an open letter to lindsay lohan on the occasion of her official casting in the forthcoming lifetime movie “liz and dick”

dear lindsay lohan,

you are officially playing elizabeth taylor in the lifetime movie liz & dick. presumably wearing this enormous sweatshirt with her image on it was your audition…

how has it come to this?

i mean, i know, i know. you’ve been talking about it for MONTHS. it is the cornerstone of your comeback. i should’ve been prepared for the inevitable announcement, but alas. i wasn’t. i held out hope and that was my own stupid fault.

still… I OBJECT!

mind you, i love made-for-tv biopics. would that i were teaching the art of the celebrity biopic in some liberal liberal arts college, the 2005 WE television event camilla & charles: whatever love means– incidentally, one of my top ten films EVER- would totally anchor the curriculum, i kid you not.

so when i object to what’s happening here, it’s not because i’m a snob or because i object to made-for-tv movies in general. no, no. it’s because i object to everything about this particular one.

liz & dick.

omg, lindsay lohan, why is it called that? why have you not gotten them to change it? why’ve you not said, “dear lifetime, i’ma make my comeback! i’ma star in your movie! i’ma make you give it a better name!”

dude, they deserve better.

what’s wrong with elizabeth & richard? that’s perfectly respectable. i would love to party with elizabeth and richard. i bet they observe the cocktail hour and dress for dinner and drink into the wee hours. elizabeth and richard sound like totally kicking cool cats. in contrast, liz and dick sound like people who make porn.

ok, so you’re not about respectability, lindsay lohan, i get that. but if it absolutely has to be liz & dick, where on earth is the colon? movies of this kind have to have a colon. that’s pretty much the only criteria. even if all that follows that it is the phrase “the lifetime movie,” you’ve gotta have the colon.

and while i realize not everything can be as descriptive as camilla & charles: whatever love means, at least “the lifetime movie” gives us the context that this is not only a lifetime movie but THE lifetime movie. it’s definitivity is established. liz & dick certainly doesn’t scream “definitive,” which is, i suppose, a small mercy.

so yeah, i’ve got problems with the word choice and punctuation surrounding your project. feel free to laugh that off. but here’s why we’re fighting, lindsay lohan: the problem with liz taylor, the problem we must overcome after her death, the problem i fear you’re going to do nothing to help, is that it’s always been assumed she delivered more memorable performances in life than on film. that she was, in fact, never acting but simply being herself.

throughout her life, liz taylor was appreciated for many things: her breasts, her violet eyes, her romances, and her ability to hawk overpriced perfume on tv. but seldom for her acting. it’s almost always overlooked.

the most devastating aspect of her devastating performance in the devastating who’s afraid of virginia woolf? is that it plays as a burton family home movie. she doesn’t get much credit for this because it’s assumed she’s not acting. she couldn’t possibly be that good.

she was.

dear lindsay lohan, make a movie about that. please. that’s the story people need to hear.



(richardson/avedon,  richardson, upi,  upi,  unknown,  stern, arnold) 

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