The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJim Fall
Written by
Based onLizzie McGuire
by Terri Minsky
Produced byStan Rogow
Starring
CinematographyJerzy Zieliński
Edited byMargie Goodspeed
Music byCliff Eidelman
Production
companies
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date
  • May 2, 2003 (2003-05-02) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$17 million[1]
Box office$55.5 million[2]

The Lizzie McGuire Movie is a 2003 American teen comedy film directed by Jim Fall. The film serves as the finale of the Disney Channel television series of the same name, and was the first theatrical film based on a Disney Channel series. The film stars Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd and Jake Thomas, and tells the story of Lizzie's graduation trip to Rome. It was released on May 2, 2003, by Buena Vista Pictures,[3] peaking at number two at the domestic box office behind X2.[4] It received mixed reviews from critics, but it has gained a strong cult following in later years. The events of the film take place after the second and final season of Lizzie McGuire.

Plot

Lizzie McGuire prepares for her junior-high graduation with one of her two closest friends, David "Gordo" Gordon. Their other best friend, Miranda Sanchez, has chosen to skip the graduation ceremony in favor of a trip to Mexico City to visit her relatives. During the ceremony, Lizzie trips onstage and accidentally brings the curtain down on her fellow graduates; this causes her to be teased by her younger brother Matt and her former best friend Kate Sanders.

After graduation, Lizzie and her classmates embark on a trip to Rome, chaperoned by their future strict high school principal, Angela Ungermeyer. The rest of the class chose a trip to a water park instead. To their dismay, Lizzie and Kate are assigned to the same hotel room. Their class visits the Trevi Fountain, where Lizzie is approached by an Italian pop star named Paolo Valisari, who mistakes her for his singing partner, Isabella Parigi. He asks Lizzie to meet him at the fountain the next day, and she feigns illness to sneak away.

Paolo explains that he and Isabella are booked for the International Music Video Awards, but she left Italy after their partnership breakup. He tells Lizzie that Isabella lip syncs, and begs her to pose as her for the ceremony so that they won't be fined for canceling. Lizzie reluctantly agrees, but soon begins to enjoy the experience and falls for Paolo. Lizzie continues to fake being ill to prepare for the ceremony, but Kate quickly figures out her secret. To Lizzie's surprise, she agrees to help her and they become friendly again. Meanwhile, Ms. Ungermeyer grows suspicious, leading Gordo to take the blame and results in him being sent back home as punishment. Lizzie is shocked when she learns from Kate that Gordo sacrificed himself to protect her.

Back home, Matt finds Italian gossip sites with pictures of Lizzie as Isabella. He initially tells his parents he misses Lizzie, convincing his parents to fly them to Rome, during which his parents find out about Lizzie's exploits. At the airport, Gordo meets the real Isabella, who is upset that someone has been impersonating her. They realize that Paolo is planning to have a nervous Lizzie unknowingly sing live at the ceremony, as Isabella actually does, creating the impression that Isabella is a fake, which would damage the latter's career and embarrass Lizzie. Gordo and Isabella rush to the awards to stop him and warn Lizzie. When the McGuires arrive in Rome, Ms. Ungermeyer learns that Lizzie is missing. Gordo's roommate Ethan Craft reveals that she is performing at the International Music Video Awards, and Lizzie's family and the class also rush to the ceremony.

Backstage, Gordo and Isabella find Lizzie preparing for the ceremony and warn her about Paolo's scheme. She refuses to believe them at first, but Isabella convinces her otherwise. Ms. Ungermeyer gets the class and Lizzie's family into the ceremony by pushing her way through the bouncers. During the performance, Isabella and Gordo expose Paolo, who is actually the one who lip syncs, by turning on his microphone, revealing his real mediocre singing voice. Upset, he runs off stage, where his displeased manager Sergei resigns, and gets ambushed outside by paparazzi. Isabella introduces Lizzie to the crowd, and the two of them sing "What Dreams Are Made Of".

When Isabella leaves the stage, Lizzie finishes the song solo, displaying a newfound confidence. Later, they all celebrate at the hotel's after party, where Ms. Ungermeyer rescinds Gordo's punishment and flirts with Sergei. Although Lizzie's parents tell her she is grounded for the rest of the summer, they are still proud of her. Lizzie and Gordo sneak away from the party to go up to the roof, where they promise to never let things change between them. They kiss and then rejoin the party before they get into more trouble. As the film ends with fireworks spelling "The End", the animated Lizzie does a parody of Tinker Bell, winking at the audience.

Cast

Production

The film, produced by Stan Rogow, was directed by Jim Fall from a screenplay by Susan Estelle Jansen, Ed Decter and John J. Strauss. It was filmed on location in Rome, Italy in the fall of 2002.[5] Most of the series characters reprised their roles except for Lalaine (Miranda Sanchez), who left the series late in the second season to film the Disney Channel original movie You Wish!. Her character was said to be on vacation with her family in Mexico City. Additionally, the characters Claire Miller, Larry Tudgeman, and Lanny Onassis were absent from the film.

Reception

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 102 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critics consensus calls the film: "A harmless piece of fluff that ought to satisfy fans of the TV show."[6] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[8]

Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+: "Let's face it: Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) is just too darn polished to be a junior-high underdog, even by the standards of her 'luxe suburban environs'. But that hasn't tarnished her comeback-kid cred among the six-and-ups who faithfully follow her Disney Channel show—and it doesn't make The Lizzie McGuire Movie, a clever, agreeably weightless theatrical outing, any less enjoyable."[9] Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four, but praised Borstein's performance, calling her work "the only really delightful element in the movie; everything else is simply slick and professional."[10]

Box office

In its opening weekend the film grossed $17.3 million in 2,825 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking second behind X2: X-Men United. The Lizzie McGuire Movie grossed $42.7 million domestically and $12.8 million internationally for a worldwide total of $55.5 million.[2]

Awards

Soundtrack

Main article: The Lizzie McGuire Movie (soundtrack)

Canceled sequel

Following the film, there were plans to continue the Lizzie McGuire series, one of which included a planned sequel film. Nothing came to this due to creative differences with Duff and Disney.[11] In August 2019, it was announced that Lizzie McGuire to be entering production for Disney+, with Duff reprising her role and Minsky returning as showrunner. Lamberg, Thomas, Todd and Carradine would also return to the series in their original roles. The series began production in association with Disney Channel, but entered a hiatus after Minsky's departure and did not resume, being officially canceled in December 2020.

References

  1. ^ "Raise Your Voice". Box Office Prophets. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "The Lizzie McGire Movie". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  4. ^ "Yahoo! Movies". Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2007.
  5. ^ "The Lizzie McGuire Movie". Premiere.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Lizzie McGuire Movie". Metacritic. Archived from the original on February 17, 2022. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Scott Brown (May 9, 2003). "The Lizzie McGuire Movie Review | Movie Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 17, 2022. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 2, 2003). "The Lizzie Mcguire Movie Review (2003)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "Cable TV talk". Archived from the original on February 17, 2022. Retrieved December 10, 2018.