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The Telefile

Liz & Dick: An Affair to Forget

by Ethan Alter November 26, 2012 9:35 am
<i>Liz & Dick</i>: An Affair to Forget

Given that it cast Lindsay Lohan of all people as Elizabeth Taylor, there was no way in hell that the Lifetime-produced biopic Liz & Dick -- which chronicled La Liz's turbulent romance with Richard Burton (played by Grant Bowler) -- was going to be any good. Still, even we were impressed by how terrible the finished product turned out to be -- a telefilm lacking the subtlety, grace and nuance of your average Ed Wood production... or even your typical Lifetime movie-of-the-week. (Let's just say that we expect more from the network that gave us My Stepson, My Lover among other classics.) Here are the ten most ridiculous things about this utterly ridiculous waste of two hours:

10. Speaking Into the Void
The movie's head-scratching framing device had Liz and Dick being interviewed about their time together by an unseen interrogator on a pitch-black soundstage while clad in matching black ensembles. They were either appearing on the lowest-rent public access chat show in the history of television or their conversation was happening in the great beyond after they had shuffled off their respective mortal coils. If it's the latter, we feel exceptionally bad for whichever heavenly archivist drew the short straw and had to spend an afternoon asking these morons questions.

9. Creed Bratton's Mustache
The Office's resident oddball popped up in one scene as 20th Century Fox head honcho Darryl F. Zanuck -- the studio that financed the disaster that was Liz and Dick's first film together, Cleopatra -- although we almost didn't recognize him for a second due to the live, furry caterpillar that was crawling across his upper lip. Oh wait... that was supposed to be facial hair?

8. Lohan's "I'm Listening" Face
Whenever she was forced to listen to Bowler act out Shakespeare or recite the odd John Donne poem, Lohan's face went completely slack and her eyes acquired that thousand-yard stare that was probably supposed to denote concentration, but instead suggested a total lack of comprehension. Maybe she would have been paying more attention if he was reciting the cocktail menu.

7. Liz in the Kitchen
While hiding out from the Italian paparazzi at a remote villa, Liz cracks a few eggs in a pan while holding a cigarette in her other hand. Then she goes and hugs Dick without washing the egg off first. Mmm mmm -- nothing like ashy eggs and salmonella for breakfast.

6. Lindsay Doing Albee
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is one of the the great plays of the 20th century. Great enough to withstand the brief, but terrifying sight of Lohan-as-Liz playing Martha with all the skill of a drunk hobo. The best acting in that scene was by the random audience member watching the film who had to tell Lohan "You're fantastic" with a straight face.

5. This Bit of Dialogue
Liz: "Are you staring at my chest?"
Dick: "Why not? It's the very heart of you. It's everything you promise -- love, sex and nurture. And I'm going to pretend it's all mine."

4. This One Too
Liz: "I need to get into Mr. Burton's suite."
Hotel Flunky: "I'm sorry, but we can't open other guests' rooms"
Liz: "You do know I'm shagging him senseless, don't you?"

3. The Least Pudgy Fingers Ever
At one point, Dick tries to get Liz's goat by informing her that all her extra weight goes into her digits. Cut to Liz acting distraught about her "pudgy fingers" and demanding a big-ass diamond ring to distract attention from their excessive size. Never mind that, when she holds them up to the camera, Lohan's fingers are practically skeletal. Dick must have been drunk when he dreamed up that insult, 'cause the only way those fingers are pudgy is if he's seeing double... or possibly triple.

2. All the Broken Glass
If you had taken a drink every time that Liz flung a glass or a bottle at a wall during the course of the movie, you would have been passed out on the floor by the 60-minute mark. We feel sorry for whichever overworked, underpaid PA had to sweep up all those shards.

1. There Could be a Sequel
After devoting the majority of its runtime to Liz and Dick's first attempt at romance, the film devotes mere moments to their second marriage as well as Taylor's later years. That means there's plenty of fodder for an all-new movie, featuring Lohan in more of that awesomely awful old age make-up she sported in the final scenes. And if this one's a hit, why stop at Liz & Dick? Hey Lifetime, here's an idea: Liz & Larry, with Lohan reprising her Liz opposite Liam Hemsworth as Larry Fortensky. You're welcome.

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