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.

Comments (65)
  1. I honestly have a huge issue with infidelity on TV and movies. It makes me all squirmy and feel gross inside. I don’t even know why, because I’m totally fine with seeing other bad things (murder, thievery, Kardashians, etc). But for some reason, infidelity bugs me a whole lot.

    • I just thought you guys should know that.

      • The thing that makes me feel squirmy on TV and movies is when people get into trouble — like, sent to the principal’s office, or arrested, or even just caught in a lie. That episode of the Tudors when Catherine Howard and so many of her friends were arrested? Oh man. I was still upset the next morning.

        • Isn’t that weird?! I seriously do not get it at all! I accidentally watched an episode of Family Guy where Lois cheated on Peter with Bill Clinton, and even that made me feel all gross and dirty inside! Family Guy!

          • I know. I have a close friend who gets the same kind of strong reaction watching characters lie. There could probably be an entire branch of analysis based on what makes you deeply uncomfortable in fictional scenes.

          • I have a hard time watching sitcoms because I get really bad second-hand embarrassment. They set up these “amusing” embarrassing situations and I just want to crawl under my couch and hide there until spring.

      • I have wicked trouble with like…minor sadness, but that sort of sadness where the person is both sadder than someone maybe should be over a situation, but is becasue they care. If loneliness and plainness are laid over it, oh god.

        When I was little, I was watching Grumpier Old Men with my family and it got late and I had to go to bed but I was terribly sad and worried that the one guy broke the other guy’s favorite little fishing pole and he was soooo sad about it. In the morning, still worried, my mom told me they got it fixed. I don’t believe her but never want to find out otherwise.

        I told my girlfriend this and she assured me that it does get fixed. I also don’t believe her but never want to hear otherwise.

    • i am right there with you. infidelity in fiction really bothers me because it’s there for entertainment purposes. it bothers me that something that i consider to be kind of a dick move is foder for laughs and or drama in hollywood. in real life as well, it also bothers me.

    • I can’t stand to watch people get embarrassed on TV or in a movie. I get sympathy embarrassed for them and I find it hard to watch. I also think people should say “please” and “thank you” a lot more in movies. That may just be my problem though.

      • They should also say “goodbye” when they hang up the phone. But now we’re just picking nits.

      • I can’t stand to see people get embarrassed either! I especially get squirmy on comedy shows that do improv on unsuspecting people. Example: On Dog Bites Man, AD Miles got up and did a horrible comedy routine at some amateur stand-up night somewhere and even though it was hilariously bad, my stomach hurt so bad just watching it because I felt really bad for the people in the audience who just thought this guy was a horrible comedian.

      • You are not alone. I actually made a Facebook group about this back in college (the only other group I ever made was about milk (both groups had more than 1 member!)). 2 of the scenarios in the mission statement were the classic Jessie Spano freak-out, and pretty much everything about the MTV show Made. God I cringe just thinking about having to watch some kid break dance in the middle of their cafeteria.

    • strange since infidelity is more common than anything in the world – esp since we are not a monogamous species.

    • It bugs me too, especially when it’s played as SUPER INTERESTING. Like McNulty’s and Don Draper’s fidelity issues stopped being interesting long before their writers realized.

      I think the reason murder, thievery, and Kardashians don’t bother you (or me) in the same way is that those things are presented as pretty unambiguously bad, whereas sometimes we’re expected to root for characters engaging in infidelity.

    • I really like curb but it makes me so anxious i have to shut it off sometimes

  2. Didn’t watch. Waiting for Liz & Larry.

  3. Mean Girls was undisputably excellent, Prairie Home Companion was great but not because of Lilo, and my official favourite genre of movies is Lindsey Lohan Thrillers (of which there is only I Know Who Killed Me and I’m not sure if I’m being sarcastic when I say I love it or not), but I don’t get the part where we all say she was one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors. She made some fluffy Dinsey movies, a few decent non-Disney movies, and then went off the deep end. It’s sad because she is a human being and we all deserve dignity, etc, but it’s not the Marilyn Monroe Gone From Us Too Young Hollywood Tragedy we all like to pretend it is.

    • It’s because we saw her grow up. She didn’t fade from the public eye or move on to reality show hosting duties as so many child stars. We were there with her since she got started, and it’s somewhat heartbreaking to see her downward spiral. She was promising in the way a parent thinks their child is promising: not at all, most likely, but there’s a sense of concern for their well-being that blinds you to that fact.

    • i agree with you both! she wasn’t that talented, but the reason why the country is so fascinated with her has a lot to do with deeper, darker reasons that are very present in modern american society, and since we are not too good at talking about our issues like a family (ugh, thanksgiving was so rough, guys), the default comment is about what a waste of talent, how terribly sad and tragic, etc etc.

    • i still do not get the hype about marilyn monroe. i’ve watched the movies. they were not so good.

      • Um. In order to appreciate Marilyn Monroe, you have to appreciate that not every actress was a bimbo-archetype-wannabe. She was one of the first to jump from pin-up to screen, instead of the other way around and she would casually flaunt her body in a way that was very shocking at the time. Oh. Wait. What was the question?

      • She was actually pretty smart. And the 7 Year Itch is an amazing comedy. You take that back. You take that back NOW.

        • I have never seen 7 Year Itch but I would agree that in Some Like It Hot she has intelligence that comes through in her comic timing, even though she is playing a nitwit. I don’t know, I think she combined a lot of contradictory things all at once — innocence, not-at-all-innocence, and world-weariness — and it seemed natural, not studied? That is a hard combination to hit, I can’t think of anyone else who has or had it, offhand. I have only seen one of her movies though, so my opinion is literally worth two cents.

          • The 7 Year Itch is so so so so good. I watch it a lot as all of the jokes hold up. Some Like It Hot is super overrated, especially compared to the 7 Year Itch. That and Auntie Mame are basically perfect films… though How To Steal A Million is amazing too. That was a very good time for very funny comedies.

            I am disappointed in you, Hotspur.

          • You have joined a vast and sure to expand club.

            I saw Auntie Mame when I was 10-11. An aunt made me watch it. All I remember is thinking that she obviously wanted me to see her as Auntie Mame. I should probably rewatch it.

      • Team Ashleigh on this one, I also do not get it

    • you’re right it’s not the Marilyn Monroe Gone From Us Too Young Hollywood Tragedy…it’s worse than that. it’s like she’s the guest at the party that just won’t leave and it is starting to get awkward because everyone expected her not to stick around.

  4. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Since I have no idea what you’re talking about, I’m going to assume that you’re referring to the fact that Lifetime makes “television for women,” not for Gabe?

    • Ah yes the, “if no one writes a blog post about how depressing and weird this popular things is it will just dissipate into the ether,” defense. Very sound, not at all logically unsound, nope, very true and possible.

  5. My biggest complaint is that it wasn’t bad enough. I mean it was plenty bad, but boring bad, not Birdemic sublime bad. Lifetime, I expected more. Or less. I am not sure.

    • When I cast her as Neely O’Hara in the Neely-centric version of Valley of the Dolls… ALL of your dreams will come true.

      SPARKLE LINDSAY SPARKLE!!

  6. FLW Pun Review: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woof?

  7. I have to say, yeah the internet is all going to make funsies about Lindsay Lohan being underwhelming in a very expensive drama teacher’s original play and everything, but what really killed this movie was the terrible makeup. I am dead serious: people will watch and enjoy terrible acting and dialog in exchange for gorgeous visuals and these idiots couldn’t even do straight and even eyeliner. They should ashamed of themselves.

  8. I heard she throws a vase or something three different times in the movie and I just have to say that I would never throw a vase when I’m angry because I’d probably have to clean it up and who needs to clean up broken glass while crying and drinking wine straight from the bottle?

    • I would throw vases always if I didn’t have to clean up.

    • I was watching The Godfather this weekend and when the sister was throwing a tantrum and breaking everything in site, I kept thinking the same thing. “Who is going to clean that up? Who??” And then she got hit with a belt by her horrible husband, so apparently that guy also agrees with us.*

      *I do not condone hitting women, and I am quite sure you do not either. But you know who else is with us on that? Michael Corleone as — SPOILER — he had that man killed.**

      **I don’t think I’m woman enough to authorize a hit.

      • OMG me too. I had forgotten that scene. I was watching it for the 100th time and I was like why do they show her tantrums so much and I forgot it leads to Sonny’s death. Ugh. Yes, I was like stop breaking them baby he’s just gonna hit you more. Tell Sonny to kill him for chrissake!

        • But let’s get to the real issue here. How handsome is young James Caan? The first time I saw the Godfather, I was really upset when he died because he was the cutest! (After young Al Pacino and the one super hot guard in Italy.)

          • Fair and Balanced: Among the ladies, the Sicilian wife who blows up in the car is ultrahot. I don’t think she even has a line (“Let me drive today”?), she is so hot she represents something pre-verbal.

          • The movie has something for everyone! Even horse heads!

          • Haha, RELATED: I am reading “Killing Pablo” about the drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the 90s and there is one scene where the revenge-gang that forms to oppose Pablo kills his favorite horse’s trainer and jockey, and the horse — which is worth millions as a stud — vanishes for weeks. You expect it to surface, head only, in someone’s bed… and instead Pablo’s guys find it completely healthy, tied to a tree. Gelded.

          • Young James Caan to die for!!!!

  9. the worst thing about it was the makeup. when she was forty they did nothing to age her. totally ruined my ability to suspend my disbelief.

  10. For her sake, at least she is getting work? Like talking about how Lindsay Lohan was sub-par in the Liz & Dick movie is better than talking about how Lindsay Lohan was sub-par at not getting arrested for cocaine possession.

  11. If there is nothing to say about Liz & Dick can we talk about something else I saw for the first time on cable TV? That something being Doomsday Preppers in which crazy people excitedly prepare for the end of the world / their subdivision’s descent into Hobbesian chaos. The show is peppered with apparently straight-faced tips about encouraging your friends to prepare, and the subjects all seem really amped about the prospect of murdering their neighbors. I think it is on NatGeo or the History channel or something and I need someone to explain why it exists to me.

    • all the mormons i grew up with did the same thing, true story.

    • I lived with a friend for a couple years who kept 10 cases of water, a crate of survivalist snacks, and a gun with lots of ammunition ready for the coming apocalypse. He was pretty excited about the demise of civilization, as it would (here’s my interpretation of his motives) put an end to having to go to work and deal with people he didn’t 100% get along with, instead heading to the hills where living by his wits and raw courage he would lead a ragtag band of et ceteras to rebuild civilization, but without boring jobs and “unrealistic” people this time, and also there’d be a statue of him because of his proven leadership.

  12. I didn’t watch it, but now I kind of do. I don’t feel bad for celebrities though. I just can’t unless they were raped or violently attacked, but someone like Lindsay is doing a lot of this to herself.

  13. One good thing to come out of all this was reading The Awl’s roundup of links to old clips and interviews of the real Elizabeth Taylor, reminding me that she was charismatic and fun, and not all dead behind the eyes.

  14. I signed on to Twitter for the first time all weekend last night, and I guess so many people were watching Liz & Dick that there were several tweets referring to Liz & Dick and the accompanying Twitter feast with context completely implied. Did this movie do remarkably well? Will Lifetime now market movies with horrible posters so people will watch ironically, a la the Onion Applebee’s campaign?

  15. It was really bad. I saw maybe 10 minutes tops (during commercial breaks on The Walking Dead and it just seemed Lindsay was in costume being Lindsay. I’ve never seen Elizabeth Taylor outside of a White Diamonds commercial, but Lindsay did a bad job trying to impersonate her. She couldn’t get her accents straight which made me check Taylor’s wikipedia page. Did you know Elizabeth Taylor was born in England?

    Fremdshamen = vicarious embarrassment, which is what I felt every second this movie was on my tv screen.

    How did this get even put on television?

  16. All of my friends and I liveblogged it and I took a picture of us when we were done:

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