The “Liz&Dick” movie… Hold on people… As an Elizabeth Taylor-phile, I have a lot to say, and I’m just getting started. I have no idea where this post is going to end up. You may want to get into your safety seat and throw on a Snuggie.
First, let me establish my street cred. When Dee was four I spiked her hair with gel and poured baby powder over it to look like 1980′s Elizabeth Taylor. You do what you can to mimic your icons and I was a little more than devoted to all things Elizabeth Taylor from a very early age.
Now, let’s visit my emotions on the day I found there was going to be a movie made on the love affair of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton based on the book ‘Furious Love’. Emotions are so hard to describe. Perhaps a visual aid will help.
Then, when I heard it was going to be a Lifetime movie.
And the hits just kept on coming. Next, I heard Lindsay Lohan would be playing Elizabeth Taylor.
Then I actually saw the movie…
Now, really, what did I expect? I mean, we all know Lifetime Network had produced such all-time classic movies such as “Death Of A Cheerleader,” which was like the “Citizen Kane” of television movies, but network execs just don’t think that big anymore. These execs were obviously thinking of pulling some stunt casting because, clearly Lohan is a person who is not out of the woods with her personal troubles. For what she’s going through, I’m not laughing. However, as a die-hard Liz fan, I couldn’t avoid watching this. And now as someone who saw the movie, I cannot avoid commenting on the ridiculousness of what I saw.
To quote a great poet, “How didst thou bug me, let me count the ways…”
- That scene where he was talking to her chest? Yeah, women love that. Seriously, its number 3 on the list and comes right after leaving the toilet seat up and you trying on our underwear when we’re not home. (Wish there was a sarcasm font.
- They actually cast Creed from “The Office” as studio head, Daryl Zanuck.
- Was Lifetime trying to be economical by recycling sets from old “Golden Girls” episodes? I mean, the backgrounds were very “Sophia Patrillo: The Early Years”.
- The scene where the happy couple was at the Academy Awards looked like my middle school cafeteria/auditorium.
- The book, ‘Furious Love’, was based on Richard Burton’s letters and diaries, of which there was no mention in this movie. Also, Burton was known for his beautiful language. Where was that? Here is an example of what he wrote to her when she decided to divorce him the first time.
“You must know, of course, how much I love you. You must know, of course, how badly I treat you. But the fundamental and most vicious, swinish, murderous, and unchangeable fact is that we totally misunderstand each other … we operate on alien wavelengths. You are as distant as Venus—planet, I mean—and I am tone-deaf to the music of the spheres. But how-so-be-it nevertheless. (A cliché among Welsh politicians.) I love you and I always will. Come back to me as soon as you can … “
- Lindsay Lohan’s acting can only be compared to someone who had a simultaneous colonoscopy and pap smear, and then had to walk home in shoes that were two sizes too small.
- The actor that played Richard Burton? No one even cared about him. All he had to do was grumble forgettable lines in a Welsh accent and let Lohan take the fall. Instead, he wafted into each scene like a Welsh Dracula in horrible 70′s clothes.
- Historical inaccuracies upon historical inaccuracies.
- Were they really trying to portray Elizabeth Taylor? There were no similarities in voice, or movement. That would be like Michelle Williams playing Marilyn Monroe without adopting Monroe’s walk or talk.
But now let’s get to the fashion, kids. You know I can forgive anything as long as the fashion is good. You would think with this movie, I’d at least like the clothing. It’s supposed to be retro and over the top, for God’s sake. And this was also a very well-documented and photographed period of their lives. Copy the damn clothes!
But the biggest sin of all? Aside from the few items I mentioned, none of the wardrobe in this movie was even memorable. Liz and Dick wore some good clothes, but most were spectacularly bad. Above all else, their clothes were always lux, over-the-top, and screamed with color and vibrancy. Where was all of that? Aside from the moments when I really strain to remember what they wore, everything seemed to be beige. Bland, boring, beige.I hate beige. Maybe hate is a strong word. But I think there is something terribly wrong with a world that allows beige to be a color choice.
You know I don’t mean to be mean, chickens. It’s a genetic condition and I can’t help it. But did the people responsible for this movie even know the people it was supposed to be about?
Just like it was sad that the last interview Elizabeth Taylor gave was to Kim Kardashian, it’s sad if this is the last movie about Elizabeth Taylor’s life and style. The woman who was such a good friend, wonderful person, AIDS research pioneer, and one hell of a lady, deserves so much better than that( and Dee wants me to point out that Liz does not escape her critique for getting involved with so many married men, but I worship Liz for so many other reasons, so I kinda overlook that). Hell, her clothes deserve better than that. So if you’re looking to learn more about Elizabeth Taylor and her style, forgo this movie altogether. She didn’t buy diamonds because her fingers were fat. She bought diamonds because they were beautiful, and she knew that she was only the custodian of those beauties, not their owner. She tried her hardest to be a good mother, a good friend, do the right thing, and she tried to have some fun and fall in love along the way. Most importantly, she did it by her own rules, which is what style is all about.
These pictures are from the movie The Last Time I Saw Paris. It was one of Ms. Taylor’s more forgettable films, but I loved it and found her to be the height of glamour in it.