Review: Lindsay Lohan doesn't impress in Lifetime's 'Liz & Dick'
Co-star Grant Bowler does better as Richard Burton than she does as Elizabeth Taylor
Second, Lohan and Taylor have enough in common — former child stars who have become paparazzi obsessions as adults — that the "Liz & Dick" producers might have hoped this would be the role to re-harness the talent Lohan has let drift away in the years since "Mean Girls," and possibly provide some focus for her as well.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Off-camera, Lohan got into several tabloid-ready incidents during filming. On-camera, she’s inexpressive and extremely contemporary, in no way evoking one of the most iconic movie stars of all time even when she's wearing one of Taylor's signature costumes from "Cleopatra."
The shame of it is, her co-star Grant Bowler (you may remember him as Cooter the werewolf biker on "True Blood") acquits himself quite well as the love of Taylor's life, her two-time husband Richard Burton. The New Zealand-born Bowler does a close enough approximation of Burton's deep Welsh voice. More importantly, though, he's believable as a temperamental, alcoholic star of stage and screen whose worst instincts come to the surface whenever he gets a look at Liz Taylor's big violet eyes.
If Lohan were up for playing at Bowler's level, "Liz & Dick" might not be a great movie — like "Cleopatra," the famously expensive film the two met on, it's overdone in every way (there are two different framing devices, as if writer Christopher Monger and/or director Lloyd Kramer couldn't choose between them) and features horribe dialogue like "I don't loathe you; I hate you!" — but it might be an entertaining biopic about a couple who inadvertently helped create the celebrity tabloid culture we live in today.
Alan Sepinwall may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org