"Some say juvenile," Lizzie McGuire's pesky brother, Matt (Jake Thomas), says in
the opening. "I say genius." Well, certainly not genius, but THE LIZZIE
MCGUIRE MOVIE is a little charmer whose delights easily overwhelm its
shortcomings. It has unimpressive cinematography that looks more like a video
than a motion picture, and the actors in it are clearly still learning their
craft. But, if you just sit back and go with the flow, its cute story and its
adorable lead, Hilary Duff as Lizzie, will eventually win you over. The legions
of fans of Lizzie's television series will undoubtedly love it as will any of
their parents that come along for the ride.
Lizzie, a gorgeous klutz with a hammy, animated alter ego, is about to graduate
from junior high. Her nemesis, Kate Sanders (Ashlie Brillault), unmasks her,
revealing that, under her graduation gown, she is -- shockingly -- an "outfit
repeater." In Kate's fashion world, this is a faux pas of monstrous
proportions. A girl just can't wear the same dress to multiple major events.
Lizzie further embarrasses herself with a big pratfall after she is called on at
the last minute to deliver the graduation address. "It's like watching one of
those little furry creatures getting killed on the Discovery Channel," Kate
Most of the movie happens in Rome where she and several of her classmates have
gone for a two-week educational trip. They are looked after by a bulldog of a
principal named Miss Ungermeyer (Alex Borstein). Cross her once, and you're on
the first plane back to the states. In a hilarious performance, Borstein has a
blast chewing up the scenery.
Like a dream come true, the blonde Lizzie finds that she looks just like a
brunette, Italian singing star named Isabella, played by, oh well, you get the
idea. Paolo (Yani Gellman) is the other half of the Paolo and Isabella singing
duo. For complicated reasons, Paolo needs Lizzie to impersonate Isabella at a
big music awards show. Along the way, he dates and woos Lizzie, culminating in
fireworks and the actual, but brief, holding of hands by about the third date.
This is a PG-movie that's tamer than some G-rated films. Of course, as per
usual, there is another boy, this one named Gordo (Adam Lamberg), who is
Lizzie's best buddy and who would love to be her boyfriend if she'd only let
Will Lizzie pull off the big scam pretending to be Isabella? Will her tenacious
principal eventually discover the truth about Lizzie's frequent absences? And
will Lizzie eventually realize that Gordo's the guy for her? What smart readers
I have. Give yourselves an "A," and give this film a try. You'll be charmed
THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE runs 1:30. It is rated PG for "mild thematic elements"
and would be acceptable for kids of all ages.
My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it ***. He is a fan of the TV series and was
pleased to find the movie like it. Overall, he thought the story was
predictable but completely enjoyable.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes