The Lizzie McGuire Movie
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
lizzie mcguire movie Aimed squarely at 12-year-old girls, this pre-teen fantasy movie still manages to endear itself to anyone watching. Following on from the TV series, Lizzie (Duff) graduates from junior high in a flurry of embarrassment and then heads off to Rome on a class trip with the frightening Miss Ungermeyer (Borstein) as chaperone. Then right in front of the Trevi Fountain, she bumps into handsome Italian pop idol Paolo (Gellman) who tells her how much she looks like his ex-singing partner Isabella (Duff in dark wig and heavy eye-liner). This charmer wants Lizzie to impersonate the now-missing Isabella at the International Music Video Awards, so Lizzie has to conspire with her best pal Gordo (Lamberg) and popular girl/nemesis Kate (Brillault) to circumvent Miss Overmeyer and find adventure, romance and fame in the Eternal City.

The film is charming and watchable as long as you don't try to deconstruct it. But here I go: The plot is so sloppily illogical that it's hard to understand how even a 12-year-old girl dazzled by Paulo's gorgeousness and Lizzie's dream-like escapade could fall for it. Not a single moment of the film is remotely believable. Is it strange that everyone speaks English, and no one notices that the newly blonde Isabella doesn't speak a word of Italian? Oh who cares! This is a sweet and enjoyable comedy, mostly because Duff is certainly the perkiest actress on the planet. She's so effortlessly hilarious and irresistible that we'd happily stare at her dazzling smile for 90 minutes! Director Fall (Trick) lays on the wackiness a bit too thickly, but the supporting cast adds energy and humour, and the filmmakers capture the landmarks of Rome with shameless glee. Amid the contrived plot and flat-footed slapstick, there are some truly wicked jokes and subplots. And Lizzie's brief internal observations are a terrific touch (although the animated mini-Lizzie is pretty weak). Yes, it's a really, really bad film. But it's also completely enchanting.

cert U some themes 22.Jun.03

dir Jim Fall
scr Susan Estelle Jansen, Ed Decter, John J Strauss
with Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Ashlie Brillault, Yani Gellman, Alex Borstein, Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd, Jake Thomas, Clayton Snyder, Brendan Kelly, Carly Schroeder, Jody Racicot
release US 2.May.03; UK 29.Aug.03
03/US 1h34

In the spotlight: Gellman, Duff and Kelly (as Paolo's bodyguard)...

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send your review to Shadows... lizzie mcguire movie Michelle, England: 5 out of 5 stars "I thought that this film was wicked, and hilary duff is a great actress. I saw it three times at the cinema (i know, a little bit sad, but my sister and my best friend loved it so i went to see it with them). I felt that this movie had a real good-feeling vibe about it. I'd say the only flaw is the end cos it kind of just finishes, but the dvd is supposed to have an alternate ending to it. I can't wait for it to come out in the uk! I think anybody who doesn't like this film needs a brain transplant (exaggeration)." (31.Jan.04)
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall