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Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen  (2004)

 

Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Adam Garcia, Allison Pill, Megan Fox

Director: Sara Sugarman

Rating: PG

Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Release Date: July 20, 2004
Review posted: July 18, 2004

Spoilers: None

 

Reviewed by Rachel Sexton

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Wannabe actress Mary, who calls herself Lola (Lohan), hates the move from New York City to suburban New Jersey. However, she soon makes a new best friend (Pill) as they bond over their favorite band SidArthur, fronted by Lola’s fave, Stu Wolff (Garcia). Lola must deal with the requisite mean girl over the lead in the school’s rock musical version of Pygmalion, and getting to a SidArthur concert and private party.

 

CRITIQUE

 

Though at moments offering mindless fun, Confessions is mostly a mediocre entry into the recent “tween” genre. The actors fare well but the story and direction are not completely redeemed by this. Save this one for the 10 to 12-year-olds.

 

The hook and, supposedly, appeal of Lola is her dramatic flair, is evidenced by the costuming and makeup of the character. This trait manifests itself in less-than-engaging ways, including Lola lying about her father and moments of obtuseness that are meant to be humorous but are not. It’s not that you don’t root for Lola but your emotions aren’t really involved. There are a couple of moments that will uncomfortably sting of realism concerning high school social relations, Lola’s evil rival and fight with her best friend, but there are also other moments that aim for a slightly bizarre tone, and this is just incongruous.

 

The musical scenes are entertaining, however, with some good choreography. The character of Stu comes near to being a sly parody of self-indulgent rock gods but never quite gets there. The subplot involving him develops in a way superior to the rest of the film, though toward the end he becomes a sort of deus ex machina.

 

A lot of the disappointment of this film lies in its direction, as Sara Sugarman not only tries and fails to mix tones described above, but there is no rhythm to the pacing or editing, and the few stylistic touches she attempts to add, an unusual camera angle or use of slow-motion, feel ill-placed.

 

The actors are by far the best feature of this film. Lindsay Lohan has developed solid skills and it may surprise how well she sings and dances. Allison Pill is quite good and gets the advantage of some dialogue that stresses reason over Lola’s flamboyance. Of the rest, I love Adam Garcia because not only is the hunk perfectly cast, he provides some of the biggest laughs of the film. I only wish he could have showed off his considerable dance skills, as seen in Bootmen.

 

THE VIDEO

 

A one-disc package features the original aspect ratio in widescreen (enhanced for 16x9 television sets) as well as a full screen version. My advice is to go with widescreen, as it preserves the cinematography and color better. and the commentary track is only available on it. The transfer looks good and there are no major flaws with the picture presentation.

 

THE AUDIO

 

This disc is presented in the ubiquitous Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, and is THX-certified with and Optimizer. A French language track and French subtitles are available. This format serves the film fine, especially the musical scenes.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

Deleted Scene-- Yes, only one deleted scene is included, titled “Eliza’s Fantasy.” It is actually an extended scene, as Lola fantasizes about starring with Stu in the school production as she’s about to audition. There’s no commentary to tell why it was cut, but I think it was a good choice.

 

Music Video—Lindsay Lohan sings “That Girl” from the school production in the film in typical teen video format. You hear more of the song here than in the film and there are plenty of film clips. Not impressive.

 

Featurette—Titled “Confessions From the Set,” this relatively short behind-the-scenes featurette is basically filler. The director and four major cast members discuss the film and don’t really add anything to the film-watching experience.

 

Commentary—This track, only available over the widescreen presentation of the film, features director Sara Sugarman, scriptwriter Gail Parent, and producers Robert Shapiro and Jerry Leider. The usual comments here again add nothing significant to the viewing and the feel of it is actually kind of patronizing. To give you an example of the level here, at one point they actually look up “brilliant” in the dictionary.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

The film is not helped much by similarly unimpressive extras. One wonders where the film trailer is and I feel this package might have been helped by also adding something like a choreography spotlight. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is strictly for the tweens. Don’t bother if you’re not an adolescent girl.

 

VERDICT: RENT IT

 

Home | Back to Top

 

:: The Disc

 

:: Disc Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

5

THE VIDEO

8

THE AUDIO

8

THE EXTRAS

5

OVERALL

5

 

:: Merchandise

 

SOUNDTRACK

Buy the CD!