Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen Review
By Shawn McKenzie 02/23/2004
I think most critics went into Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen thinking that they were going to see Freaky Friday II, simply because Disney was releasing it and starred Freaky Friday’s Lindsay Lohan. I was not one of them, because I did a little research beforehand, and the thing that stood out to me was that this movie was originally supposed to star Hilary Duff, which explains why I didn’t like it as much as I could have.
Mary Elizabeth Cep (Lohan), who prefers to be called Lola, is a 15-year-old who overreacts to everything. Two things in her life are just so tragic lately. First, her single mom, Karen (Glenne Headly), moves her and her younger twin sisters, Paige (Maggie Oskam) and Paula (Rachael Oskam), from Manhattan to the suburbs of Dellwood, New Jersey (which she dubs “Deadwood.”) Second, her favorite rock band, Sidarthur, is breaking up. She thinks that the lead singer of the band, Stu Wolff (Adam Garcia), is the greatest poet since Shakespeare. Just when things look dire, she meets a new friend in fellow Sidarthur fan Ella Gerard (Alison Pill) on her first day at school. She also meets a cute guy named Sam (Eli Marienthal), though he’s not as cute as Stu. Unfortunately, she also meets a rich, snobby girl named Carla Santini (Megan Fox), whose father is Stu’s lawyer. Carla immediately doesn’t like Lola simply because she is new and from New York. Lola wants to be an actress, and when the opportunity to try out for the lead in the school play comes up, it is just the cherry on top that she beats Carla for the part. The part is as Eliza in an updated version of Pygmalion, renamed Eliza Rocks! The school’s drama teacher, Miss Baggoli (Carol Kane), chooses Lola after she sings her favorite Sidarthur song for her audition. Carla still has her father’s connection to Stu over Lola though, which helps when she has tickets to Sidarthur’s last performance and an invitation to a post-concert party in Soho. Not wanting to be one-uped, Lola lies that she and Ella will also be going. She could use her father, Calum (Tom McCamus), a children’s author, for help, but decides to try to score tickets for the concert and party on her own. Besides, she already told Ella that he was a rock star who died tragically when she was younger. They also have to deal with Ella’s uptight parents (Sheila McCarthy and Richard Fitzpatrick), who disapprove of Lola’s mother, whom they think is a hippie. With the upcoming play and the concert coming up, how is one girl expected to deal with so much drama?
The movie had a lot of comic potential that just fell flat in an attempt to appeal to a PG rated audience. Lohan definitely mined the drama queen material, and she was effective at it, but almost everything around her fell flat in its delivery. Marienthal as her love interest ends up just being her stooge, with romance showing up only in the end. Fox is okay as Carla, but the character is so clichéd as the rich stuck-up girl that you’ve seen a million times. Kane has probably the most memorable part as the incredibly weird drama teacher.
Even though I’m giving it the same rating as The Lizzie McGuire Movie, I liked Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen slightly better because it had Lohan instead of Duff. There were moments that were funny, but it didn’t take those golden moments far enough. At least it felt like a theatrical movie and not a TV movie (as Lizzie did), though it is a movie that is only likely to appeal to pre-teen girls.
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