Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

The Lizzie McGuire Movie; comedy, USA / Italy, 2003; D: Jim Fall, S: Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Yani Gellman, Jake Thomas, Alex Borstein

Teenager Lizzie McGuire just graduated from high school, and her class embarks on a school trip to Rome, Italy, accompanied by principal Angela Ungermeyer. There, Lizzie is mistaken for Italian teen-star, Isabella, and is approached by Paolo who wants Lizzie to play Isabella for their singing duet. Lizzie's friend Gordo is suspicious of Paolo's intentions, meets the real Isabella and finds out Paolo just wants to frame Isabella by having the public think she is playback singing. It turns out that Paolo is actually singing on playback, and thus Isabella's honor is saved thanks to Lizzie. She later kisses Gordo.

Disney's feature length movie adaptation of the popular TV show "Lizzie McGuire" is a real synonym for a 'guilty pleasure' - it is sweet as candy and highly enjoyable, even though it should not be. A simple kid's story, more sympathetic than truly funny, abundantly borrows from "Roman Holiday", whereas it would be welcomed if it had more directorial sharpness and a more convincing ending. However, right at the start the opening sequence featuring the song "The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)" by the Atomic Kitten is simply irresistible, all the actors are fantastic while the youthful spirit abounds throughout. The whole sequence in which Lizzie is driving on a moped with Paolo through the streets of Rome with the song "Volare" by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci is the best moment of the entire film, a thoroughbred example of pure film candy, whereas equally good are the surreal "side-comments" by Lizzie in the form of a cartoon in several short scenes (when an Italian words goes through her ears, she says: "Don't speak to me in Italian! I love it!"). It's such a pity that Paolo was turned into a bad guy, instead of a legitimate love interest of Lizzie's, and that the last third of the story is all empty walk, without any more inspiration, which reduces the film's enjoyment value, whereas several fans complained that the movie strayed too far away from the narrative of the TV show, changing the location to Italy, with no links to the original setting of the characters, yet at least at one point of the story you will think - too bad some classics are not as fun as this.


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