May 16, 2006



"Just My Luck" is cynicism striving for synergy, a consumerist teen dating flick awkwardly translated into the magic unrealist terms of a Disney kid flick, zoomy heels paired with washing machines that burp suds while Lohan does a passable imitation of Lucille Ball's woman versus machines slapstick routine. Dean Jones, meet Candace Bushnell. You see the anxiety in the movie's inability to decide how real this unrealism will be. (What single twenty-year-old PR flack has a Fifth Avenue apartment? and so on. This would not be a problem, in terms of suspended disbelief, in a true kid flick, but this movie wants to pull in both "Herbie" and Gawker fans.) Fans of Faizon Love will despair that he is reduced to one not funny "my time is money" schtick. The only winners are Chris Pine, whose good nature gives the movie its scraps of humanity, and the Brit boy band McFly, who are given an infomercial-sized role.

Even the faithful could worry that La Lohan will end up being no more or less than "Mean Girls", where she radiated in multiple directions and ways. Here, her charm is lost inside a weak premise (that she is unsually lucky and can pass along that fortune with a kiss), and a terrifying color wheel of skin tones. It's a dermatology class done in time-lapse: Lohan goes from silvery to orange to sort of mottled pink. You don't have to read tabloids to think she must have doing something exhausting and low in nutrients off-screen. Her two onscreen buddies, Samaire Armstrong and Bree Turner, are quite appealing and appear to have slept through the night before filming their scenes.

"Just My Luck" looks like "Ma Vie En Rose" next to the preview for " John Tucker Must Die," which may have been developed as supplemental viewing for college professors who have added Ariel Levy's brilliant book to their syllabi. In the myspace trailer (turn off the "Sweet Dreams"-y song below to hear the audio), John Tucker is introduced as the captain of the basketball team who "lost his virginity at 14 to the French teacher and English teacher…at the same time!" Later, one of the five wrathful girls he's two-timed remarks that another girl's mother—played by Jenny McCarthy—is "so hot!" Later, we see a faux lesbian kiss being egged on by a twelve-year old. Then one girl urges another to wear underwear to school. It is Cahiers du Cinema guest edited by Girls Gone Wild. Interestingly, the theater preview tweaks the raunch, and is different from the internet edit. Tucker loses his virginity to the "prom and the homecoming queen…at the same time!" (Avoiding potential teacher-student sex stigma?) What seems to follow is a "Mean Girls"-style plot to humiliate and falsely seduce Tucker, but don’t sweat the peripeteia, bros—girls are ready to PARTY FOR YOU at ANY TIME.

Posted by Sasha at May 16, 2006 12:17 PM | TrackBack