Sometimes I let my curiosity get the better of me, and when I see a bizarre or obscure DVD sitting on a charity shop shelf, I buy it for the novelty value, without really considering whether I’ll enjoy watching it or not. Tch! And that’s exactly what happened when I spotted a French copy of the Lindsay Lohan rom-com Lucky Girl (aka Just My Luck) (2006). Fun fact: According to the back cover blurb, Mean Girls was known as “Lolita Malgré Moi” in France, which roughly translates as “Lolita in Spite of Myself”! What the what!?
For those who don’t know, the gimmicky “high concept” plot of this movie sees Lohan playing ‘Ashley’, the luckiest girl in New York, who (after several suffocatingly smug scenes illustrating her flukiness) loses her good luck to ‘Jake’, a handsome-but-hapless loser played by Chris Pine (of Star Trek and Smokin’ Aces fame). How does this transfer of fortunes occur, you may ask? Basically, he crashes a masquerade ball that she’s organised for her company, then asks her to dance as part of his cover, and about a minute or so later she’s snogging his face off, despite the fact he’s barely said two words to her, and is wearing an identity-concealing mask! Apparently a lifetime of being spoiled by the Fates has made her very trustful of strange, shifty men. They then part ways, and he starts enjoying a sudden upswing of serendipity, while her life spirals straight down the shitter. That’s right, I said “shit”… and you’d better get used to it, because they use that word an awful lot in this movie, despite the fact it seems to be aimed at a fairly young audience… the sort of undiscriminating younglings who still think that seeing people fall down and get drenched with water over and over and over again is the funniest thing ever. Really, they should have called this thing “Schadenfreude: The Movie”, because that’s basically all it is… just an insufferable merry-go-round of mindless slapstick. Gah!
It doesn’t help that the usually reliable leads are playing such utterly unlikable characters here: In the opening scene, when Ashley steps into a taxi and finds a stray bank note stuck to the bottom of her shoe, she doesn’t even consider handing it to the kindly black doorman holding the car-door open for her. No, she just pockets it for herself, and drives off to her fancy uptown job with a self-congratulatory smile. Bet she didn’t even tip the cabbie! Meanwhile, Jake has made it his life’s work to inflict the piss-poor pop-punk-lite band McFly on America… which practically makes him a Bond Villain in my book. I presume the band’s prominent promotion here was orchestrated by a soulless, shadowy cabal, in the name of corporate “synergy”, yeah? Ew!
This movie is so awful, it actually makes Missi Pyle seem boring, and Samaire Armstrong seem unattractive and irritating (as Ashley’s boss and best-friend, respectively). That’s just straight-up Bizarro! Normally they’re both consummate scene-stealers… but this movie saps all the talent and charm and humour right out of them, leaving only dreary, flailing doppelgangers in their place. Poop. The only supporting player who really shines is Bree Turner, as a colleague of Ashley’s named ‘Dana”. She’s basically the only tolerable character in the entire cast, thanks to her vaguely cynical attitude to the stupidity around her. Turner’s actually got a pretty interesting resume, even if she’s only had very minor roles in most of the titles I’m familiar with… making her debut as a ‘French Girl’ in Dunston Checks In (co-starring Rupert Everett and an orangutan!), she then appeared as a dancer in The Big Lebowski, She’s All That, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, as well as the awesome opening title sequence of My Best Friend’s Wedding. She’s also had minor roles in The Wedding Planner, American Pie 2, and Bring It On Again… but she hasn’t done anything especially eye-catching since this, which is a shame because I thought she gave a very winning performance here. And she’s pretty, oh so pretty…