Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Movie Review: Life-Size

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Acting from the leads, some fun
Cons: Predictable, growth happens too fast
The Bottom Line:
A doll brought to life
Predictable kids’ movie
That doesn’t charm me

My Opinion of This Movie Didn’t Change on a Second Viewing

I know I watched Life-Size years ago.  We’re talking probably when it first aired on TV in 2000; if not, it wasn’t too long after that fact.  I remember not being that impressed with the movie at the time, so I was a bit surprised when I discovered the film has developed a bit of a cult following, even earning a TV movie sequel.  With that in mind, I decided to give the movie a second shot and see if my take on it had changed.

Casey Stuart (Lindsay Lohan) lost her mother a few years ago.  While she still lives with her dad Ben (Jere Burns), he has turned his grief into a drive to become a partner in his law firm.  Sad and lonely, Casey finds a spell that she thinks will return her mother to her.  Going behind her father’s back, she acquires the book and gets what she needs to enact it.

However, things go wrong and she accidentally brings an Eve doll to life.  As Casey tries to figure out a way to undo the spell, Eve (Tyra Banks) begins to infiltrate Casey and Ben’s lives.  Will her presence bring any changes to them?

Not familiar with Eve?  She’s essentially a Barbie clone.  While the movie never mentions the famous doll, Eve talks about all her careers and how perfect she was at them over the course of the movie.  Obviously, with model Tyra Banks playing the character, she’s also beautiful.  And there are references to her house and other accessories.

I’m sure you can see where the plot is going from my teaser, and you’d be correct.  Now, as you know, I don’t knock a movie for being predictable if I am having fun along the way.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have fun watching this movie.  Yes, it hits all the expected notes.  However, it feels perfunctory as it goes about doing that.  In fact, at times it seems like it is rushing to hit those notes instead of allowing them time to develop and the characters to grow.  Instead of enjoying myself, I found myself ready for the movie to be over.

This isn’t a fault of the actors, who are all good.  Okay, so some of the supporting players are over the top, but the main trio are all solid actors.  Yes, even Tyra Banks, who isn’t known for her acting, does a good job as Eve.  Frankly, I’m surprised she hasn’t gotten more acting jobs.  This was back when Lindsay Lohan was still a rising star, and she shows how talented she was here.  Jere Burns has some fun reacting to Eve’s antics as the movie progresses.

In fact, I think that’s one of the film’s faults.  It spends more time with dad Ben over Casey once Eve comes to life.  Ultimately, this is supposed to be Casey’s story, but by spending the time with Ben, we are short changed on her growth.

Maybe I was too old both times to see any magic that Life-Size holds.  While the movie has its fans, I don’t think I will ever be one of them.

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