DVD REVIEW

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
I still don’t get the whole Lindsay Lohan phenomenon. Is it me? Am I the only one not getting it? I don’t know. But after finally sitting down and watching one of her more recent flicks, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, I’m still not convinced what the big deal is all about. Seems to me she's just an additional victim to the Hollywood Hype Machine: another pretty face in another crappy movie.

The Movie: star rating

Lola (Lohan) is a forlorn city girl who is bummed about having to move away from her dreams with her mother and sisters. She fears that her life will never be the same and her goals of stardom will never be fulfilled as the move has taken her too far from the bright lights of New York City and left her in the dull and dreary suburbs...of New Jersey. Already you can tell where the Drama Queen in the title comes from. If you don’t get it by now don’t worry, Lola’s mother (Glenne Headly) will remind you by stressing the words out loud in a cheesily delivered line.

Upon arriving in the small town Lola finds a friend in Ella, a frumpy nerd who has similar music tastes. Having numerous altercations with token mean girl Carla (Megan Fox), one is led to believe this will be the center of the story: Lola coming into her own in a small little school play (complete with Britney Spears like choreography and an obligatory soundtrack song) against all obstacles in front of her. Nope. After getting the lead role in the play, Lola gets sidetracked by her craving for attention and tries to finagle her way into her favorite band’s final concert and party, then she worries about the play. The whole “drama queen” concept is stretched as far as it can go.

Being a “drama queen” is the biggest bunch of crap I’ve ever heard. She lies about her father dying in order to seem cooler. She lies about practically everything. And in the midst of all that she daydreams of stardom and being with Stu (Adam Garcia), the lead singer of her favorite band. How can a character like this even be remotely liked? How can a bald-faced liar and manipulator of one’s friends actually be a protagonist in a story? Cue the casting. Now, Lohan does have a slight sparkle when she is on screen, I’ll give her that, but given the lunacy of everything involved...it just seems rather tripe. She paints New York to be this grand place with such whimsy like Sarah Jessica Parker in “Sex in the City”. The only problem is, when you make a “Sex in the City” type character in a Disney flick, it just seems rather odd. Making Lola out to be highly exaggerative and over theatrical does nothing in the fields of opening up the adolescent male minds into young girls’ psyches. It just paints them out in a negative connotation while shielding itself as being remotely cute and girly.

Early on, Lohan’s character is sad about having to be away from New York City, but doesn’t seem to mind being just a train ride away halfway through the flick. And about the whole New York City thing, God I hate it when they don’t actually shoot in New York. With random skyline inserts and a blatant 2 days work in Times Square, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan did New York City more justice than this movie.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is an adaptation of the Dyan Sheldon book of the same name. Now I haven't read the book, nor do I want to, but it seems as though the script for this flick could have gone through a few more drafts. Novels can afford to have over explanatory B-stories and a wide range of characters, but in the film world it's hard to try and counterbalance all the context of a book in a minuscule ninety to one hundred and twenty minute screen story. Here, the pacing and focus of the story aren’t laid out until somewhere towards the end of the second act. Normally those kinds of details are flat out told to us within the first act. Sometimes rifling the continuity of the plot in such a way works, but for a Disney teen flick it’s just plain weird and inappropriate.

Odds are Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen will not be nominated for any big time awards. If you’re going to see this flick, do not expect to see grade-A cinema, a lighthearted comedy, or an epic masterpiece. What you will get is another “chick flick” soaked with all the MTV trimmings, which is a shame. While I don't see the big deal of the Lindsay Lohan phenomenon, I do see how she has potential. If she wastes her potential doing psuedo Hilary Duff crap like this, her flame will blow out before her twenty first birthday. Lohan makes this flick watchable, but by no means makes it bearable.

The Disc: dvd

The desired specs on a disc are here, but not in abundance. There are deleted scenes, a Behind-the-Scenes featurette, a music video, a group commentary, and what reads on the back of the cover as “two versions of the film”. Sadly all are geared towards the flicks target audience. The extras are all dumbed down and sugar coated for the Disney DVD buying crowd.

The deleted scenes, or rather deleted scene, shows the only thing cut out of this flick was one little daydream Lohan’s character had. Thank God it was cut though, otherwise I would’ve had to turn it off at that point in the movie.

The Behind-the-Scenes featurette, entitled “Confessions from the Set”, is nothing more than a thirteen-minute collection of interview clips and random shots of the actors being directed with the camera on camera. Even the E! Channel has half-hour long behind-the-scenes shows. This is just poor work.

The music video is for the commercial tie-in pop song “That Girl” by Lindsay Lohan. The song is the worst kind of annoying, the kind of annoying that you loathe when you spot it’s strategic placement in the movie and then soon afterwards can’t get of your head which subsequently makes you want to open your wrists. The video is nothing more than a 3 minute commercial showcasing Lohan, which to some may be a good thing. Just watch at your own risk.

The last of the extras are weaker then everything else. The commentary was the most watered down commentary I’ve heard to date. The director literally spells words out so as the young folks who’d probably be more apt to buying the disc would be able to understand her Welch ways. Meanwhile, it is advertised on the back of the box that there are two versions of the movie. No, there is no unrated pedofile cut of Confessions here. No no. The second version...is the Full Screen version. Whoop dee freakin’ doo.

Over all, the movie is about what you’d expect. It’s cheesy, campy, and overly dramatic, and ironically all the extras on the disc itself are highly appropriate for that formula. I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse, but I sure don’t want to see it again.

Reviewed By: Bill Beyrer

Release Details
Length: 90 min
Rated: PG
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date:  2004-07-20
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Adam Garcia, Glenne Headly, Alison Pill, Carol Kane, Megan Fox
Directed by: Sara Sugarman
Produced by: Robert Shapiro, Jerry Leider
Written by: Gail Parent
Visit the Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen Official Website
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