The Lizzie Mcguire Movie

on May 02, 2003 by Tim Cogshell
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Director Jim Fall's debut film, 1999's "Trick," was an intriguing little starter film that treaded some potentially edgy territory and managed not to fall over said edge. It was about a night in the life of a couple of gay guys and their sundry acquaintances and interactions as they figure out whether or not they're going to sleep with each other. "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" is nothing like that. Which, given the target demographic, is probably for the best. It's actually rather good as girly teen Disney movies adapted from low-budget cable television series go. It's just not the next film one might have expected from this director, and for that reason, it's oddly disappointing. Nevertheless, those familiar with the popular and titular Disney channel series will be satisfied. The filmmakers have picked up the show intact and plopped it down in Italy for the exotic locales and international box office points.

Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) graduates from junior high school and embarks on a class trip to Italy with series pals Gordo (Adam Lamberg), Kate (Ashlie Brillault) and Ethan (Clayton Snyder). On the street she is mistaken for a pop star named Isabella, who looks just like her, except for the dark hair. Isabella has split from her singing partner and former flame, Paolo (Yani Gellman), who convinces a smitten Lizzie to join his act. When Lizzie's wacky parents and little brother get wind of this, they make their way to the Italy to fill out the rest of the regular cast. In the meantime, Lizzie is transformed from a gawky teen to a beautiful celebrity, and Gordo struggles to understand his true feelings for her. It's a very special "Lizzie" in which lessons are learned and the moral is clear.

Lizzie is charming character--not nearly as serious as the kid on "The Gilmore Girls," and spunkier than the kid from "Sabrina"--but she's clearly a TV creation. One might call her a kind of "Punky Brewster" turned "Blossom," with a dash of post-modern "That Girl." With just a bit of "James at 15." Starring Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Yani Gellman and Alex Borstein. Directed by Jim Fall. Written by Susan Estelle Jansen, Ed Decter and John J. Strauss. Produced by Stan Rogow. A Buena Vista release. Comedy. Rated PG for mild thematic elements. Running time: 90 min

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