In this edition of the Lindsay Lohan filmography, we have a trifecta of Disney movies. The Disney era was probably the most successful period for Lindsay with all the accumulating buzz and whatnot, but it did not always produce high-quality movies…
10. Get A Clue (2002)
I wanted to be nicer to Lohan here since she was so young, but screw that. We know perfectly well what she is capable of since The Parent Trap was all sorts of amazing and she was only twelve when she made that. Age is not her limiting factor for sure. In this movie, she plays the daughter of a wealthy journalist who is aiming to be a journalist herself. Basically, all she has to do was act like a wealthy brat who gets into other peoples’ business. It does not sound like work; rather, it sounds like the dream life of any teenager. Thus, it was shocking to me that Lohan was so unbelievable in this. The dialogue was shoddy and the plot barely held together, but Lohan was unconvincing nonetheless. Perhaps, she felt too comfortable in the role, so she phoned in the performance; it was a Disney Channel production. On the other hand, it is possible that this was early enough in Lohan’s career that she did not know how to be a brat yet, although I sincerely doubt that is possible when your mom is Dina Lohan.
One remitting factor for Lohan, though, is that her character’s actions make little sense as written. She tells her father what she has done, which is pretty horrible when you think about it, and her father leads her to believe that such meddling is appropriate for someone her age. Consequently, she feels no remorse for embarrassing her teachers, potentially putting him in danger, and generally breaking the rules of decorum that would be found at any school grounded in reality.
9. Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
As it was her last movie for Disney, you could tell Lohan was just itching to leave that phase of her life behind. Looking back, I bet she would much rather have her Disneyfied career rather than the one she has now, but there is something to be said for breaking out of Disney’s shadow. You know you are beyond Disney’s target when they have to digitally reduce your boobs for a movie (as was done for Lohan here). It seems that the bigger the cash cow you are for Disney, the harder you fall when you leave. Take Spears v. Aguilera and Lohan v. Duff as examples. If the pattern holds trues, Miley Cyrus has a few rough years ahead of her.
Despite taking this role to fulfill contract obligations, Lohan was actually pretty good in Herbie. She showed the tomboyish drive of her racer and stayed consistent with her character throughout the film. The plot is most likely exactly what you would expect it to be from a racing movie. Lohan’s car is the underdog, but she works hard and puts up a fight against Matt Dillon, who is up to all kinds of no-good shenanigans. And as if that was not cliché enough, Lohan must do all of this against the wishes of her father, played by Matt Dillon. When watching a Disney movie, though, one must expect the clichés. In fact, it would be quite the unpleasant surprise if you were to pick up a Disney movie and not get the clichéd plot twists and happy ending you were expecting. So, in short, Herbie had nothing surprising, but nothing bad either.
8. Life-Size (2000)
Ah, a younger, more innocent time in Lohan’s life where she could cry and it would still feel genuine. Lohan plays a child who has recently lost her mother and desperately wants to bring her back. Instead, she brings a doll that looks like Tyra Banks to life. The rest of the plot follows a traditional trajectory where the doll serves as a catalyst for Lohan’s self discovery and then disappears to re-establish the status quo.
The problem with this movie lies not with Lohan, who was quite charming and spunky, but with Banks who is a terrible actress. Tyra Banks as she is now is a very scary-looking woman, especially when she “smiles with her eyes.” Well, Banks in 2000 was not as scary-looking, but said equally ridiculous things in that gentle, but patronizing tone of voice. It’s the same one she uses in ANTM when she starts her “Two beautiful girls stand before me…” speech. Being the surrogate mother/friend to Lohan’s half-orphan, Banks was actually justified in using that voice in this movie. Call it irrational, obvious, or both, but Banks ruined this movie for me.