(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Lizzie McGuire Movie. "How it Began" by Silent Partner plays in the background)
Doug (vo): The Lizzie McGuire Movie. (Beat) Sure, okay. I mean, Lizzie McGuire was a big part of Disney's identity and made a star out of Hilary Duff, and, yeah, it seemed to be a big enough hit show that it got its own film, so why not take a look at it? As I'm sure you're no doubt surprised to discover, Lizzie McGuire was not a show I really watched. I think I have some general understanding what it was about, though. It's about a girl named Lizzie, she goes through her life in high school, dreaming about boys, and being clumsy because that's how writers who don't know how to write humor for a girl write, and she's followed around by a little cartoon version, I think, of her, nobody else seems to see her, and she just kind of mimics what she's saying, so...I guess that could be interesting. I guess I'm not really surprised at the film I got, as it seems very much geared towards girls that like to sort of have fantasies that girls like her have, going to Rome, wearing nice outfits, being a pop star, falling in love with cute boys, all that stuff. And, yeah, it does that, and, uh...not a whole bunch else. Exciting, I guess.
Doug (vo): Lizzie graduates junior high and goes on a big trip to Rome with her class. Her friend Gordo joins her along the way, but there's this very strict woman who seems to be in charge, played by Alex Borstein. She's just as over-the-top at the Italian stereotypes they seem to come across around every corner. But, wouldn't you know it? Lizzie just happens to look exactly like this pop star in Italy, and when someone the pop star used to date sees that, he tells her that he needs her help. She, of course, has to impersonate her and wear all her fabulous clothes and be in the lifestyle of a famous person, because...it's kind of a weird reason. They broke up, but he still cares about her, and she doesn't really sing her songs, she lip-syncs, and he doesn't want that to ruin her and get sued, so she has to kind of lip-sync at an awards show? It's super-odd and doesn't make a lot of sense, but as the story goes on, you kind of figure out it's not supposed to. Yeah, I won't give it away if you haven't seen it. She pretends that she's sick so she can constantly sneak out and be with the boy to learn how to lip-sync, to learn how to be fabulous, and, of course, maybe a little bit of a romance blooms.
Doug (vo): So, yeah, a film like this is really not gonna interest me. It's gonna interest girls at that same age who like the idea of traveling and singing and outfits and pop stars and cute boys. And if that's your thing, this is a...tolerable movie. Half the actors once again are over-the-top, and the main leads are supposed to be so likeable and generic that you're supposed to associate yourself as them, so they don't really leave that big an impact, but that's kind of why they're there. You're supposed to imagine yourself as those characters.
(Several scenes focusing on the animated Lizzie are shown)
Doug (vo): The cartoon, I don't really see the point of. It's not in there much, and when it is, it's not really adding anything. If it was something like Garfield where they can't hear the cat but he'd have really good commentary, that'd be one thing, or if it was something like Inside Out where the reactions were so big and so over-the-top and so funny, that would be something. But it's just kind of a Dr. Katz version of her screaming or saying something that she already said. I guess as a little kid, I would like that, but there's not really a lot of it anyway. So I don't really see the point outside of they do it in the show.
(Footage focusing on a scene where Lizzie tries on several dresses, and her little brother Matt, are shown)
Doug (vo): Every once in a while, there's a small giggle, like I really enjoy it when she's trying on these different dresses that kind of look Lady Gaga-ish, and I don't even know if Lady Gaga was around yet, so, eh, maybe it was ahead of its time. The little brother is so determined to constantly make her look bad that, sometimes, that gets a little bit of a laugh out of me, too. But outside of that, there's really not much else. There is kind of a nice surprise about one of the characters at the end that, I will admit, I didn't see coming, and I do enjoy it when those kind of things happen. But I don't know if that's really enough to recommend an entire movie for that.
Doug (vo): The film seems made just for fans of Lizzie McGuire, and I guess that makes sense. You can't really fault it for that, it's giving the audience exactly what it wants. I do wish there was more clever commentary with the inner thoughts of the cartoon, or maybe more about growing up and what it's like to travel and different cultures and such. But, honestly, I wasn't really expecting to get that, and I don't think anyone else is either. If you're not a Lizzie McGuire fan, this isn't going to sway you, but if you enjoy watching the show, I get a feeling you'll like this fine. There's pretty shots of Rome, a good lesson here or there. It's not bad, it's just forgettable and generic...unless you grew up with Lizzie McGuire, in which case, I'm sure it's giving you exactly what you like. If you like the show, check it out. If not...go watch Inside Out again.
(The film's final scene, showing the animated Lizzie spouting wings, using a wand to create fireworks, and winking at the camera before flying away, is shown)