We Watched It For You: Liz & Dick (PHOTO RECAP)

By Price Peterson

Nov 27, 2012

Mankind's greatest achievement of the modern era has not been the increasing acceptance of civil rights nor our frequent breakthroughs in life-saving medicine nor the systematic illumination of life's basic mysteries. No, it has been Liz & Dick, Lifetime's 2-hour whatever-that-was (movie?) that starred Lindsay Lohan as a famous dead actress named Elizabeth Taylor. Years from now when we are all bones in coffins, or ashes orbiting the earth in space urns, or detritus floating around the terrible kingdom of an angry Poseidon, Liz & Dick will live on forever as a reminder of what can happen when a cable executive turns evil for no good reason. It will be the puffy, slurred face etched on our tombstones, the vodka bottle crashing against the walls of our everlasting souls. But while Liz & Dick's greatness will certainly be whispered about in reverent tones from one generation to the next, its legend haunting our collective consciousness like promises written on the wind, overall it was not a very good movie. Just wanted to be clear on that. Liz & Dick was super bad and extremely boring. Fortunately...WE WATCHED IT FOR YOU!

All right, here's the lowdown on this thing: Liz & Dick is a movie about someone at Lifetime going, "Hey, let's do something that will make tons of people tune into our channel and possibly also make fun of us on Twitter." From there, they hired Lindsay Lohan and also chose a respected celebrity for her to portray who would be too dead to sue. Shortly after that, cameras started to roll. At no point was a script written. Because seriously, after two hours of Lindsay Lohan wearing an assortment of wigs and smoking in reclined positions, almost nothing happened the whole time? The title cards really wanted us to believe that this was based on true events of the affair between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, but by the end it was clear that this was not based on those people, or people of any kind. Or events. There were almost no events in the whole movie. I think we were supposed to care about and/or root for the main characters, but that obviously didn't happen. I guess in a meta sort of way the hero was the wig wrangler or the makeup artist, both of whom actively sabotaged Lindsay Lohan at every turn. It made me laugh to think that while I was watching one of Lifetime's most boring movies ever made, behind the scenes a way more traditional Lifetime movie was probably playing out, complete with backbiting, schadenfreude, and presumably cyberstalking (not sure, I'll get back to you on that). So yeah, Lifetime: Next time can you skip making the boring biopic and just make a movie about the MAKING of a boring biopic? I mean get real, Lifetime. I OWN I Know Who Killed Me on DVD. Don't make me watch a Lindsay Lohan movie that practically dares me to shut it off and watch I Know Who Killed Me instead.

Anyway, yeah. Overall not a lot happened in this boring, pointless garbage pile, but here's the gist though:

After a really weird title sequence that made the whole thing feel like the Tuesday installment of an '80s daytime soap, we were introduced to this movie's narrative structure: Black box theater purgatory! It wouldn't become clear until later, but who cares I'll just tell you: This narration ended up being POSTHUMOUS. So yeah, right off the bat that 'based on true events' card was meaningless.

So, anyway, there was a poolside meet cute:

Credit where credit's due, anytime there was a publication on screen it was immediately more entertaining than whoever was holding it. That trend began right here with this magazine.

Anyway, the official first meeting between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton was on the set of Cleopatra, then considered the most expensive movie of all time, but according to Liz & Dick it cost a couple hundred dollars and was filmed in one small room. Their immediate chemistry was ELECTRIC! You could tell Liz was into him by the alluring cadence in her voice.

But then he made some boring comment about how she wasn't all that and she stormed off the set. Later he went to the restaurant where she was eating dinner and talked loud trash about her so that she would hear him:

Boom! The movie star was being treated like a peasant, which deep down all movie stars want. Notting Hill.

Um, just FYI, Liz Taylor's mom was played by Theresa Russell, AKA Denise Richards' mom from Wild Things. "NOBODY rapes my daughter in Blue Bay!" SO GOOD. I immediately wished I'd been watching that movie.

Anyway, Lindsay Lohan wore so many turbans in this movie. Also, that Cleopatra eye makeup was something she'd continue to wear everywhere all the time from now on. Including bathtubs and swimming pools.

So then Liz and Dick fell in love but they were both married, so, um, scandal? Who cares.

Creed from The Office played the studio head. Which meant that in addition to the hair, makeup, and props department, the casting director was ALSO trolling us. Because WHAT? Creed from The Office??

More chemistry-free romance happened.

Liz made breakfast while Dick wore a toga.

They spent some quality time in front of a green screen in Italy. Ay-yi-yi, the paparazzi!

Dick secured Liz's eternal love by buying her some super expensive jewelry. Who among us can't relate to this romance at this point?

But their relationship began to falter a bit when Dick decided he didn't want to divorce the mother of his children. So instead Liz decided to preside over the marriage of sleeping pills and vodka in the chapel of her tummy.

It didn't work though because Dick picked her up out of bed and ran all the way to the hospital.

Later on in Switzerland, Liz ignored her children and commanded the maids to entertain her. But nothing would work! Only a letter from Dick could soothe her troubled soul enough to don her favorite fur turban and share a cappuccino with him.

And that's all it took: Liz and Dick were back in business!

Until they weren't again! And Liz was throwing the first of many bottles of vodka against hotel room walls.

That's when life got hard for Liz. Nobody ever said it was easy being a world famous millionaire with literally no problems except her crush on a drunken oaf.

But then they were on again, and this time Liz was starting to accept movie roles just so she could work with Dick. In this case they both got drunk and started arguing about not paying each other enough compliments (I think?) before storming off the set and then sexin' in their hotel room.

Then Liz bought an original Van Gogh like it was nothing more than a framed Thomas Kinkade print.

Then Liz and Dick found themselves without friends because their relationship was so taboo. (They conveniently overlooked the fact that they were also terrible people and probably a nightmare to be around.)

Then Liz got a case of the walkies and just walked right up onto the bed.

Then five or six people started hanging out at their car with elaborately painted hater posters.

Then a bombshell dropped: Cigarettes were a health hazard! Also the Vatican was getting super uptight about other peoples' beez.

So then Dick divorced his baby mama and Liz put a bunch of flowers in her hair and they got married even though they hated each other fully half of the time.

Before getting on their honeymoon flight, Liz took all those dumb flowers out of her hair and put on a bedazzled turban:

Then I'm pretty sure they fought and/or broke up and/or got back together. Who could be sure at this point?

Then Dick appeared in the worlds most boring performance of Hamlet ever conceived. I was so jealous of the sleeping lady in the background. One of the performers had real good posture though, so the play had that going for it.

Then Dick and Liz got in a fight because Dick didn't win an Oscar. Typical celebrity couple fights.

More vodka bottle throwing.

Then some truly shocking news was reported by The Morning Mirror. And at this point they went broke and moved onto a boat.

Also Dick called Liz's hands fat, so she demanded that he make up for it by buying a $1M diamond ring for her sausage fingers.

Then Dick's brother fell down the stairs and died. It pretty much ruined Christmas.

Then Dick got mad because Liz was touching his book but also because he was a violent drunk.

He also wore the most stunning fur coat ever to appear on television. Those of us fortunate enough to have high-definition televisions all scrambled across our livings rooms to touch the screen in the hopes of feeling that rich luxurious fur for ourselves.

Then some high-class hos talked trash on Liz at a party and she cried in her bed.

Then Dick grew a sadness beard and hooked up with his costar.

Some trampy princess had some 'splainin to do!

The Budapest Courier Express got the scoop of the century: Liz was dating Aristotle Onassis!

Meanwhile some hot-ass Swedes made it rain.

Then things took a turn for the poignant when Liz was informed she might have colon cancer.

Whoops, false alarm! She probably just had to go to the bathroom. (I'm not a doctor.)

Then Liz and Dick got back together, but meanwhile things were really starting to get interesting in Minnesota!

Then Dick died. Liz fainted because the helicopters were too loud.

By this point Liz was well into her White Diamonds phase, and despite her sadness looked really good for being 100 years old. (Props to the makeup department who bravely decided not to use old age makeup at any point!)

Then Liz yelled at all the paparazzi and then put flowers on Dick's grave. But if you thought that was the end, you were wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, the twist ending OF THE CENTURY:

Haha wow, Liz. You must have REALLY loved him! All of her other lovers' letters were crammed down a shredder and then fed to a manatee. But not Dick's. No, not Dick's.

So there you have it, the Platonic Ideal of an Elizabeth Taylor biopic made for Lifetime and starring Lindsay Lohan. In a few days from now when you have gathered the strength to lift yourself up off the floor and continue with your daily life, please hold this experience deep in your heart and take it with you always.


QUESTIONS:

... Which turban did you like the best?

... Who was prettier, Lindsay Lohan or Elizabeth Taylor?

... Do you think Liz & Dick should have had a scene where Elizabeth Taylor fires a gun at someone?

... Are there any e-petitions for a possible sequel called Liz & Bubbles? Thanks in advance.

  • Comments (106)
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  • enjoi_anime_016 Nov 29, 2012

    My favorite part of this: Is Jackie a Russian spy? And How Mayonnaise can improve your sex life. What?

  • popi82 Nov 29, 2012

    wow! I didn't like the movie particulalry either but that was some intense hating.
    For someone who's probably never acted or produced anything that was extremely harsh...

  • smorbie Nov 28, 2012

    I was looking at a close up of Lizsay and I can't believe they didn't even give her colored contacts. I mean, how cheap can you get. Elizabeth Taylor had violet eyes not blue

  • smorbie Nov 29, 2012

    Albinos have pink eyes, not purple. I don't know for sure because I've never been there, but I've read that many people in Pakistan have purple eyes (Wikipedia). I've also read that her eyes were deep blue, but they appeared to have been violet. I've never seen a picture of her in which her eyes looked blue at all.

  • enjoi_anime_016 Nov 29, 2012

    It's actually impossible to have true violet eyes unless you're albino. Elizabeth Taylor's eyes were a deep blue. Mystery solved.

  • zookpr Dec 05, 2012

    "Although the deep blue eyes of some people such as Elizabeth Taylor can appear violet at certain times, "true" violet-colored eyes occur only due to albinism." Wikipedia quote. I know they sometimes get it wrong but other sites also say this :)

  • AnaPeradenic Nov 28, 2012

    dear price, i believe i'm in love with you. just sayin'.

  • JessicaDoty1 Nov 28, 2012

    I am not saying it was a great movie, or really even a good movie...but I think the amount of hatred on these boards for it is a bit out of proportion.

    I think the biggest issue with this film was that it was rushed, I mean Liz and Dick's entire courtship and falling in love took place over a 10 minute period in the beginning. We went from them meeting, hating each other, to Liz wanting to end her life rather than be without Dick in less than a half hour.

    That coupled with LiLo's inconsistent acting made for a film that, while on an interesting subject, didn't really grab me. I wanted to get into it, because I knew I was supposed to, but I just didn't feel at all connected to the characters.

    I think Lindsay could be a decent actress since in some scenes her portrayal of Taylor's heartbreak and sadness were moving, but other times simple subtle moments she missed by a mile by either overplaying it (when her and Richard first meet on the set of Cleopatra and she overacted Liz's disgust) or massively underplaying it (when she first sees Richard by the pool and she is supposed to be giving him a cold glare but instead she appears to do nothing). She seems to be great at BIG, but awful at subtle.

    Point is, it is a TV movie. I didn't expect a riveting cinematic experience, and so I guess my bar was just set lower.

  • efonsecajr Nov 28, 2012

    Great recap.

    I would call this 'movie' a train wreck but that would be insulting to trains everywhere.

  • Ankh49 Nov 27, 2012

    Damn Price! I'm into the 'so bad it's good stuff' but you deserve a freakin' pay rise for sitting through this! whenever I hear the name Lindsay Lohan, I weep a little inside. The thought of all that potential going to waste is hearbreaking. the girl was a parody of herself before she even hit her 20's! I keep hoping that she'll pull off a 'Drew Barrymore' and get herself back on track but that hope is fast fading. having said all of this though. I still kinda want to watch Liz and Dick - what can I say? a) I'm glutton for punishment and b) I really do like the 'so bad it's good' stuff!

  • Madelynn1984 Nov 27, 2012

    Wow, you really weren't kidding about the makeup department trying to sabotage Lindsay Lohan. In other pictures I've seen of her lately, I've thought she looked good, but definitely not in these!

    They really did a fantastic job with those fake publications, though!

  • amelie88 Nov 27, 2012

    hahahahhaah!!!!! I can't stop laughing!!! LOL to the whole recap, you are a genius!!

  • GeraldC7 Nov 27, 2012

    Thanks Price! What a horrible mess...the scripts, the acting, the structure and mostly everything about it. The only good thing I could think of was the wardrobe, which was quite good considering it's a Lifetime movie.
    That being said, everthing else and much like Lindsay looked so cheap and tacky. I mean just look at the sets...I certainly didn't see elegance or luxury there. As for Lindsay, at times even she looked bored/braindead. She didn't even try to resemble Elizabeth Taylor in any way, she just used her usual raspy/old prostitute asking for cigarettes voice. What about her so called fat period? While Lindsay's face certainly looked bloated and puffy all throughout the movie, she could have gained some weight or wear a fat suit... They didn't even try with most of the things (the fat phase, the aging thing).

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