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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.73%
Worth A Look: 18.64%
Average: 10.17%
Pretty Bad25.42%
Total Crap: 22.03%

2 reviews, 47 user ratings

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Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
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by Alexandre Paquin

"An evening of terror at the movies."
1 stars

You can imagine my embarrassment when I went to the ticket counter and said, in as low a voice as possible, that I wanted to see a film called "confessionsofateenagedramaqueen." I had forgotten my sunglasses, an absolute necessity in Montreal in February, at home, but thankfully nobody was paying attention to me and the attendant got the name of the film at once.

Once seated inside the theatre, I was hoping for the lights to dim as quickly as possible, lest I be recognized by someone I knew, particularly my friend the projectionist. Furthermore, being no teenager, not even a woman, the only other reasons with a modicum of credibility I could have used were that I fancied the film's star, Lindsay Lohan, or that I had just escaped from the local lunatic asylum and wanted to spend an evening watching good entertainment -- excuses that, needless to say, are more embarrassing than the truth. But any other reason would have been as credible as the "it's for a friend" line in a sex shop. Everybody, after all, is a film critic these days.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen just looked that bad a film from the outset. Afterwards, as I scurried out of the movieplex, I realized that the movie had fulfilled my expectations, and that I was ten dollars the poorer for the vindication of my instincts.

The plot is typical teenage fare. When the family of an ambitious teenager named Mary (Lohan) moves from New York, New York, to the hinterland of Dellwood, New Jersey at the beginning of the film, our young heroine loses all hope of making it on Broadway and has no choice but to concentrate on being a vacuous adolescent obsessed with the trivialities of suburbia. When a school production of Pygmalion is announced, Mary's sole ambition is to obtain the part of Eliza Doolittle. She does not seem to have qualms when the setting of the play is changed from Edwardian England to twenty-first century New York City even though she outspokenly opposed the "updating" of classics one scene before. Heck, even My Fair Lady would be too old hat for any typical teenage audience. And of course "updating" is fine -- otherwise what moral justification would the Hollywood studios have for churning out remakes of seventies movies?

As you can imagine, the film's characterizations are noteworthy. Mary is a girl who can quote Shakespeare, who can drop references to literary classics such as Wuthering Heights at any convenient moment, and who seems who has a strong knowledge of George Bernard Shaw, but who is immature enough to stage a mock funeral when her favourite band, "Sidarthur," breaks up, to let herself be emotionally affected by her rival Carla Santini (Megan Fox), to pretend that her father is dead because it's more romantic, and to insist on being called Lola even though it's an ideal name for a prostitute. In other words, your average teenage girl that only seems to dwell in fictitious high schools found only in movies.

In many ways, the film is reminiscent of all the ambitious-chorus-girl musicals from the thirties that Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen's targeted audience will probably never have encountered before. Here, the classic Broadway numbers are replaced with the usual pseudo-significant sugar-pop tunes that teenagers, according to market research, love so much. They could be tolerable, but the rest of the film, as it were, seems to be engaged in a mediocrity contest with its soundtrack.

To say that the film's canvas is painted with very large brush strokes is a major understatement; here is a movie in which the villain has black hair and absolutely no redeeming features except her cool beauty, in which the drama professor is a neurotic schoolmarm who hasn't changed eyeglasses since the Eisenhower presidency, in which every rock band is followed with blind adulation, and in which the protagonist's best friend is an ineffectual girl with a severe lack of self-confidence.

Any such film should attempt to set itself up as camp in the tradition of Down with Love, which Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen indeed does. There are some winks to such fifties and sixties icons as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn (in Breakfast at Tiffany's), and a number of scenes played for kitsch -- but the final result fails even more miserably than Down with Love for essentially the same reason: the two films end up taking themselves seriously. The Zellweger vehicle started off well but its sparkle disappeared halfway through; Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen cannot even claim as much. In fact, as soon as the bottle is opened, one realizes that there is no sparkle and that the wine is corked anyway.

In the case of the latter film, the foul odour comes from the sentimentality in which all similar teenage films are relentlessly plunged. In fact, once sentimentality enters a film played for parody, the effect is destroyed. The first Legally Blonde film, perhaps even the second, was successful to an extent because it never forgot to remind itself that its protagonist was a caricature. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, which probably targets people who would have found the legal issues at stake in the Witherspoon films too complex, treats its characters as parodies but its plot as a very serious romantic comedy. Needless to say, nobody could get away with that, not even as avid a promoter of the genre as Disney.

Lindsay Lohan has a certain amount of talent, but it remains to be seen whether it will be wasted on other films of this type. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen has no redeeming feature. It is predictable, manipulative, morally shaky, and not even funny. Even the musical numbers are flat, with sound editing so poor that the transition between the dialogue and the pre-recorded songs is obvious to a dangerous extreme. It's so bad, in fact, that one even questions whether Lohan, also a singer, was actually allowed to use her own voice for the songs.

As the ending credits were (finally) rolling across the screen, I heard one of the teenage girls in the row behind me comment that "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" was "not a good movie." Don't lose all faith in humanity yet.

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originally posted: 02/22/04 07:09:58
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User Comments

11/04/09 a random girl this movie should not have an 'awesome' rating 2 stars
8/19/09 oatsy im doin it for my english assignent 5 stars
1/29/09 mahiii ca movies osm espcly the sond dat grl 5 stars
11/30/08 kirsten I like it a lot who could you say that 4 stars
7/06/08 art ONLY FOR LINDSAY LOHAN FAN"S 2 stars
3/21/08 Ashley I really like the movie, it is so much fun for teenagers 4 stars
10/22/07 Beau enjoyable movie, it was interesting to see the characters evolve! lindsay's a fine actress 4 stars
4/15/06 Joe Schmoe That was a really good movie 3 stars
4/02/06 JRE stupid chick flick with horrible plot and sucky acting 1 stars
8/28/05 Carolyn Rathburn can a movie be sillier and still make a point, well it did 4 stars
8/14/05 Charlene Javier A snoozer! 1 stars
6/27/05 dan lohan is hot but movie was decent 4 stars
3/05/05 CarolAnn Edwards I love the movie 5 stars
2/04/05 ashly i didn't like how there was cartoons 4 stars
9/02/04 Roy Again Notice everyone who liked it = girl. Never even finished it. 1 stars
8/08/04 Sarah Highhouse I liked it alot.. 5 stars
8/03/04 becky good 5 stars
7/31/04 crystal ross it was so cool! 5 stars
7/22/04 hannah it was really stupid but i liked the songs 2 stars
7/21/04 Valerie Didn't have much of a plot, and the plot it did have was stupid. I was dissapointed. 2 stars
7/17/04 Joe An awful movie that reeks of shallowness and stupidity, Ah The Accident Of Birth 1 stars
6/19/04 gladys adie awsome! 5 stars
6/17/04 jane it was a great film 4 stars
5/25/04 wendy really good movie 5 stars
5/18/04 roxygurl The movie so rocks!!!!!!!!! its so nice i cant believe you guys! 5 stars
5/18/04 MaHotmail Gandhi A MUST for Lindsay Lohan fans; for others, indication she MUST do better next time. 3 stars
5/07/04 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan fan Lyndsay Lohan could be sexy taking a dump. Too bad she did this tom foolery instead. 2 stars
5/06/04 LeAnn Cantrell (not to fret; relling is overrated) Yep, if this is any indication, Lindsay Lohan should stick with remakes. SILLY story. 3 stars
4/17/04 Candace Percival I hope PARENT TRAP and FREAKY FRIDAY were better signs of what Lohan is capable of. 2 stars
4/14/04 May Q. Horney OK comedy/drama if you don't mind drama being quite light and comedy quite stupid. 3 stars
4/11/04 Ana The movie was good but I can't say thst it was great, but the book is better! 4 stars
3/28/04 me myself & i it was good i like Linsey Lohan too so not bad 4 stars
3/26/04 Amy A cute movie, but Lindsay could snag better roles 3 stars
3/23/04 boobilina it was awsume a total sexy chic flick i luv lindsey and who ever didn't like it sucks man!! 5 stars
3/19/04 Nicole oh man this movie was so dumb.Lindsey is such a bad actress now you want a good 1 stars
3/18/04 rachel burke stay home 1 stars
3/18/04 MADDY I really did not understand the beggining. And what ever happened to those twin sissters? 3 stars
3/11/04 gabi it was a very good movie 4 stars
3/09/04 Daniely its so cool 5 stars
3/06/04 l Awsome 5 stars
3/03/04 Bobbie Jane this is a really bad movie 1 stars
3/02/04 sara frenginhochks the movie was terrible but Eli Marienthal was really hot!!! 2 stars
2/25/04 Becky I thought this movie was great the boys were really cute and Linsay Lohan did a great job. 5 stars
2/25/04 Punam It was a good movie, well it was better than what I expected it would be like. 4 stars
2/24/04 Mary good 5 stars
2/21/04 Ray This is very shitie 2 stars
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  20-Feb-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 20-Jul-2004



Directed by
  Sara Sugarman

Written by
  Gail Parent

  Lindsay Lohan
  Adam Garcia
  Glenne Headly
  Carol Kane
  Alison Pill
  Megan Fox

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