The Train Wreck That Is Lindsay Lohan
My friend Sarah have been having an ongoing debate about Lindsay Lohan. In fact, I think we have a standing bet that she will win an Oscar within the next 10 years. She votes hell yes, I vote hell no...she might get nominated (hell, anyone can snag a nomination) but she won't actually win. I think the stakes of this bet were $200,000.
The tragedy of this situation is that three years ago, Lindsay Lohan was one of the hottest actresses in the world, in many senses of the term. Mean Girls was a huge hit, she had hosted a legendary episode of Saturday Night Live, she could actually act and she was smoking hot. A friend of mine who shall remain nameless because he now has a wife and child was so enamored with the Lohan 2004 that he would've gladly committed a homicide for a night with her. Maybe a multiple homicide for an entire weekend at a bed and breakfast. Millions of men around the world had the same reaction, and millions of women were okay with this. You know how certain women get acclaimed as gorgeous yet others face a big backlash as "not that pretty," or "oh, she is so fake" from other women? It seems like there's a much higher percentage of backlash victims who are blond. My theory is that women are actually Green Lanterns and are affected by the colour yellow. Anyway, Lohan, had the vivacious redhead thing going, so she passed the quality test from women as well. The words young Ann-Margaret were tossed around, and for those of you who know Ann-Margaret just as Jack Lemmon's shagbag in Grumpy Old Men, she was pretty fit back in her prime.
So anyway, 2004 Lohan was on easy street. Then things went sour. She became a party girl. She started being involved in creepy rumours like a tryst with just-barely-old-enough-to-be-her-grandpa Bruce Willis. She hasn't made a good movie since 2004.* She's been in and out of rehab like an Amy Winehouse song. She released shitty pop albums. She's being chewed out publicly by William H. Macy for being unprofessional on the set (this is my favourite one....did he throw in an "Aw geez" for old time's sake?). She got all skinny, which is never good. 'Slender' is definitely attractive, but 'skinny' is definitely not. She got skinny enough that her breasts even departed her, which is like if Johnny Cash's substance abuse had cost him his voice. She's doing trashy nonsense like vowing to sleep with David Beckham now that he's in Los Angeles.
* = the one exception is A Prairie Home Companion, one of my favourite films of recent years. The caveat here is that it wasn't really a 'Lindsay Lohan' movie. She was merely one good but ultimately unimportant piece of a larger puzzle -- like Greg Myers on the 1992 Blue Jays. It didn't help that Lohan's scenes were almost all with Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin, and I'm sorry, there aren't many actors in the world who are good enough to hold your own in those circumstances. Lohan was clearly way out of her league.
Now, Sarah is still a big fan for a number of reasons. Her main debate points are..
a) Lohan is only 21, so it's not like she's washed up or over the hill
b) she's hardly the first star or even the first child star to run into drug and alcohol problems
c) the comeback is a classic Hollywood tale, and all it takes is one good role to get back on track
d) so she's trashy and a train wreck, so what? She's still stylish
These are all salient points. Were I a better poster, I'd come up with a point-by-point between Drew Barrymore and Lohan, with the only main difference being that Lindsay crammed Drew's life from ages nine to about 22 into three years. Drew Barrymore turned out just fine, and she was about as messed up as it got for a young age.
But here's my rejoinder: Lindsay doesn't seem terribly smart. Like, I don't expect brain surgery tips from Hollywood starlets, but perhaps more damaging than a lack of smarts is a lack of wit. Someone like, say, Drew Barrymore doesn't seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, but at least he has some semblance of cleverness and self-deprecation about herself that I can appreciate. And she is sharp enough to run her own production company, so while I wouldn't want her on as a Millionaire lifeline, Drew doesn't deserve to be wearing a dunce cap.
Lohan, on the other hand, doesn't just act like a 21-year-old, she acts like a dense 21-year-old. Her PR people (who, by the way, need to update their resumes) should've pointed her in the career paths of Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson. Nobody thinks these two are particularly bright, and if you believe the tabloids, Scarlett has been banging her way through Hollywood for years. But those details are glossed over because the two carry themselves with an ounce of class. Lohan carries an ounce of cocaine in her purse. I think the big turning point for me didn't come with the DUI or anything, but rather than Tina Fey and Amy Poehler started openly mocking her on Weekend Update two years ago. I took that as the "ok, we've given up, you're on your own, Lindsay" moment from two women who had openly become public big sisters to Lohan since Mean Girls.
So whose side do you take in the debate? Has Lohan's plane hit the proverbial mountain, or is this merely a pit stop on her career arc? There's 200 grand riding on this. Or not. I really don't remember the details of this bet at all. This explains why my internet betting website collapsed.