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Hear Me Out

Skip Irish Wish and Watch Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in Liz & Dick Instead

Neither TV movie is winning any awards, but Lifetime's campy 2011 flick is way more fun.
  • Lindsay Lohan (Screenshot Liz & Dick)
    Lindsay Lohan (Screenshot Liz & Dick)

    In Hear Me Out, Primetimer staffers and contributors espouse their pet theories, hot takes, and even the occasional galaxy-brain idea.

    Although Lindsay Lohan is primarily known for her iconic roles in Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls (2004), she also has quite a few TV movies under her belt. After taking some time away from the spotlight, the former teen idol dipped her toes back into Hollywood in 2022 by starring in Netflix’s holiday rom-com Falling for Christmas. She also signed on to two more movies for the streamer, Irish Wish (which premiered March 15) and the upcoming Our Little Secret.

    Irish Wish stars Lohan as Maddie, a bridesmaid stuck watching her best friend marry the guy she’s in love with. But when she wishes for true love using an ancient stone in Ireland, she discovers that her real soulmate is actually someone else entirely. A Lindsay Lohan comeback is definitely overdue, but unfortunately, Irish Wish is no Life-Size. If you’re looking for a fun way to kill an afternoon, you’re better off skipping this disappointing rom-com and watching a true Lohan classic: Liz & Dick.

    The 2011 Lifetime flick centers on the real-life relationship between legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor (portrayed by Lohan) and Richard Burton (Grant Bowler). The actors met on the set of Cleopatra and, despite being married to other people, began a passionate love affair that sparked significant controversy. It’s the kind of unbelievable story that practically demands an equally absurd Lifetime adaptation. And boy, does Liz & Dick deliver.

    Now, to be clear, I am in no way trying to suggest that this is an actual high-quality film. It was brutally panned upon release — The A.V. Club called it a “career killer” for Lohan and The Hollywood Reporter deemed it “half train wreck, half SNL skit.” The writing is sloppy, the chemistry is lackluster, and the characters are beyond insufferable. But the movie’s ridiculousness is also precisely what makes it so much fun to watch in the first place.

    Liz & Dick is the textbook definition of “so bad, it’s good.” Although Lloyd Kramer’s film masquerades as a serious biographical drama, it’s really just 88 minutes of pure camp. It opens with a pretentious monologue from Richard professing how he knew he wanted Elizabeth from the moment he first saw her. “Even when you looked at me with utter disdain, I still thought you were just luscious,” he declares in a completely serious tone. It’s only the start of the movie’s incredible dialogue, which also includes gems like “I’m shagging him senseless!” and “Whatever you say, dumpy.” If you took a shot every time Richard seductively refers to Elizabeth as his “ocean,” (whatever that even means) you’d probably wind up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. It feels like the actors are reading their lines straight from a Wattpad fic, and it’s absolutely glorious.

    The best part about Liz & Dick is how melodramatic Lohan’s performance gets. It doesn’t exactly make the real Elizabeth Taylor look good, but it’s wildly entertaining to witness her break down sobbing at the slightest inconvenience, scream her lungs out, and repeatedly throw glass bottles (seriously, who kept letting her have those?) at walls. A particularly great moment is when her sons, whom she doesn’t even seem to know the names of, run up to play with her in the backyard while she’s busy moping about her breakup. In a totally normal response, she abruptly cries out, “I’M SO BORED!” as if she’s a child stuck inside on a rainy day.

    In another scene, she declares that she absolutely cannot live without Richard, and then immediately runs off to her room to down an entire bottle of pills. This absolutely should be upsetting to watch, but Lohan’s demeanor during the scene is so casual that it somehow comes off more like the widely memed “I can’t get the cap off!” moment from Freeform’s Cyberbully. It’s impossible to take anything seriously when Lohan is wearing a horrible wig and chain smoking, looking like she’s about to break character and bust out laughing any second.

    Elizabeth and Richard consistently come off as the most clueless, inconsiderate people on the planet. They treat their spouses and children like mere inconveniences getting in the way of what they’re sure is an epic love story. At one point, Elizabeth literally gets annoyed at Richard’s wife for daring to call him and interrupt them having sex. She’s shocked and offended when other couples don’t want to publicly dine out with them and be associated with the scandal, scoffing, “Apparently nobody in London has ever had an affair!” It's also not clear why they’re blowing up their lives to be together in the first place. When they’re not busy making out in their trailers on set, they don’t actually seem to like each other very much. But, in the words of Logan Roy, these are not serious people.

    Ultimately, neither Irish Wish nor Liz & Dick are exactly cinematic masterpieces. But if you want pure fun, go with the Elizabeth Taylor option — it’s worth it just for Lohan’s wildly inconsistent accent alone.

    Liz & Dick is streaming on Prime Video.

    Kelly Martinez is a TV Reporter based in Los Angeles. Her previous work can be found at BuzzFeed and People Magazine, among other outlets. She enjoys reading, spending time with her cat, and explaining the plot of Riverdale to people.

    TOPICS: Liz & Dick, Lifetime, Elizabeth Taylor, Lindsay Lohan, Richard Burton