shades of white during production…But the risk was worth the rewards; the pain was worth the pleasure”, he added.
“Liz & Dick” isn’t a complete biopic about Elizabeth Taylor, but rather recalls the scandalous and tumultuous romance between Taylor and British actor Richard Burton that began in the 1960s with infidelity, and endured into the ‘70s with a second marriage between the two.
Thomson pleaded his case in front of the media asking who better than Lohan, also a former child star, would know the pressures of having her every move scrutinized by the media, “the allure of drink and drugs, and the thrills and risks of living life on the edge”?
And with this movie, Lindsay was looking for a project that could re-establish her in Hollywood after five years of legal woes, and numerous stints in jail and rehab. But those problems also brought issues with insurance for the movie, forcing an exhausting amount of “what if” clauses in her contract.
Thomson told how there were pages and pages of, “What if there is a car accident? What if there is a violation of probation and she would be incarcerated? She might be the most insured actress to ever walk on a soundstage”.
And of course those clauses were needed as during shooting, the “Mean Girls” actress was involved in a serious car crash on the Santa Monica freeway, and on a separate occasion she was rushed to the hospital after being discovered in her hotel room unconscious. She was later said to be suffering from what as described as “exhaustion and dehydration”.
Taylor and Burton were hounded by the media during their highly public extra-marital affair, and are often credited with ushering in the age of the paparazzi. Likewise Lindsay had her own crew of reporters surrounding her every move as she made this movie.
“There were paparazzi following us around, hanging out of trees every day. And while we were making a movie about Elizabeth Taylor being followed by paparazzi, we had real paparazzi following our paparazzi following Elizabeth Taylor. So it was life imitating art, art imitating life”, Thomson explained.
But not all of the critical reviews are as rosy and upbeat about the film as Thomson is. An insider who previewed the movie told FOX411, “It’s just bad. Her voice – she sounds like herself, a smoker from Long Island and there is no chemistry with her co-star (Grant Bowler) and she was clearly not prepared”.
Numerous critics seem to agree that Lindsay Lohan isn’t even “in the same building” as the twice Academy Award-winning Taylor. In the Hollywood Reporter review they wrote that, “Lindsay Lohan is spectacularly bad. Lohan is woeful as Taylor from start to finish”.
“But whatever you do, don’t miss ‘Liz & Dick.’ It’s an instant classic of unintentional hilarity. Drinking games were made for movies like this”, they go on to say.
When asked if he would work with Lindsay again regardless of the challenging production shoot, executive producer Thomson replied, “Sure”. Of course what else can someone with money on the line say ahead of it’s airing.
One thing is for sure, casting Lohan was in a way a stroke of genius just for the droves of curiosity seekers who will tune in just like people slow down to gawk at traffic accidents. You know it’s true. What will you be drinking?