Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Hilary Duff, Claude Knowlton, Adam Lamberg, Clayton Snyder, Ashlie Brillault
Director: Jim Fall

The talented Hilary Duff aka Lizzie McGuire (from the TV series) sparkles throughout this movie – she plays the role so well. In THE LIZZIE McGUIRE MOVIE Lizzie, renowned for her accident-prone streak is transformed from a hapless teenager that’s sometimes unpopular and the butt of bitchy comments to an Italian popstar oozing confidence, maturity and glamour.

Abroad in Italy on a school trip with her close, loyal friend Gordo (Adam Lamberg – another talented young actor), Lizzie meets Paulo (Yanni Gellman) at the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome after throwing a coin into the fountain and making a wish. Paulo (previously part of an Italian pop duo with Isabella) remarks on her similarity to his former singing partner. When fans mistakenly take Lizzie for Isabella, Paulo encourages Lizzie to skip the confines of her school party outings and join him instead for a much more personal tour of Rome.

Feigning illness and with the help of her friends Gordo and Kate (Ashlie Brillault), Lizzie meets up with Paulo. Feted by fans wherever they go and dodging her friends under the leadership of their eccentric teacher Miss Ungermeyer (Alex Borstein), Lizzie is having the time of her life and despite Gordo’s reservations he covers for her. Paulo is also very charming but with a forthcoming awards event that he is supposed to be performing at with Isabella, who is abroad following a rift between the duo, he hatches a plan to replace the real Isabella with Lizzie and begins training her to sing/mime and dance. Lizzie is flattered by his attention but unaware of his real motives to use her as a replacement for the real Isabella…

Fans of Lizzie McGuire will jump at the chance of seeing their heroine on the big screen and they won’t be disappointed with it’s amusing storyline, which though fairly basic and cliched, is backed up by good directing from Jim Fall who keeps the movie well paced and the exceptional acting from the ensemble cast (most are regulars on the TV series). Alex Borstein really turns in an excellent performance as the know-all teacher in charge of the school trip as do series regulars Adam Lamberg as Gordo and Jake Thomas who plays that annoying, scheming little brother of hers, Matt, so well.

A well acted, well presented movie for all the family especially all those Lizzie McGuire fans.

4 out of 6 stars