Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen review by Mike LongDon't ask me why, but I really enjoyed the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap and I was especially impressed with the young actress named Lindsay Lohan who played twins in the film. Based on her performance, I assumed that she'd become a star, but other than a few Disney TV movies, she didn't do anything. And then suddenly wham!, she's the new "It" girl with the hits Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, the latter of which was an especially notable hit. Maybe Lindsday wants to make sure that she stays busy, because why else would she have made Mean Girls and the incredibly similar, yet less successful Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, which is now coming to DVD.
Lohan stars in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen as Mary, who prefers to go by the name Lola, a teenage girl who feels that her world is going to end when her mother decides to move the family from Manhattan to a small town in New Jersey. Lola had dreamed of being a Broadway star, but she now feels that this dream will never come true. On her first day at her new school, Lola meets Ella (Alison Pill), and they immediately bond as they both love the band Sidarthur -- Lola worships this band and longs to meet the band's leader Stu Wolf (Adam Garcia). However, befriending Ella, who is viewed as an unpopular girl in school, places Lola squarely in the cross-hairs of the popular girls, who are led by Carla (Megan Fox). As the school year progresses, two very important obstacles face Lindsay. First, she wants to get the lead in the school's production of "Pygmalion", but faces competition from Carla. Secondly, when Lola and Ella learn that Sidarthur will be performing in Manhattan, they become determined to see the concert. Lola feels that completing these two tasks will help her to overcome the depression caused by the move.
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is based on a novel by Dyan Sheldon, which I haven't read, but I can only imagine that the book has more depth, because this is an incredibly shallow movie. Going in, I didn't really know what Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was about, but as the film progressed, I expected several subplots to unfold. But, the bulk of the movie centers on Lola and Ella trying to get to the concert. This sub-plot is somewhat interesting, but not enough to carry over half the film. One can't help but feel that we are getting the abridged version of the story, as Lola's relationship with her parents is never really explored, and Lola has a crush on a boy named Sam (Eli Marienthal), but he only pops up in the movie from time to time. And, as Lola truly is a drama queen, her character isn't necessarily endearing, so it's hard to relate to her story at times.
And then, you've got the similarities to Mean Girls, which I haven't seen yet, but my wife has and she said that the basic premises of the films were very similar. And she then added, "I would have made Mean Girls." Given the film's drawbacks, Lohan is still good in it, as she is in almost every scene. She is good at relaying Lola's manic desires, and she gets to show off her singing and dancing talents. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is an innocuous film that has a few good moments, but ultimately feels like a half-hearted attempt to adapt a novel. And it joins the long list that I keep of movies where a high-school play is more elaborate than most Broadway productions.
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen whines its way onto DVD courtesy of Disney DVD. The DVD contains both the full-frame and widescreen versions of the film. For the purposes of this review, only the widescreen version was viewed. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear for the most part, although there is some slightly noticeable grain at times. The colors in the transfer are very good, as director Sara Sugarman has filled the film with pastels and bright hues. There is some noticeable edge-enhancement at times, but it's not intrusive. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue with no hissing. The stereo effects are very well done, but the surround and subwoofer effects are used only selectively -- although they are impressive when they arrive. Overall, a solid, but not spectacular transfer.
The DVD contains a few extras. An audio commentary is available on the widescreen version only, which features director Sara Sugarman, writer Gail Parent, and producers Robert Shapiro and Jerry Leider. This is an odd commentary, as it constantly shifts from being immensely conversational and hard to follow, to being overly simplified, as if the listener knew nothing at all about movies. In between these quirks, the group does manage to talk about the production and adds many comments about the actresses in the movie. "Confessions from the Set" (6 minutes) is a standard "making of" featurette, although it does contain a generous amount of behind-the-scenes footage, but gives no insight into the plot or characters. If I hadn't just watched the movie, I would have gotten no idea what it was about from this segment. The extras are rounded out by one brief deleted scene and a music video for the song "That Girl" by Lindsay Lohan herself.
4 out of 10 Jackasses
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
IMDB Link: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
DVD Relase Date: 2004-07-20
DVD Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1; 1.33:1
DVD Extras: Audio Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scene, Music Video
DVD Producer: Disney DVD
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