Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen Movie Review

If you're a fan of Lindsay Lohan (and God knows why you wouldn't be), the burgeoning teenage sex symbol, then drop whatever you're doing and go see Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. She's in practically every second of the movie wearing an array of flimsy dresses, belly shirts, and tight pants.

However, if you're a fan of Lindsay Lohan, the actress, then stay right where you are. Lohan is a very talented actress, and if you want proof, go rent last year's remake of Freaky Friday, where she matched Jamie Lee Curtis beat for comedy beat. In Confessions, Lohan finally has a starring role. Too bad it's in a movie in desperate need of creativity, compelling conflicts and amusing characters...

...And confessions. Well, there is one: Lohan's character answers to Lola, but her real name is Mary. She is a 15-year-old aspiring actress, who for no apparent reason, moves with her mother and sisters to a New Jersey suburb from New York City. At first, Lola is crushed, but she soon finds a happy groove. She makes a new friend, Ella (Alison Pill), who loves the same rock band, falls for a dreamy boy (American Pie's Eli Marienthal), and lands the lead role in the school musical.

Our flighty heroine also makes herself quite an enemy. Her name is Carla Santini and is played (by actress Megan Fox) as if she's constantly stepping in and out of outhouses. Her face is stern and taut. She's rich and has access to the stars and drives a spotless sports car. She's spiteful and mean. She's everything Lola, who lives with her sisters and pottery-making single mom (Glenne Headley) isn't.

Just one small issue: I don't really know what Lola's mom is. Gail Parent's script (adapted from Dyan Sheldon's book) is like a game of hot potato, only in this case Parent drops subplots and characters from the movie on a whim. Just as we think we might get to know Lola's mom, the music stops... Now we're off to the high school musical practice... And, now Ella and Lola are off to see their favorite band... Oh, and Lola's dad is entering the picture...

The movie's structure is obviously set up for kids' supposedly short attention spans, but because of these truncated segments the movie feels cluttered, bulky, and put together almost at random. You never get the idea what you're supposed to watch, and the fact that Parent and director Sara Sugarman cram an endless number of goofy montages and fantasy sequences, shows they had no idea what they wanted either.

Look closely at the movie's jumpy plot, and a greater truth is revealed. Confessions tries to please everyone and winds up as a wish-washy failure. Nowhere does the movie show its failure to simultaneously entertain preteens and teens more than in the sequence when Ella and Lola meet their musical hero (Adam Garcia, probably wishing for the good old days of Coyote Ugly) on a jaunt to New York. They meet the guy who turns out to be a total drunk and a dope, but instead of being emotionally wrecked, they party with him.

I'm confused. Teenagers form deep connections with their music. The average 13-year-old girl would be crushed if she discovered Justin Timberlake fit the same description. I can't think of a teen who would enjoy watching Confessions, as it doesn't take the time and care to depict the highs and lows of their lives. Of course, this is a Disney movie, so no one can get emotionally scarred, which makes perfect sense in profiling the lives of teenagers. As for eight- or nine-year-olds, do they really need to face such disappointment after Ella and Lola, just minutes before, comically apply make-up in a cramped train bathroom?

Despite its laundry list of faults, it's a safe bet that Confessions will make a tidy profit and further cement Lohan's star status. She tries her best, but Parent forces the coolness down her throat with a bunch of sarcastic, urbane lines that make her sound like she has a team of sitcom writers at her disposal. Natalie Portman in her Beautiful Girls prime couldn't even have done anything with the role.

For now, I'd just like to forget about this movie and hope that Lohan's next star vehicle at least has some gas in the tank.

The DVD offers a handful of extras, including an abrasive crew commentary that I couldn't stomach for more than five minutes, a single deleted scene (which was clearly begging for deletion), a Lindsay music video, and the usual behind-the-scenes vignette (lots of dancing!).

Now is the time on Sprockets when we... dance?

Comments

Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG, 2004

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