Lindsay Lohan’s performance as Hollywood great Elizabeth Taylor in new biopic Liz & Dick has been met with jibes and laughter by critics after sparking thousands of Twitter jibes.
Lindsay Lohan, 26, made her hotly anticipated appearance as the Oscar winner on Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, watched by a not-so impressive 3.5 million viewers, the network has revealed.
The movie covered the tumultuous 12-year love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, whose famously volatile relationship saw them marry twice.
Despite violet-tinted eyes and a black wig, Lindsay Lohan failed to pull off a convincing performance – boasting an accent that seemed to owe more to her native Long Island than Elizabeth Taylor’s dulcet English tones.
Today, the Huffington Post reported Lindsay Lohan was “devastated” by the reaction to Liz & Dick as a close friend said: “She has got used to all the negative press around her personal life but this is the first time she has experienced it about her work. No matter how bad things were going for her personally, everyone would always agree that she was a great actress.”
Another source added: “Lindsay has already read her own press. She knew the script wasn’t strong but thought she would bring the role of Elizabeth to life. This is particularly heartbreaking as her acting was the only thing in her life that she knew was real. Now she is doubting that, too.”
Thousands of viewers tuned in and made fun of the made-for-TV movie on Twitter while it was on air – including, ominously for Lindsay Lohan, many high profile TV writers and producers.
Model Christine Teigen tweeted that Lindsay Lohan was better in her breakout role in The Parent Trap – filmed when she just 11.
The brunette, who is engaged to singer John Legend, added: “Poor John. I know I had to watch 30 hours of football but he doesn’t deserve this. No one deserves this.”
While writer Liz Meriwether, who is the creator of hit sitcom New Girl, mocked the scene where Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor faints upon hearing the news of Richard Burton’s death, tweeting: “Oh my God. I think that was the funniest thing I’ve seen in TV for a while and I write comedy for television.”
Elan Galen, producer of ABC’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor Pad, added: “Lindsay Lohan breaks new ground and shows her versatility in Liz and Dick by playing a chain-smoking emotional wreck pill-popping alcoholic.”
Writer Ben Widdicombe tweeted: “Can we have Hilary Duff as Grace Kelly next please? Maybe Snooki as Audrey Hepburn?”
However, one stood by Lindsay Lohan – Lady Gaga – who posted the message: “You did a beautiful job on Liz & Dick, Let no one bring u down, Liz didnt, they always try to knock the greats down a few pegs.”
This was despite the fact that Lady Gaga had not watched the show and is currently in Paraguay on tour.
While Liz & Dick might have taken over social media during its Sunday night premiere, in terms of actual viewers the Lifetime movie failed to impress.
According to the network, 3.5 million viewers tuned in – a far cry from Lifetime’s revamped Steel Magnolias, starring Queen Latifah, averaged 6.5 million viewers in October.
This means that Liz & Dick clocks in as the fourth most-watched original movie premiere on an ad-supported cable network for 2012, behind Steel Magnolias, Drew Peterson: Untouchable and Abducted: The Carlina White Story.
To add insult to injury, Liz & Dick was panned by all critics, with The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman calling Lindsay Lohan “woeful as Taylor from start to finish”, calling the movie “spectacularly bad” and a “classic of unintentional hilarity”.
“At one point, Lohan has to shout, <<I won’t live without you!>> and then run down a hall. It’s like a high school play,” Tim Goodman writes.
“By the time Lohan is playing mid-’80s Taylor and it looks like a lost Saturday Night Live skit, your body may be cramped by convulsions,” he says, before suggesting the movie was made for drinking games.
Meanwhile, TV Guide’s Matt Roush called the made-for-TV drama a |well-timed candidate for the TV Turkey Hall of Fame”.
He wrote: “Even deep breaths seem too much to ask of Lindsay Lohan these days, let alone capturing the essence of an exotic film goddess who reigned for years as a superstar sex symbol.
“The most authentic moment occurs when Liz informs Dick, <<I can’t tell you a thing about acting>>. Tell us something we don’t know. And later, during one of the many tantrums and benders that constitute a story line, Liz cries, <<I’m a joke!>> The joke is on anyone who tunes in hoping for a memorable TV train wreck.”
“You’ll find more exciting chemistry in a high-school lab than between Lohan and her Richard Burton, Grant Bowler.”
Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly called it a “peculiar, drab, damp little TV-movie”, adding: “When she opens her mouth, Lohan doesn’t speak in the high-register, almost girlish voice that Taylor was using well into her 20s – instead, we heard the raspy rattle familiar to anyone who’s seen Lohan on TMZ or in the ABC Family movie Labor Pains.
“No effort seems to have gone into Lohan’s preparation other than to have her eyes tinted Liz-violet.”
Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times referred to the dialogue as “laughable”, while Reuter’s Tim Molloy said it was “redundant and boring in a way no star could save”.
Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club adds: “Liz & Dick arrives on the small screen with a giant <<kick me>> sign rooted both in Lohan’s tabloid infamy and the sad overreaching of trying to chronicle an epic love affair that unfolded across continents and decades on a tiny television movie budget.
“It’s a testament to how badly Liz & Dick misses the mark that Taylor receiving news of Burton’s death inspires the film’s biggest unintentional guffaws. At least he has the release of being put out of its misery, a fate that should have befallen this misbegotten vanity project before shooting even began.”
While Jill O’Rourke at Crushable added: “Lohan portrays Taylor as a childish brat, like a teenager playing dress-up in her mother’s furs and jewels.
“It was reported that Megan Fox was also considered for the role of Taylor. After watching Lohan’s portrayal, I would love to see Fox take on the role. For that matter, I think they could have just given Grant Bowler [who plays Burton] a brunette wig, violet contacts and a beauty mark, and he could have played both roles. It still would probably have been better than what we got.”
Even Liz & Dick executive producer Larry Thompson admitted taking on Lindsay Lohan was a risk, telling Entertainment Weekly: “I want the best for Lindsay Lohan and anybody who ever hires her. But they have to know that making a movie with Lindsay Lohan is like jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet with a bolt of white nylon, a string, and a sewing machine. You’re building a parachute as fast as you can.”
Lindsay Lohan herself had seemed to be the only person who seemed to be proud of the project as she tweeted throughout the screening of Liz & Dick last night.
Although she never met Elizabeth Taylor, who died aged 79 last year, Lindsay Lohan said the star had sent her a ring as a gift.
Lindsay Lohan said: “I always admired and respected her….Beauty. Strength. Passion. Poise. Intelligence. She stood for ALL of it & did a great job!”
She added: “2 get 2 feel like 1 of the most amazing women in the world was a thrill all around & wearing the jewels wasn’t bad! “
Her father, Michael Lohan, also thought his daughter’s performance proved once again that she is right up there with Meryl Streep as he told the Huffington Post: “Due to the content, I had to step away from a lot of the scenes, but regardless of what some of these so-called critics, who don’t have an ounce of talent in their bones say, Lindsay proved that she is an amazing actress.
“This was a different role for her at a difficult time of her life. She still has what it takes to be the Lindsay Lohan that is one of Hollywood’s top actresses.”