When a film contains the line “you just have to believe in
yourself,” it usually will elicit one of two reactions: The
viewer either feels inspired, resolved to follow his dreams and
experiences a reaffirmation of life or he wants to vomit. Once in a
while, a film comes around that doesn’t trigger either of
these extreme reactions to such a moral—“True
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” is such a movie. When
the protagonist utters these words at the end of the film, the only
possible reaction is befuddlement.

Mira Levitan
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, post 18th birthday. (Courtesy of Disney)

It’s nearly impossible to figure out how “believing
in yourself” figures into any of the many stupid occurrences
and vapid concerns in the life of teenager Lola (Lindsay Lohan,
“Freaky Friday”), unless it’s trying to teach
girls that if you believe in yourself you, like Lola, can meet an
ultra-famous rock star and hang out at his ultra-cool pad at an
ultra-exclusive party. Also, in the process, you can undermine the
popular girl in school and get a boyfriend. Do filmmakers really
think that the most complex thoughts of a teenage girl consist of
her fantasies of a rock star?

Lola, the titular “Drama Queen,” is devastated
because her mother has forced her to move from hip, cultured New
York City to New Jersey — the bane of all existence. Yet,
instead of exploring Lola’s problems of readjusting, feelings
of alienation, and distress over her parents’ divorce, the
film focuses on an obsession with a rock band and a petty rivalry
between her and the popular, snobby rich girl. The rivalry played
out through auditions for the school play — a musical
“update” of George Bernard Shaw’s
“Pygmalian” called “Eliza Rocks!” complete
with midriff-baring costumes and hip-hop dancing — obtaining
tickets to the Sid Arthur concert and after-party, and a Dance
Dance Revolution show-down. It seems as if the director (Sara
Sugarman) throws in anything young girls would find
“cool” to sustain their attention and appeal to them.
The film is just saturated with staples of tacky pop culture
— from the annoying girl-rock-group music accompanying every
scene to the glitter-infused outfits and Louis Vuitton handbags
clogging every frame.

So, after all the idiotic drivel, slutty outfits and singing of
soon-to-be pop hits, when Lohan — in a voice-over, no less
— reveals that the movie’s really about following your
dreams and believing in yourself, it comes as quite a shock. A
shock too great, which prevents it from being inspirational. Or too
confusing to cause even the most cynical audience member to throw
up.

Rating: 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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