YOU GUYS I AM DYING OF EXCITEMENT.
In less than an hour, we commence perhaps the greatest live-blogging adventure I have ever undertaken: a Lifetime movie special featuring Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. I’m not going to lie to you, ever since I first saw the trailer for this, I knew I COULD NOT MISS IT.
This can go one of two ways. It MIGHT be secretly amazing, the way Nicole Richie’s novel The Truth About Diamonds which I was convinced would be garbage was actually legitimately, soapily fantastic. OR, it might be my new favorite worst movie of all time, beating out current top contenders like Showgirls, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding, Gymkata and The Room.
(Oh, I’M sorry, did you not know Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding was a thing? BECAUSE IT IS A THING. IT IS A THING THAT YOU NEED TO OWN. $8.47? It’s like they’re PAYING you to buy it!)
I’ve seen the trailer for this a couple times, and what struck me is how INSANELY HARD they’re reaching to draw real-life parallels between Lindsay and Liz. Now, I’m not saying there are no reasonable points of comparison, but I AM saying that Elizabeth Taylor was perhaps one of the top three most iconic silver screen stars in the history of cinema, while Lindsay Lohan hasn’t impressed anyone since Mean Girls. And even Mean Girls, AS GREAT AS IT WAS, is no Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? So, if I had to call it in the air, I’d say it’s most likely that, if it’s terrible, the terribleness will come from a desperate over-the-top attempt to contextualize Liz Taylor as the Lindsay Lohan of her day. “LOOK YOU GUYS! TABLOIDS! DRUGS! DRAMA! THEY HAD IT BACK THEN TOO!” (P.S. if you want a seriously fabulous and un-put-down-able look at the flip side of this same slice of cinematic history, please oh please I beg of you, read Jess Walter’s gorgeous Beautiful Ruins.) Although, realistically, it’s a Lifetime movie about a dramatic relationship, so actually it doesn’t need any help from Lindsay Lohan OR her publicity team for it to be potentially the worst thing we’ve all ever seen. Though obviously I’m rooting for awesome.
I am self-drinking-game-ing this thing so you can play along. I poured myself a giant glass of my brother Colin’s butterscotch apple sours, which he made a whole pitcher of at Thanksgiving and then left in my fridge. After having seen the trailer a few times, I’m calling it thusly:
–Drink if someone throws a drink in someone’s face
–Drink for every Liz Taylor husband mentioned or depicted (two drinks for Richard Burton since they got married twice)
–Drink for terrible old-age makeup or bad accents
–Drink if Liz wears any of the following: fur, a cape, a turban, a diamond bigger than an eyeball, anything made of more than 50% sequins
I don’t think I have the stamina for THIS drinking game, created by the genius ladies of Go Fug Yourself, but it is a hilarious read and gives me a pretty good idea what I’m in for.
See you back here at 9!
AND WE’RE OFF!
9:00 – Holy Dunder Mifflin, CREED BRATTON IS IN THIS?!!?!?
9:01 -Voice-overs! Slow motion! Old-age makeup! They do NOT make you wait for the action.
9:03 – Wait, what is this black background/director’s chair thing happening here? Are we being meta? Is this Actor Heaven? Why is there so much clunky exposition? Also DRINK! Giant diamond!
9:04 – GOD, I love Cleopatra. Why am I not just watching that instead? I totally own it. Also, here’s my first big legitimate problem – I don’t think she sounds like Liz Taylor AT ALL. She sounds like Lindsay Lohan. It pulls you right out of the moment.
9:07 – I feel sorry for everyone who has to go out in public with these people. This restaurant scene is MAD UNCOMFORTABLE. No one should ever say “spilling white bosom” while people are eating their dinner.
9:08 – “Oh, Mark Antony. How prompt of you.” Is this what happens when someone makes a terrible movie about the making of a terrible movie and there are like LAYERS UPON LAYERS of bad dialogue? Because it’s blowing my mind trying to figure out whose fault it is that that line was so painful.
9:09 – Yes, because all the best marriages are born out of mutual alcoholism. Oh, YOU GUYS. This will end badly. “I’ve heard stories of the Welsh Don Juan! All the leading ladies except Julie Andrews – well, if she can resist you, so can I!” AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Also, go Julie Andrews.
9:10 – DRINK! Eddie Fisher sighting! DRINK! Turban! DRINK! Why are they both surprised they’re doing a love scene with each other when A) they should have read the script and B) THEY ARE PLAYING ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
9:12 – Wait, for real? Did this really happen? They legit just start making out in front of the entire cast and crew? To “get into character”? These people are crazy.
9:13 – How is it possible that they hooked up in her trailer and her snake hair accessory is still in place? Also, REALLY SERIOUSLY, does this happen? Everyone just scampers around hiding from the spouses that the stars are sleeping together?
9:14 – Creed with a moustache AND the origins of the word “paparazzi!” DRINK! Leopard-print fur! Ugh, more director’s chair exposition. Oooh, and our first slap!
9:16 – “Oh, hello! Come in! I’m sleeping with your wife!” “Elizabeth! Who do you love, me or Eddie?” NEVER INVITE THIS GUY TO A PARTY.
9:17 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #1: “Elizabeth, if I’m not mistaken, you just ended, what, your FOURTH marriage?” “Oh, who’s counting?”
9:22 – We seriously got one hookup before she was so in love with him that she agreed to leave her husband. Now he is reciting poetry to her in the bathtub. I don’t know, you guys.
9:23 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #2: “We could go to the pool.” “I don’t need a pool, I’ve got all the ocean in you.”
9:24 – So . . . did they just skip out on filming? Are they on a break? They just took off for Portofino in the middle of the shoot and didn’t get fired? Also OMG LOHAN LOOKS SO OLD YOU GUYS.
9:25 – DRINK! Diamonds!
9:27 – DRINK x 4! All 4 Taylor husbands mentioned!
9:28 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #3: “I WON’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU!” (delivered while running out of the room in a flowing silk dressing gown to get sleeping pills and attempt suicide)
9:29 – REAL TALK – the dude playing Burton is not awful, and he is clearly doing all the heavy lifting here. If they gave sympathy Emmys I would consider voting. Because for real, someone just tried to kill herself and I really should care more than this.
9:34 – Oh, NOW you decide to show back up and actually do your goddamn job. So apparently the movie was still filming that whole time? UGH, selfish rich diva people.
9:35 – AHAHAHAHAHA YEAH RIGHT. “What happened to you?” “You did.” “Cut! That’s a wrap! Congratulations everybody!” GET IT BECAUSE IT WORKS ON ALL OF THE LEVELS
9:36 – Okay, here’s a real problem. Lindsay is so Botoxed that her crying looks fake and her expressions are all weird. Liz Taylor didn’t look like that until way later in life. Young Liz Taylor could do completely devastating things with just, like, one eyebrow. I just CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT forget that this is Lindsay Lohan in a terrible series of wigs.
9:37 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #4: “You look at me like you loathe me.” “I don’t loathe you! I HATE YOU!” AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, this is amazing. Ly awful. CUT TO SWITZERLAND!
9:38 – Ohhhhhh, you guys. She literally was just sitting in a lawn chair, sighed twice and then screamed “I’M BORED! I’M SO BORED!” out of nowhere and it was MAGIC. Also, who is this middle-aged lady who is in charge of Liz Taylor’s livelihood and mental well-being? Because she’s the only person I like so far besides Creed Bratton, and that was largely mustache-related. DRINK! Fur! DRINK! Turban! DRINK! FUR TURBAN! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
9:41 – Rex Harrison! That’s who the guy playing Burton reminds me of. That’s why I like him. DRINK! More fur!
DRINK! A third fur in one minute! DRINK! Diamonds!
9:43 – “I think La Loren should stay in Rome. You heard me. THAT ROLE IS MINE.” I almost wish I didn’t know how this turned out, because that would be an AMAZING opening for this to turn into a slasher film where she kills every actress he ever co-stars with.
9:48 – DRINK! Fur! I want to live inside that fancy-ass hotel room forever and all time.
9:49 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #5: “I’m going over there right now! I want a divorce!” “Well, hurry back.” Oooh, but then when he gets there SHE’S BEEN KIDNAPPED! Wait, wrong Lifetime movie.
9:50 – Who is this Irish guy? Are these their managers? They each have a middle-aged minder who is never introduced. DRINK! Liz just threw a glass against the wall! I suspect it was supposed to smash more dramatically than it did. You’re fired, props guy!
9:51 – YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS THIS FUR TURBAN IS LIKE A KODIAK BEAR AND A BUCKINGHAM PALACE GUARD HAD A BABY AND THAT BABY LIVES ON LIZ TAYLOR’S HEAD AND IT IS THE MOST GLORIOUS THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. And she just dramatically removed her sunglasses and shouted “What are you looking at?” to an assistant while wearing it. I LOVES.
9:52 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #6: “He treated me like a queen.” “Richard, the drunken court jester.” “God, no! (tearfully) You were my king!” YEESH.
9:53 – DRINK! Fur! DRINK! Dramatic door slam!
9:54 – “Go away, you selfish old harridan!” “But Elizabeth wants to play.” (cue sexy music) Like all these people do is make out and yet there is ZERO chemistry.
9:59 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #7: “You DO know that I’m shagging him senseless, don’t you?”
10:00 – Hold up, where did she get that hammer from? She just found it sitting there so she could conveniently just whang up one nail and the Van Gogh hangs perfectly centered over the desk? Do they keep hammers in the desk drawers at fancy rich-person hotels? Did she have it in her purse? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.
10:01 – If they want me to care about the emotional stakes here, I should care about the spouses they ditched for each other, but as it is, they have like ten seconds of screen time and they’re just walking plot devices.
10:02 – Lindsay Lohan is playing young Elizabeth Taylor with the drug-and-Botox-ravaged face of old Elizabeth Taylor, and it’s just depressing. Also, I love how all the couples who stood them up just HAPPENED to be at the same restaurant. Like London only has one.
10:03 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #8: “Oh, go back to your the-AY-ter, you big thespian.”
10:05 – Personal Pet Peeve: When movies have a scene that takes place in a theatre and they clearly have no idea how theatre works. There is no way a director would be rehearsing an actor’s solo monologue ON A BROADWAY STAGE without anyone else in the room. They would be in a rehearsal hall for this. They wouldn’t move into the actual theatre until tech and then it’s all hands on deck, not leisurely workshopping of one monologue with no one in the house but your girlfriend. Fail. DRINK! Fur! I swear to God that is Anderson Cooper in the paparazzi crowd behind them.
10:06 – “We’re guilty of erotic vagrancy?” And the list of ancillary characters in this play I’m rooting for now includes Julie Andrews and the Pope. And Creed Bratton, still.
10:07 – REAL TALK: I covet that ruffle-front coat. DRINK! Honeymoon turban!
10:09 – DRINK! Fur! Drink! “Hamlet!”
10:10 – You guys, I literally hate it with every fiber of my being when people call Shakespeare “The Bard.” Even when this guy says it and it sounds like “BAAAAAAAAHD.”
10:11 – WAIT WAIT WAIT. Steve from “Sex and the City” is in this? I LOVE HIM!
10:12 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #9: “I lost to LEE MARVIN!”
10:18 – I am completely lost. I just remembered, isn’t Elizabeth Taylor British? Did they not make Lindsay Lohan even TRY? Also, that scene from Virginia Woolf was so beige. And it’s SUPER classy to shout at each other in the theatre at your own premiere, you guys, TOTALLY KEEP DOING IT. DRINK! Throwing bottles against the wall! IN A MOTHERFUCKING TIARA, BITCHES.
10:19 – “They pay extra for the ugly ones now, the ‘candid photos.’ ” “But why? WHO WOULD WANT THAT?” Hi, did you order a side of ham-handed social commentary with your film? Because we are ready to serve it to you now.
10:20 – Worst Dialogue Nominee #10: “Mommy! Can we dress nicely?” Also, I kind of love the idea of all their kids being friends. I’m adding the kids to my “keep” list along with Julie Andrews and the Pope. And, wait, are they playing this like they get the phone call about the Oscar nominations on the day of the Oscars? Because that is all kinds of not correct.
10:21 – Sorry Burton, I know you’re bummed you didn’t win the Oscar but A Man For All Seasons is my jam. Team Scofield!
10:23 – Wait, so they were in Mexico the whole time? I missed that.
10:24 – No fair! I want to live on a yacht!
10:25 – DRINK! Yacht turban!
10:26 – And now they’re lamenting how gray and fat they are even though they look exactly the same as the first scene. Also, Liz, dial it back on the begging for jewelry when your accountant JUST told you you’re hella broke.
10:32 -They should change the slogan from “Diamonds Are Forever” to “Diamonds: For When You Tell Your Wife She Has Fat Hands and Then She Gets Really Mad.”
10:35 – Wait, for real? His brother’s name is IGOR??? I had no idea real people who were not lab techs for mad scientists were actually named that. WAIT. His brother just randomly falls down the stairs and breaks his spine and will never walk again? In a better movie, I would care about this, but right now I’m just logging it away in the File Cabinet of Wasted Plot Points along with both of the divorced spouses and Taylor’s weird loathing for Sophia Loren.
10:36 – No nipples on Christmas Eve, Lindsay. We shouldn’t have to tell you that. CUT TO SARDINIA! Ohhhhhh damn, Liz did not invite Richard to her sexy dance party and in revenge he threw the radio into the ocean OH NO HE DID NOT OH GIRL YES HE DID
10:38 – SUPER DRAMATIC YACHT FIGHT! And by “dramatic” I of course mean “lots of yelling and no emotional stakes whatsoever.” I laughed when she locks him in a closet though. DRINK! Caftan! Let it not be said that NO ONE on this movie knows what they’re doing, as there is some excellent B-roll of Sardinia. So, it has that going for it. CUT TO BUDAPEST! DRINK! Fur! DRINK! Man fur! DRINK! Randomly buying a plane even though you have no money!
10:39 – DRINK! Caftan and turban! Wait, they haven’t even gotten divorced the first time yet, how much longer is this goddamn movie?
10:40 – DRINK! Hella diamonds! DRINK! Four faux-Egyptian dudes in gold lame sarongs and no shirts bringing out the cake! That wasn’t in the original game, obviously, but it’s noteworthy enough that it should be drunk to. I wish my entire life was like this party, except starring the actual Liz Taylor and not Lindsay Lohan. YOU GUYS, do you think they had to wait until she died to make this movie because she would have choked a bitch if she knew LiLo was playing her?
10:41 – This cannot be the pace of any real person’s life. Big grandiose 40th birthday party! Collapse weeping on bed during said party! Wake up the next morning, still in your diamonds, to find your brother-in-law has just died! WHAT THE WHAT.
10:42 – “Oh hey, I’ve got this truckload of exposition, want me to just dump it right here? Yeah? Cool.” Worst Dialogue Nominee #11: “Richard, I may be your ocean, but he was your anchor.”
10:46 – YOU GUYS YOU GUYS THERE IS A SHOW ON LIFETIME ABOUT PROFESSIONAL BRA FITTERS I AM SO SERIOUS
10:47 – “I hear you’re on your third bottle.” This movie literally just ANNOUNCES everything.
10:48 – Once again, making everyone around them uncomfortable. He’s stroking some girl’s disembodied hand while sobbing “I KILLED MY BROTHER! RUN ALONG HOME AND PLAY WITH YOUR JEWELRY!” I want to ask that disembodied hand’s poor owner some questions. Oooh, a hotel-room-trashing scene! IN A CAFTAN! And then she just picks up the phone and randomly calls Aristotle Onassis. Which reminds me that we need to discuss how many people have shown up for ten seconds and never again. Creed Bratton and Sex & the City Steve have never reappeared. Onassis was in that auction scene and nothing else. This is wack. Oh, and now Richard is reading the newspaper and intoning “AN AFFAIR BORN IN BETRAYAL WILL END IN ASHES.” And now they’re both reading about each other’s affairs in the newspaper. Did she marry Ari Onassis? I did not remember that. This movie doesn’t even tell you that they know each other, just that Burton outbid Onassis for that ginormo diamond ring.
10:49 – “WHAT HAVE I DONE???” Best line ever. Oooh, the Exposition Express is chugging back into the station: “You know, people forget that Richard and I were together for over twelve years. We did forty films together in that time.” Yes, and you wouldn’t have to just ANNOUNCE that to us if you had showed us ANY of it, instead of just cutting from fur turban to fur turban like some kind of fur turban! (I’m sorry, you guys, the more I say “fur turban” the funnier it gets.)
10:50 – FINALLY, let’s get a divorce all up in this place! Oh God, are they going to end it when they get remarried like that’s the happy ending? Like she didn’t have ninety-six other marriages after that? I bet they are.
10:51 – “I am sad because I am divorced from Richard even though I love him! But now this lady at a party will tell me his is engaged to someone else and I will lose my shit! And the next time you see me, I will be lying in traction in a hospital bed, wearing a turban!”
10:57 – “Well, I don’t have colon cancer, so let’s get remarried! Screw those other people we’re dating, including my boyfriend who is standing right behind you!” CUT TO BOTSWANA!
10:59 – Terrible Dialogue Nominee #12: “I suddenly felt so very tired.” Uh-oh, I think Old Age Richard Burton is dead and OH MY GOD EIGHTIES LIZ TAYLOR THAT WIG THAT WIIIIIIIIIIG OH YOU GUYS I CANNOT EVEN DESCRIBE IT TO YOU
11:00 – AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA that was the worst faint of all time. I’m sorry, I know I should be sad that she just found out he’s dead, but I cannot feel anything for her in that wig. Oh my God, there it is AGAIN, but with big glasses this time. IT IS MAJESTIC IN ITS AWFULNESS.
11:01 – (takes off glasses, weeps) “Do you know how rarely we were ever truly alone?” Girl, who was the one who brought her own PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHER to live on the yacht? Some of this is on you, babe.
11:02 – I literally JUST noticed that they didn’t even bother to change her eye color. And Burton even had a line about her amethyst eyes. CONTINUITY, HELLOOOOOOO!
11:03 – And, SCENE.