Directed by Jim Fall, starring Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd, Jake Thomas, Ashlie Brillault, Clayton Snyder, Alex Borstein and Yani Gellman.
'The Lizzie McGuire Movie' is this week's 'tween wish fulfilment flick, following hot on the heels of 'What a Girl Wants'. Another klutzy but cute American girl gets unleashed on a European city, falls in love and gathers her family 'round for the grand finale. Taking Lizzie McGuire from her small screen roots on the Disney series is Hilary Duff, recently seen in 'Agent Cody Banks'. The fresh-faced, apple-cheeked Duff is an entertaining, although occasionally self-conscious, heroine who comes complete with miniature animated Lizzie, fortunately retained by director Jim Fall from the TV show.
After a pratfall of fairly spectacular dimensions, accentuated by her irritating brother Matt (Thomas) secretly selling the video to CNN, Lizzie takes off on a school trip to Rome with several of the show regulars - her best friend Gordo (Lamberg), stuck-up Kate (Brillault), the slightly dim Ethan (Snyder) - and their formidable teacher, Miss Ungermeyer (a thoroughly enjoyable Borstein). While on vacation in the Eternal City, Lizzie meets handsome pop star Paolo (Gellman, with a haircut like the young Shaun Cassidy from the Hardy Boys) and gets mistaken for his singing partner and former girlfriend Isabella. When Paolo convinces Lizzie to fill in for the holidaying Isabella she is suddenly plunged into a dreams-come-true world of adventure and romance.
Where 'What a Girl Wants' was "inspired" by 1950's film 'The Reluctant Debutante', 'The Lizzie McGuire Movie' takes pages out of the Audrey Hepburn-starring 'Roman Holiday'. Lizzie whizzes around the sights of a beautifully photographed Rome on the back of a Vespa scooter, and is transformed from an awkward teenager into a pop star - evidently the 21st Century version of a princess.
'The Lizzie McGuire Movie' zips along in a suitably light and frothy manner - the clothes are fantastic, Rome looks enticing and Duff appealing - but the entire film is basically an extended episode of the series and is about as memorable. Like Lizzie's lip gloss, 'The Lizzie McGuire Movie' is slick and pretty - but wears off within minutes.