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Sex Trailers, Wigs and GIFs: 12 Reasons Liz and Dick is Amazing

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Last week Lifetime aired its long-talked about Lindsay Lohan star vehicle, Liz and Dick.

A biopic of great actress, beauty, advocate and humanitarian Elizabeth Taylor and her volatile yet passionate relationship with actor, Richard Burton, it seems like perfect fodder for a film.

Perhaps a quickly slapped-together movie on Lifetime isn’t the best forum for such compelling and rich subject matter.

But it exists all the same!

Not the Best Liz Taylor, But Lohan's Best

Lindsay Lohan did her best Liz Taylor. I mean, not the best Liz Taylor, but her best.

She was Acting! A lot. Big, bold-faced acting. Grant Bowler, as Burton is no slouch himself in the ways of capital ‘A’ acting.

The response has been mixed to say the least. A mix of hateful, rude and of course fairly accurate descriptions of why the film is terrible.

Still, 3.5 million viewers tuned in to watch and see what would come of this outing.

That’s a lot.

So people are trash talking. But what no one’s talking about yet is why it’s great.

So Many Great Things About a Very Bad Film

Regardless of how it turned out, it was an event.

Lifetime got publicity. And that publicity came as a result of hiring one of the most controversial actors working, or occasionally working, today.

Turns out, the bad reviews weren’t all right. There are so many great things about this very bad film.

If you want to judge it by the standards of films that tried hard to be great and succeeded, then you’ll be disappointed.

This movie was never trying to be great. It was trying to be entertaining, and it truly succeeds on that front.

Here are 12 reasons Liz and Dick is great.

1. Costume Changes

There were so many costume changes in this biopic it was easy to not pay attention to the action on screen. Was there a plot? I don’t think so, but who cares!

Clothes! Shiny baubles! Fur! Diamonds!

Lilo’s Liz wore dresses, separates, swimwear, caftans, peignoirs, blazers, pencil skirts, capri pants, sweater sets, headscarves and of course enough gems and jewels to fund acting, writing and directing classes for everyone involved with Liz and Dick.

The costumes were good-good: period appropriate, lovely, covetable and they all fit Lindsay like a glove.

It’s clear where the vision and budget went: into making Lindsay Lohan at least look like she was starring in the classiest film of the year.

2. I’m Bored!

The greatest scene in this film will become a classic made-for-TV moment. After Dick tells her he won’t leave his wife for her, Liz lounges in a chaise, sunglasses on, sad and lonely and drinking.

She swigs, throws her head around dramatically and shouts, “I’m bored! I’m so bored!”

In a way, she speaks for all of us.

3. GIFs

Almost every scene -- and there are many, many scenes to facilitate many, many costume changes -- had a clearly brilliant GIFable moment.

Lindsay throws her head around. Lindsay rolls her eyes. Lindsay pouts. Lindsay throws something.

Each one is a breathtaking few seconds that should be played over and over and over. Because it’s funny.

4. Red Carpet Premiere

Ok. This isn’t exactly a part of the film. But you’ve got to love Lifetime for thinking that a proper, Hollywood-style premiere would be money well spent.

Lindsay dressed in a Marilyn Monroe-style gown (by way of Frederick’s of Hollywood), with her Ann Margaret hair while promoting a movie where she stars as Elizabeth Taylor is a testament to her devotion to old Hollywood.

And to how mixed up she is in her sweet little head.

5. Wigs

The wigs! Dark hair was everywhere. From her Cleopatra blunt cut to done-up curls and long locks on a yacht. There was also of course the 80s Liz Taylor, spiked and sprayed. All were outstanding in their craziness.

Unlike the costumes, which were good-good, these wigs fell short. Yeah, they were bad-good.

6. The Pink Sex Trailer

Liz and Dick meet on the set of Cleopatra and consummate their relationship in a set-trailer -- like all good on-set romances should.

While Burton’s is a tough, silver boat-like thing, Liz’s is pink as cotton candy on the outside.

It’s outlandish and obvious and suits this movie like nobody’s business. Which is what our lovers claim about their affair. Nobody’s business!

7. Cleopatra as Metaphor

Cleopatra was considered a mixed bag when it was released. It didn’t garner glowing reviews either. It’s bloated production costs are still talked about to this day as it nearly sent the studio to bankruptcy.

The beauty of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton meeting on the set of a film that was both the highest-grossing film released that year and also a film that still didn’t make back that budget is poignant.

Way more poignant than this actual film.

8. No Age Make-up

Though the film spans over 20 years, there is no attempt made to age these characters. Lindsay just has a face made for many ages.

It’s like theatre-performances: when the actors step on stage just suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.

9. Black Box Theater

Speaking of theater, there’s a wonderful/insane device used to get the inner workings and emotional cores of these two crazy kids sorted out. Because, of course, there isn’t any of that in the actual narrative part of the film.

Sitting in director’s chairs in a black box-style theater, Liz and Dick talk to the camera as if being interviewed. For what reason? Who knows? But it makes for a hilarious break from the unrealistic scenic moments.

They cry and talk about love and get real. The entire movie should be turned into an off-Broadway show, black-box style, but with way better actors.

I’d pay to see it.

10. Smashing!

The couple who starred in the vitriolic, rage-infused, Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? are thankfully depicted here as glass smashers.

Glorious smashed glass! Liz even trashes a bedroom set in her Burton-fueled love rage.

When you don’t have the emotive skills, break stuff.

11. Dialogue

There are many bad one-liners in Liz and Dick. So many that it would require reprinting the entire script right here. The entire script.

If someone told me this was written by two frat boys, in a drunken weekend spent in a hot tub, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I would be impressed however. Equally terrible dialogue takes some writers months to create.

Kudos, writers!

12. Acting

Both performances hinge on the ability of these actors to ignore the fact that everything they’re saying is pure garbage and give it all the verve and elan they can muster.

And boy do they ever. These two deserve praise for their ability to portray any emotion, whether they do it well or not, instead of laughing hysterically through every single scene.

Brava, Liz and Dick.

Your love has overcome the worst script in history.


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