BOSTON (CBS) – Whatever my numerous flaws may be, they do not include being a cultural snob.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
I enjoy a good tabloid headline or a trashy reality TV show. I will see you in the stands at fight night at the Garden next month. I own a Red Sox “we’re #1” foam finger, and occasionally use it during big games.
So I tuned into the Lifetime Channel’s bio-pic about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, “Liz and Dick,” the other night with a certain amount of anticipation.
I’ve been a fan of Liz Taylor’s since I saw her in “National Velvet” as a teenager, and those of you of a certain generation will know what I mean. Taylor and Burton in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” was one of the great movie experiences of all time. And as much as it was total tabloid fodder, the Taylor/Burton story had a lot of social significance in its time, raising issues of morality, narcissism, conspicuous consumption, cultural differences between England and America, and more.
Plenty of material there for a decent movie, but “Liz and Dick” didn’t even come close.
Instead, we got scene after scene of really bad dialogue butchered by Lindsay Lohan as Liz, a sketchy act of casting that tells you all you need to know about how lazy and cynical the moviemakers were. I looked up the backgrounds of the director and writer, and there’s some evidence that they’re capable of decent work. But this wasn’t it, because, I suspect, everyone knew they were just out to exploit Lohan’s booze-addled tabloid past, and give the gawkers something in color to gawk at without even bothering to tell a good story.
This poor effort tells you plenty about how low Hollywood has sunk.
When you watch a trashy TV series like “The Real Housewives,” at least you learn something about insane materialism and what it does to people. When you read a New York Post story with a super-tabloid headline, at least you learn something about a news event.
But “Liz and Dick” taught us nothing but yet another lesson in how amazingly lazy and dumb much of Hollywood has become. Dumb, because the thing didn’t even draw very good ratings.
And for tabloid trash, that is the ultimate insult.
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