Fun, but fluffy and lacking edge, "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" was the first mis-step in the career of "It Girl" Lindsay Lohan. The film certainly isn't terrible - it's fun, clever at times and provides some good performances. However, the film just never connects long enough to be memorable.
Lohan stars as Mary "Lola" Cep, a New York City teenager horrified to find that her mother (Glenne Headly) is moving her and her family to the New Jersey suburbs. When the initial shock subsides, Lola finds herself a new friend(Alison Pill) and gains the attention of school alpha female Carla Santini (Megan Fox).
The two pals love Sidarthur (who came up with that name?), a rock band that's just announced their final concert. Carla has scored tickets to the show, while Lola spins a few lies to try and get her way into the show and a meeting with Sidarthur frontman Stu Wolff (Adam Garcia). Meanwhile, Lola has to prepare to star in the school's theatrical version of Pygmalion, awkwardly retitled, "Eliza Rocks!" (the actual scene is fascinating in the worst possible way).
Lohan provides a fine performance, although her character can occasionally come across as being a whiner. Pill is a little more entertaining as Ella, as the actress provides a wonderfully nervous, gawky performance that plays nicely off of Lohan's more assertive character. Fox does a fine job playing the generic villian of the piece.
The film proceeds predictably throughout the majority (and sometimes seems like a plug for Lohan's aspiring singing career), but there are some nice moments. A scene where Lola realizes that her rock star idol isn't all he's cracked up to be is nicely played, as is the ending. Some of the fantasy sequences are amusing, if not terribly necessary. Aside from those moments, however, director Sara Sugarman shoots this in sitcom fashion. Overall, a decent rental for the target audience.
VIDEO: "Confessions Of a Teenage Drama Queen" is presented here in THX-Certified 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Pan & Scan editions. The picture quality is disappointing and especially questionable, given the THX status. The fact that both editions of the film have been packed onto a dual-layer disc seem to have really made the presentation suffer. Sharpness and detail are inconsistent, as some brighter shots are crisp and fairly well-defined, but other scenes look soft.
Problems showed up fairly often, as noticable compression artifacts and edge enhancement showed up on several occasions. The print generally looked fine though, as only a few minor specks appeared. Colors remained bright and well-saturated for the most part, but there were a few occasions where they came across as slightly muddy.
SOUND: "Confessions" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film's sound design is surprisingly decent for a teen comedy; there are instances of clever surround use scattered throughout the picture, while the music maintains a nice spread across the front speakers. Audio quality is great, with dynamic-sounding music and clean, clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: An audio commentary is included with participants director Sara Sugarman, writer Gail Parent and producers Jerry Leider and Robert Shapiro. This is generally a very funny, very high energy track that has the four participants laughing and joking about the stories behind the production and coming up with some very witty comments. In-between the kidding around, the four actually do come up with some very good information about aspects of the production, from costume design to casting.
Aside from the commentary, we get a brief "making of" featurette, Lohan's "That Girl" music video, a deleted scene and promos for other Disney titles.
Final Thoughts: Lightweight and predictable, "Confessions" runs farther than it should on its abundance of energy and a few good performances, but it's still nothing too memorable. Disney's DVD edition provides surprisingly average image quality, fine audio and a couple of good supplements. Recommended as a rental.
The Film ** 1/2