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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Lizzie McGuire Movie is a 2003 comedy based on the Disney Channel television series. In this movie, Lizzie and her classmates go to Rome to celebrate their graduation from junior high. Lizzie endures mild verbal bullying from a popular "mean girl" who was once her friend but now makes fun of Lizzie's outfits and clumsy actions. Lizzie also has a younger brother who wants his videos of Lizzie's humiliations to go viral online. There is some tween kissing, hand-holding, and flirting. Lizzie wears some skimpy clothing, especially when she nearly becomes a famous pop star in Italy. Overall, the movie teaches the importance of staying true to who you are.
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What's the story?
Hilary Duff stars as her TV series character Lizzie McGuire in this feature-length adventure. Lizzie's middle school graduation turns humiliating when she's called on as a last-minute substitute speaker and trips, causing the backdrop to fall on top of the entire graduating class. But she's looking forward to a trip to Rome with her friends, even though it's led by her new high school principal, Miss Ungermeyer (Alex Borstein), who seems more like a drill sergeant. Lizzie's spirits remain high even when she finds out that her nemesis, popular girl Kate (Ashlie Brillault), will be coming along. In Rome, Lizzie meets Paulo (Yani Gellman), a dreamy Italian teen pop idol who is mesmerized by her uncanny resemblance to his singing partner. She pretends to be sick so she can sneak out to tour Rome on the back of his Vespa, and he persuades her to pretend to be his partner on a live award broadcast. She feels like Cinderella. But she ends up learning some new things about old friends, and some old lessons about her new one.
Is it any good?
Fans of Lizzie McGuire are certain to love this fizzy tween tale. Lizzie is admired by a handsome international pop star, gets a makeover and tries on a lot of wild clothes, triumphs over the snarky popular girl, and gets to be a superstar with all her friends and family in the audience. It's all a tween dream come true.
It's not really a movie. It's just a 90-minute episode of the popular Disney channel television show, partly filmed in Rome. But we can be grateful that it's a nice, wholesome story created for an age group usually neglected by Hollywood. Duff has a warm, sweet presence, and the use of a little animated Lizzie to comment on the action adds liveliness to her adventures.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether people really do make their own luck, and how wishes can help.
Do you think Lizzie McGuire is a good role model? Why or why not?
This movie was released in the days before social media and YouTube. How would the attempts by Lizzie's younger brother to post humiliating viral videos of her be seen today?
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