Thursday, May 11, 2006

Just My Luck

Title: Just My Luck (2006)
Dir: Donald Petrie
Rating: *1/2 out of 5 stars

<-- Her wink haunts my very soul. For The Diamondback...

When Lindsay Lohan played twins in the Parent Trap remake, we thought, “Aww, isn’t that cute?” When she made her return in Freaky Friday, we said, “Hey, I remember her!” And as Cady in Mean Girls, we embraced her because, well, that movie was decent. But then Lohan-mania was unleashed upon the world, and somehow the female equivalent of Danny Bonaduce became an overnight sensation.

Now, after a laughable music career, endless tabloid controversies, and that stupid car movie, L.Lo has finally worn out her welcome. Her latest juvenile effort, Just My Luck places the teen idol in familiar situations with predictable outcomes. And worst of all, it is completely boring.

Lohan’s character basically undergoes another Freaky Friday swap, this time with a chronically unlucky fellow named Jake, portrayed by Chris Pine. Remember him from The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement? Of course you don’t. Unfortunately for Chris, you still won’t remember him after this one.

In the movie, Lohan plays Ashley Albright, the luckiest girl in New York City. She never needs an umbrella, can hail a taxicab in mere seconds, and wins every scratch-off ticket she buys. Meanwhile, Jake is a walking poster boy for Murphy’s Law. There is no rain puddle that won’t drench him and no dog mess he won’t step in.

After the two coincidentally meet during a masquerade party, they exchange a kiss and unknowingly trade lucks. Suddenly, Jake becomes a successful band manager while Ashley simultaneously loses her job, home, and love interest. Once she realizes her good luck has been stolen, she seeks out the masked kisser from the party. What follows is another teenage Cinderella story. Let’s hope Linds is not treading on the glass-shoed heels of Hilary Duff - Hell hath no fury like a 90-lb pop tart scorned.

Once Ashley gives up on finding the mystery man, surprise surprise, she meets Jake and they become friends. Even though their masquerade costumes had consisted of nothing more than eye-makeup and a Zorro mask, somehow neither recognizes the other.
Needless to say, they fall in love, figure out the kissing curse, and blah blah blah.

The bulk of the movie consists of Ashley or Jake repeatedly being splashed with something gross, hit with something painful, or breaking something expensive. It gets old. Although watching Lohan get electrocuted and punched in the face sounds like a damn good time, a movie can only milk one joke for so long.

Director Donald Petrie was the genius behind such classics as My Favorite Martian and Richie Rich - is my sarcasm showing? Once again, he brings nothing original to this film. If this one appeals to anyone over the age of 14, then Petrie can finally claim an impressive accomplishment.

Lohan fits her part well, and why shouldn’t she? She has played the role enough times now. Until she starts taking more mature, challenging parts, she will never surpass her reputation as a Tiger Beat pin-up. In Luck, her character works at an upscale business firm, but she still looks like a 10-year old wearing mommy’s coat.

Pine fulfills the role of “that guy in Lindsay Lohan’s movie.” He may share the lead credits with his redheaded co-star, but ultimately his part is relegated to that of eye-candy for all the pubescent female viewers.

Bree Turner (Bring It On Again) and Samaire Armstrong (The O.C.) play Ashley’s best friends. They are ten times more likable than Lohan, but all their hugs and giggles up the film’s girlishness to an all-time high. Boyfriends: you’ve been warned.

Furthermore, the script lowers their roles to that of Lohan ass-kissers. Always wishing they could be as lucky and successful as Ashley, these characters only exacerbate the message that luck and fate dictate your life, so if you don't have them, you're basically screwed. That's right girls - you might as well kill yourself now unless you can go find a handsome lucky man to kiss.

Rounding out the cast are Faizon Love (Elf) as record exec Damon Phillips and Missi Pyle (Dodgeball) as Ashley’s uptight boss, Peggy Braden. They are the oldest actors in the leading cast and the only two who are above this movie.

In the film, Jake manages a real-life band named McFly. Product placement in movies is bad enough, but Luck actually spends a large chunk of time plugging this band. Then, McFly gets booked at the brand new Hard Rock CafĂ© in Times Square, after which the characters repeatedly remind us, “This is an important venue!” Never before has a movie so blatantly prostituted itself as a commercial.

To the film’s defense, it should endlessly entertain its target audience of young girls. It has a leading heartthrob, a cute British band, a fairytale love story, and a lead female for girls to look up to (although the idea of Lohan as a role model is terrifying). Beyond that demographic, however, the film will flop.

For all the men who drool over Lohan, perhaps you can salvage something from this film. But for the rest of you, who don’t find the emaciated cheetah sexy, avoid Just My Luck at all costs. The same warning goes to anyone who likes intelligent movies. Just give your little sister nine bucks and drop her off at the theater. There are more entertaining things to do, like re-arranging your sock drawer.

Anyone for a game of connect-the-dots?