Tag Archives: lindsay lohan

The Lindsay Lohan Filmography: #1

Mean Girls (2004)

Although Lohan is not particularly known for her commitment to the set or her stringent dogma of method acting, she has been preparing her entire life for the role of Cady Heron. A previously cute young girl get a little fame and notoriety, rises to great heights by playing her cards right and then falls hard. Trade Cady’s calculus acumen for Lindsay’s acting chops, and you have yourself a perfect parable for Lohan’s life. Unfortunately, Lohan is stuck in the part of the movie where she and everyone around her are still running around like “homeschooled jungle freaks” and lying about who’s pushing drugs on whom. Lohan has been bit by a snake and she hasn’t yet figured out how to “suck the poison out.” If only real life could have a moment as cathartic as when Cady discovered that “the limit does not exist!”

Besides the questionability of how much Lohan actually acted in this movie, it was wildly entertaining mostly due to Tina Fey’s script and the deadpan line delivery of the SNL alumni. Still, this movie did catapult Lohan out of the virginal Disney quagmire and into her first adult film. She handled the comic timing perfectly and played both the good girl and the bad girl with ease.

I guess the reason why I love Mean Girls so much is that it is so damn quotable. It is this generation’s Heathers, but instead of “What’s your damage?” we get “That’s so fetch.” The Heathers undo each other while Veronica enjoys her partial outsider status and gains the upper hand. Same goes for the Plastics and Cady. Even in real life, Winona Ryder was slated to be the next big thing, worked with a few prolific directors like Scorcese, had a high profile scandal, fell from grace and then reappeared as Spock’s mother in Star Trek this year. Lohan, also destined for great things, worked with Robert Altman, went to rehab countless number of times, but refuses to go away so she cannot resurface as anything. At this point, Lohan looks so haggard that she could have gotten the role of Spock’s grandmother.

Apart from Lohan, Mean Girls was an accurate yet scathing review of life in American high schools. Fey managed to capture the cliquey nature of high school. The one thing she has exaggerated though, is the ubiquity of the Plastics. In normal high school, if you don’t live in girl world, you are not even aware that the Plastics exist. All the cliques overlap and they all share the same basic structure. People often make their own group of friends that they share something in common with and this gets miscategorized as a clique. Every clique has its own queen bee and it is quite possible for there to be no top clique. Too much emphasis was placed on making the Plastics special, but as the movie ended, it became evident that every group had their own mean girls and their own niche of drama.

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This concludes my survey of Lindsay Lohan’s filmography. There was her childhood cheesy phase, her young adult phase of interesting choices and her current phase of just plain disaster. Since the time this project started, Labor Pains came out and it was the nonsensical train wreck we were all hoping for. A review will be coming shortly, but until then I hope Lohan can lay low and whip herself back into form.

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The Lindsay Lohan Filmography, Part III

7. I Know Who Killed Me (2007) SPOILERS FOLLOW (but if you have not seen it by now, I doubt you will seek it out)

Why isn’t this the lowest ranked movie on the list, you ask? It is the epitome of high camp without even trying to be and that folks, is quite impressive. This movie has it all: twins separated at birth, stigmata, color symbolism that hits you over the head with the force of a piano dropped from forty stories, creepy psychopaths, missing digits, good v. evil, rich v. poor, roses EVERYWHERE, and Lohan as a “dancer.” The screenwriter must have just gotten out of third period AP Literature and decided that he would try his hand at the art of symbolism, but then realized that people may not get it, so he would have to tone down the subtlety a little bit. The product is what one would get if one were to mix together The Bible + Law and Order: SVU + wealthy Renaissance artists’ love of indigo + a tiny dollop of Jerry Springer.

As if you needed more convincing about the brilliance of this film, allow me to point out that this is actually TWO Lohan performances in one. She gets the juicy roles of playing both Aubrey and Dakota. With those names, it is surprising they both didn’t end up as strippers. I am glad Aubrey got to grow up in privileged suburbia, so that we could witness the full range of Lohan’s skills as she goes from prim, intelligent schoolgirl Aubrey with her white blouse and black-framed glasses to trashy Dakota in her cherry red two-piece and heavy makeup. Perhaps this transformation is best exemplified when Dakota assumes Aubrey’s role and very loudly fornicates with Aubrey’s extremely chaste boyfriend. The uncomfortable face of Aubrey’s mother (played by Julia Ormond) listening from the kitchen below is fantastic. Most importantly, though, the film finally gave Lohan the opportunity to show her dedication to the craft by taking those pole-dancing lessons. Somehow, that does make the world a better place.

6. Bobby (2006)

This movie could have been brilliant; what went wrong? The main problem is that there were too many characters. The point of the film was to take a snapshot of the American political scene and more broadly the American pulse as shaped by Bobby Kennedy. That effect could have been accomplished with about half the characters that ended up being included.

Lohan’s character was actually one of the more interesting ones and Lohan showed great restraint and a real promise for being a dramatic actor. There was a glimmer of hope that Lohan could make it onto the A-list, especially after her co-stars raved about her. At this time, Lohan was a party girl, but when on set, she did her job with the utmost professionalism. She did the international award circuit and showed up looking like royalty at the Venice Film Festival. It was not until later that she hit her downward spiral. In any case, her role was one that actually should have been fleshed out as it left me sympathetic, but curious as to where life would take her next. It is certainly safe to say that Lohan is currently not a bankable lead actress, but she could still be quite good in supporting roles.

The other major problem with this film in general was the overt idealism it was trying to peddle. Bobby Kennedy, even though physically not in 99% of the scenes, was in every scene and he was a one-dimensional character. People watch movies for the conflicts, to see the resolution, to reconcile different viewpoints. Kennedy was painted in such a way that there was nothing to discuss after watching the movie. There was no point of contention. All the characters, despite coming from widely different backgrounds, felt exactly the same way. The film was well acted, but does it matter if no one bothers to remember it?

5. A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

I’d say this movie marks the height of Lohan’s fame. She had just come off of Mean Girls and a fantastic appearance on SNL when she began filming for PHC. Playing Meryl Streep’s daughter, she had to dye her hair blonde and with that came the drugs, the eating disorders and the beginning of her downfall. It has been four years, but Lohan finally dyed her hair back to her natural red, so hopefully this is the sign of an upswing.

In any case, Lohan plays the daughter of Streep and niece of Lily Tomlin. A lot of talent in that family if I may say so! This film was directed by Robert Altman, whose main forte is getting the actors to talk to each other rather than getting them to talk to the camera. I was curious to see what an acclaimed director could do with Lohan. More importantly, I was interested in how Lohan would compare to the rest of the venerable cast. Admittedly, she did not have the nuance or the off-the-cuff spontaneity needed for an Altman picture, but she held her own for the most part. Additionally, she was able to showcase her singing voice as part of the radio variety show. The most promising feature of PHC was proof that Lohan can take serious dramatic roles and handle them. Furthermore, she proved both on-screen and on the publicity tour that she is capable of taking advice from those that are far more experienced than her. PHC has often been compared to a homemade rhubarb pie and Lohan knows she’s not the center, but a contributory slice – a scrumptious slice at that!

The Lindsay Lohan Filmography, Part II

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.

Part I

The Lindsday Lohan Filmography, Part I

The Lindsay Lohan Filmography

Now that Lohan’s film career has come to a screeching halt and she is contemplating full-time modeling, it seems like a good time to examine her filmography. Counting down from my least favorite to the best:


13. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)

This high school melodrama was painful to watch, mostly because of the aural atrocities imposed throughout. Also, the costuming was all sorts of ridiculous. I am not sure if anyone wears day-glo orange, nor should they. Honestly, I don’t even remember the plot, but it seemed like it was trying to be a rehash of Clueless, except without any of the wit.

12. Just My Luck (2006)

This was Lohan’s first “grown-up” film where we were supposed to believe she could hold down a job. She cannot. Perhaps her level of immaturity in real life transcended onto screen, because the entire time I could not figure out why this child was running around New York by herself. In fact, this movie was even worse than New York Minute in which the Olsen Twins also ran around New York on their own. However, in that film, the girls acted their age for the most part and their hi-jinks were age appropriate whereas Lohan was horribly miscast in this movie as a career professional at the ripe old age of 20. I, however, am very eager to see what Kristen Bell does with When In Rome, yet another movie involving magic, luck and romantic entanglements.

11. Chapter 27 (2007)

Neither Lohan nor Leto could save this film. Admittedly, Lohan played her role as an innocent Lennon fan that becomes increasingly freaked out by Leto’s Lennon stalker perfectly. However, she was in the film for a maximum of five minutes. The rest of this arduous film was filled with Leto rambling to himself and battling some inner demon speaking to him. The character of Mark David Chapman must be fascinating, I am sure, but inner psychopathology never translates well to screen. All the good psychiatric conditions portrayed on film have had some outward manifestation such as John Nash’s writings on the wall and imaginary friends or crazy in the form of Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. In fact, in Girl, Interrupted, Jolie’s flashy role is the only one anyone can understand and Winona Ryder’s borderline condition seems quite innocuous in comparison. This is not to say that Chapman’s brand of schizophrenia or Ryder’s borderline personality disorder are any less important than the other conditions; they are just not suitable film. Thus, it is not that Lohan or Leto were particularly bad in this film; they were just in a film that never should have been made.

Part II