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Brickbats Fly at 'Liz & Dick'


Grant Bowler and Lindsay Lohan as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 2012 Lifetime movie "Liz and Dick."

In another time, under different circumstances, if Elizabeth Taylor had lived longer, she might have taken Lindsay Lohan under wing.  Taylor had great compassion for gifted sad sorts who were withering in the glare of media scrutiny. Remember how her maternal side came to the fore with best friends Montgomery Clift and Michael Jackson?  Too bad none of that humanity is even hinted at in Lohan's "Liz & Dick" Lifetime movie, premiering Sunday (11/25).

This flyweight Larry Thompson telepic was to the real Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton what cubic zirconia is to the Krupp Diamond.  I highly recommend watching the encore presentation tonight -- at least for a few minutes -- so as to be ready to take part in the discussions that are soon to ensue about just how bad it is and in what ways. Or, you can catch up on journalist Nina L. Diamond's hilarious live takedown, via her Twitter feed.

Already, "Liz & Dick" was compared to an overly-long "Saturday Night Live" sketch, and it has been suggested that a drinking game could be made involving taking a sip each time someone arrives with bad news.  Another possibility would be a "spot the CGI background" drinking game, as "Liz & Dick" rushes higgledy-piggledy from one international locale to the next, giving us moments from the Taylor-Burton sex, scandal and spending highlight reel.

It would have been nice to see Lohan reclaim her reputation as a gifted actress with this movie, but she just never manages to make us forget we're watching Lindsay Lohan, or rise above the uninspired script. Maybe that highly-publicized car crash she had during production last June distracted her and kept her from bringing her A game.  Aussie Grant Bowler ("Ugly Betty," "True Blood") does a better job as the hard-drinking, charming, tragedy-tinged Burton, despite some strangeness with his hair.

Thompson complained on a media conference call last week about how nerve-wracking it was to produce a Lindsay Lohan film and the high cost of insuring it.  Come on.  As if he didn't know what he was getting into!  It's all about the publicity, of course, and La Lohan certainly is getting him his money's worth.

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