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Toon Talk: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
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Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
From the growing availability of offerings (ranging from fashions to dolls to an upcoming line of DVDs) starring the Disney Princesses, to the increasing popularity of its young Disney Channel starlets (including Raven and - until recently - Hilary Duff), up to such box office favorites as The Princess Diaries and The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Disney (with the exception of the ever-burgeoning Olsen twin empire) appears to have the lucrative tween girl niche market all sown up.
Add to that mix the recent theatrical release Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, a cleverly titled piece of throw away fluff that, despite the presence of Disney fave Lindsay Lohan, is as plainly unoriginal as its title character claims not to be.
Lohan, who was so refreshingly accomplished in her one-two punch of Disney remakes The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday, falters in the less defined role of Lola Cep, a typical New York City girl relocated by her mom (Dick Tracy's Glenne Headly) to the significantly less glamorous town of Dellwood, New Jersey.
With her quirky thrift store ensembles and over-sized personality, Lola resists fitting into her new surroundings, alienating the in-crowd (led by the Clueless-ly cliched Megan Fox) and befriending the prerequisite Willow-esque nerdette (Alison Pill), who she bonds with over the mutual obsession of a faux rock band of the power ballad variety.
Conspiring to meet the band's dreamboat lead singer Stu Wolf (played by Australian Adam Garcia with a drunken Cockney sneer because, you know, all rock stars are sneering drunken Cockneys) factors into the jumbled plot (creating a disturbing jail bait subtext) that also has Lola starring in the school musical, a modern take on Shaw's Pygmalion dubbed Eliza Rocks! (I guess My Fly Lady was too obvious); the production is directed by drama teacher Miss Baggoli, played by Carol Kane in yet another of her typically eccentric-for-eccentric's sake creations.
Occasionally, the film's heroine lapses into Amelie-like fantasies, but with none of that film's unironic whimsy. As directed by Sara Sugarman from a script by Cadet Kelly's Gail Parent (based on a "Young Adultâ€? book by Dyan Sheldon), Confessions is a clumsy exercise in mass marketed blandness; the thought of straying even slightly from the oft-traveled rote route explored in every teen sitcom and after-school special never entering its simple-minded head.