After months of hard-to-interpret Internet excitement, last night was the premiere of the made-for-Lifetime movie, Liz & Dick, about the real life love affair of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, starring “lady of interest” Lindsay Lohan. To give you a sense of just how much the Internet wanted to watch this movie, there is a HuffingtonPost “article” about the Twitter reactions to last night’s premiere and the opening sentence is: “On Twitter Sunday night, it seemed like there was only one topic to talk about: “Liz & Dick.”" Haha, yeah, I guess that sounds about right! (Earlier, when I said that the excitement was hard to interpret, what I meant was, like, what was the excitement? Was it all ironic? Does anyone with a registered Facebook account actually care about the love affair of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? Were they rooting for or against Lindsay Lohan? Because lord knows, she’s taken the great American fall and is ready for her rehabilitated second ascension. But mostly the Internet was probably just being dicks, as usual!) And so, the movie aired, and, uh, there’s really not nothing to actually say about it.
It was very bad. And also confusing. At a certain point, Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler, in character as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, come out on a black set and sit in directors chairs and begin to narrate their own lives with “cute” little glances and asides and interruptions, except that it’s never clear who they are supposed to be talking to, or at what point in time they’re supposed to be floating in order to have historical perspective but also still look very young. Neither of the actors seemed to have any real chemistry with each other, which is problematic when you are making a movie ABOUT CHEMISTRY. Like, when the movie begins, both of them are married (Elizabeth for the fourth time at the age of 29) and begin to cheat on their spouses while they are on the set of Cleopatra. This is not fun and sexy and exciting. It’s a fucking bummer. (There is one scene, right about when I turned off the movie–I only made it to the first commercial break, so if it got, like, so so good and amazing in the second half, then I take back everything I said–where Richard Burton drunkenly forces Elizabeth Taylor to tell him that she loves him in front of her husband, who barely even understands what is going on, at some kind of dinner party. Neat. It’s fun to watch a story about two cool people falling in love and being cool.) So at the very least, you have to make us understand how their bodies’ chemical demands that they be together were simply too natural and too powerful to fight against.
As far as Lindsay Lohan is concerned, I think we have to collectively and officially start to feel bad for her now. It’s really not that funny anymore. She was once the most promising young actress in Hollywood, and now she’s this drug-riddled, ankle-braceleted cautionary tale about the ravages of stardom. Also remember that she’s only 26?! Can you even imagine?! It would be crazy to be the butt of America’s joke at the age of 26, but she’s been the butt of that joke for YEARS now. Her family is a mess and they probably did this to her, and that only makes it worse. Look, celebrities sign up for this kind of thing–or their parents sign them up when they are children. They at least have a vague sense of “the deal.” And lord knows that the millions of people around the world without access to clean drinking water or medicine are having a worse time of it than a pampered and entitled movie star who is struggling to get her career back on its feet without making any real personal sacrifices or taking honest and accurate account of her own contribution to the mess. But all of that being said, Twitter probably isn’t helping. Change your avatar to Liz to show your support for Lindsay Lohan just kidding we are all drowning out here.
Oh! But listen to me carrying on like this. I told you, there’s nothing to say about Liz & Dick.