Last night I gleefully announced to my friends on Facebook that Lindsay Lohan's new movie, The Canyons, is available on demand on cable, and that I would go ahead and watch it so that nobody else had to.
And then I watched it.
And now I feel bad for doing so.
My friend Rod said that I had a moral duty to blog about it, presumably because I volunteered to watch it for others, but after sitting through it (and falling asleep for about fifteen minutes of it; I rewatched that part today to make sure I didn't miss anything that might change my opinion) I found that I didn't have anything entertaining to say about it. I read a number of articles about the making of this movie, and all of them made me feel kind of bad for Lindsay Lohan, but actually watching this made me feel guilty. It made me feel like Lindsay Lohan was a real person in pain, rather than a punchline, and that it was wrong to exploit her.
The movie itself is nothing great or terrible. The plot is a pretty by the numbers "murderous love triangle amid the glamour of Hollywood", familiar ground that B-movies and "erotic thrillers" have covered more than once over the years. The acting is tolerable, the scenery feels authentic, and the soundtrack left no impression, so I guess it was fine or that it didn't have one. I'm pretty sure this movie only got any publicity because Lindsay Lohan was attached to it, and that's too bad, because I don't think Lindsay Lohan should have been in this. Instead, she should have been in treatment somewhere.
It's easy to say that in hindsight, knowing that she went from that straight to rehab, but even if you didn't know that it would be clear while watching this that something is wrong. Lindsay looks bad throughout the movie, but not in the sense that she's ugly; she looks unwell.
This movie emphasizes the tragedy of Lindsay Lohan's life so far, which is that she had talent and has completely squandered it. I'm not saying that she was destined to be one of the great legendary actresses of Hollywood or anything, but she had decent emotional range and excellent comic timing. Had she stayed clean, she could have enjoyed the career arc that Emma Stone is having. Instead, she may have lost her talent amid the drinking and the partying and the constant tabloid-fodder behavior. This is the kind of movie that Lindsay Lohan would never even have looked at after filming "Mean Girls", and now it's the only kind of movie that she can make.
The movie is Lindsay Lohan at rock bottom, and I feel like a guilty voyeur for watching it just to see that.