Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: PG

Starring:
Lindsay Lohan as Mary / Lola
Adam Garcia as Stu Wolff
Glenne Headly as Karen
Alison Pill as Ella
Eli Marienthal as Sam
Carol Kane as Miss Baggoli
Megan Fox as Carla Santini
Sheila McCarthy as Mrs. Gerard
Tom McCamus as Calum
Richard Fitzpatrick as Mr. Gerard
Ashley Leggat as Marcia
Barbara Mamabolo as Robin
Adam MacDonald as Steve
Gerry Quigley as Slimy Guy
Kyle Kassardjian as Andy

Special Features:
Commentary by director Sara Sugarman, writer Gail Parent, and producers Robert Shapiro & Jerry Leider

Deleted scene

Music video by Lindsay Lohan

On the set featurette

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) Enhanced for Widescreen Televisions
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
THX Certified
French Subtitles
French Language
Running Time: 90 minutes

Synopsis:
Mary (who insists that everyone call her Lola) is a flamboyant teenager who has grown up in New York City. With dreams of acting stardom and fantasies about her favorite singer / poet Stu Wolff, Lola is prone to telling fantastic tall tales in order to make her life appear more interesting. Her tendency to emotionally blow everything out of proportion has earned her the nickname "drama queen" by her mother.

Imagine Lola's horror when she's forced to move to Dellwood, New Jersey. Pulled away from her cultural center of the universe, Lola does her best to stand out and make an impact at her new school (though she's viewed as an oddball). She tries out for the school play, a modern retelling of Pygmalion. She also finds a kindred spirit in Ella, a fellow fan of Stu Wolff. Lola also makes enemies with the local popular girl, Carla Santini.

Unfortunately, Lola's tendency to tell tall tales lands her in trouble when she brags that she and Ella are going to a "farewell tour" party for Stu Wolff. Lola has to find a way in or face humiliation by Carla Santini, who will be in attendance. It's then up to the Drama Queen to try and make her fantasies a reality. But what will happen when she must eventually face the truth?

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language.

The Movie:
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is aimed straight at a teenage girl audience, but I actually ended up liking it quite a bit. It was funny, imaginative, and entertaining.

A large part of what makes this work is Lindsay Lohan as the quirky Lola. Lohan is a triple threat in this movie as she can sing, act, and be funny. It's easy to see why she's Disney's new darling. Lohan is a lot of fun as Lola. She is so flamboyant and over the top that you can't help liking her character. Lola's flair for drama leads to some pretty funny scenes where she goes on a Gandhi-like hunger strike, mourns the break up of her favorite band, and retells the story of the rise and fall of her parents' relationship. Alison Pill is also very good as Ella, Lola's best friend. As wild and quirky as Lola is, Ella is equally quiet, shy, and reserved. These two opposites make a great team for their bizarre exploits.

The rest of the supporting cast is pretty good as well. Carol Kane plays Miss Baggoli, the weird drama teacher. You can't help but think that she's what Lola will turn into in the future. Megan Fox plays the evil Carla Santini and looks like Jennifer Connelly's younger sister. Adam Garcia is also pretty funny as Stu Wolff, the drunk rock superstar that Lola adores.

The movie also reinforces some positive messages amid the laughs. Lola sets the drunken rocker Stu onto the path of sobriety in the film. Lola is also lovingly watched over by her father and mother. They give her just enough loose leash to feel reasonably unrestrained by them, but she's still well supervised. Ella is also shown to be encouraged to talk to her parents despite feeling otherwise. Overall, there are some good messages for kids.

On the down side, it was a little disturbing to see Disney sex up Lohan in this movie. She looks a lot older than she really is. She is shown in the movie dressed up as Marylin Monroe and she fills out the costume a little too well for a 15 year old. She's also shown in a really short mini-skirt that looks more appropriate for a hooker in New York than a 15-year-old let loose on the town. Maybe I'm being a stick in the mud, but I image other parents will notice this too. Meanwhile, creepy old men ogling Lohan should keep in mind she's 15 in the movie.

These 15-year-old girls are also shown going to a rock star's party in New York. While nothing bad is shown in the movie and Lola's father is there watching them, I can't help but think that a party like that isn't an appropriate place for a young teen. The girls are shown having pillow fights on the rock star's bed, but in reality you know there's a lot more unmentionable stuff happening in such a location. They're shown mingling at the party, but in reality there would be a lot of drinking and probably drugs. Yes, this is a Disney sanitized version, but I can't help but wonder if teen viewers will be given a mistaken impression that all such parties are wholesome places for them.

Overall, though, with a funny story, good characters, and some decent music, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is a fun movie for both teens and adults.

The Extras:
Besides including both fullscreen and widescreen formats, this DVD includes a few extra features:

Commentary by director Sara Sugarman, writer Gail Parent, and producers Robert Shapiro & Jerry Leider This is a lively commentary with everyone sitting in the same room joking around together. They talk about the actors and actresses, challenges filming, etc. They also poke fun at each other and occasionally get wildly off topic, but it still works. It would have been fun to have Lindsey Lohan and Alison Pill in the commentary, but these folks get along well without them.

Deleted scene In this scene, Lola is shown trying out for the part of Eliza in the school play. As she gets up on stage to sing, she fantasizes about performing "My Fair Lady" in front of a large audience with Stu. For some inexplicable reason, they are shown bouncing up and down in the air as if on trampolines while singing. It's extremely brief, but probably better left on the cutting room floor. It didn't really work.

Music video by Lindsay Lohan In this video Lindsey Lohan sings "That Girl", the main song from the film. Rather than simply show clips from the movie, they play it as if Lohan is coming in for a rehearsal dressed as a glamour girl, a rapper, and a normal girl. It's well set up and it's a good match with the film while still being somewhat separate.

On the set featurette Director Sara Sugarman shot a little bit of film behind the scenes while shooting Drama Queen and this is it. You discover that she's quite a quirky, eccentric Brit with crazy hair and a bizarre wardrobe. You see shots of Lohan and Pill clowning around, candid shots of the crew, and more. It's fun, but brief.

The Bottom Line:
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is a fun movie for kids and adults. It's worth checking out.

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