I'm more of a "Mannequin" guy myself, but I saw the first movie...nearly 20 years ago.
Okay, Where The Hell Did This Movie Come From?!
I am legitimately confused as to where this came from, why this was made, and who wanted it made? I haven’t seen any demand for a Life-Size 2 or any sort of nostalgic revival of the original or even a single shred of promotional work done for this movie at all. I didn’t even know that this was a thing that was happening until less than a week ago when I so happened to be looking up Lindsay Lohan on IMDb and saw that she was supposed to star in the film and that it was rumored to be happening. I thought to myself, “Hmm, how random. That’ll never happen.” Obviously, I was wrong about that because the very next week I see that it has already aired on television. Freaking what?! I also looked back on Lindsay Lohan’s IMDb to see if her credit to the film was still there since she wasn’t actually in the movie and now the credit seems to be missing. Interesting. I don’t know what poor soul made a trade with the devil to make this sequel come true, but I hope that it was worth it and that you shine oh so very bright and far with this… thing.
Alright, now that I’ve gone on my rant of confusion about why this was made, let me rant about my confusion of how this was made because this movie is bonkers. I mean, I don’t know what I saw, but I’m not the man I was before seeing it anymore. Before I get into my review, I would like to put a disclaimer that it has been seventeen or eighteen years since I’ve watched the original Disney Channel’s Life-Size movie, so if I say anything that conflicts with the… Life-Size continuity(?), then I’m truly sorry. I remember liking it as a kid, but I was eight when it aired and remember little to nothing about it quite honestly. On that note, without further ado, I bring you my review of Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve. Get it? Her name is Eve and it’s Christmas.
Grace Manning is a young, 20-something that spends most of her nights partying and most of her days sleeping if not drinking more. She is a full-fledged alcoholic that turns out to be the C.E.O. of an entire toy company, left to her by her mother who was incarcerated a year prior. After another night of crazy partying, she goes to the toy company for a board meeting, the one and only time we see her actually go to her job. In this meeting, she declares to cease production of the “Eve” doll. After that, her best twelve-year-old friend convinces her to read a book of spells so they may bring Grace’s Eve doll to life in order to help Grace with the company and save the “Eve” toy line. And wouldn’t you know it, the spell works and Eve is…wait for it…LIFE SIZED! And she helps Grace learn the error of her ways and try to save all of the Eves or else if production and selling of these toys end then they will all die! Not joking. Apparently, if production of the “Eve” doll stops then that means this world full of Eves will cease to exist and they will all die. Not sure how that works, but then again, I’m not sure how a lot of this movie’s logic works.
This movie is insane. There is no better description for the script here other than someone coked up late one night watching the Disney Channel happened across Life-Size and said, “Why hasn’t anyone made a sequel to this? I’m on it!” They should not have been on it, seek medical and psychiatric help immediately, please!
Oh Gracie Girl...
This movie’s lead is a spoiled brat that spends practically every day of her life drinking and spending a little too much time with twelve year olds, particularly one girl by the name of Lex. When she’s not drinking her day away or for some reason hanging out with Lex, she’s partying it up all night. She drinks so much that when Grace and Eve first meet it’s in Grace’s bed and Grace believes that she had ‘black-out sex’ with Eve. We literally see her go to work all of once in this movie. Not a joke. Not any sort of exaggeration, we see her go to one board meeting where she’s completely hungover and was only there to get the plot started by discontinuing the “Eve” doll. Yet she spends so much time complaining about how this company is sucking up all her life and it did the same to her mom so it depresses her enough to drink herself half to death every night. That may work if we saw her actually go to work more than once. On top of that, we’re supposed to feel bad for Grace and route for her to keep this company when a ‘bad guy’ attempts to force her out of being C.E.O. For most of the movie, I was in agreement with the ‘bad guy’ because there is no reason why Grace should be running this company at all. Forget that she was handed the company down to her by her mother because apparently in her time as head of the company, business has plummeted and is on the verge of shutting down. She clearly doesn’t show up to the place unless she’s forced to. She makes all of one decision when she’s hungover and she makes a total idiot of herself publicly while on her drinking binges. But the movie thinks I have to root for her because she has a ‘heart of gold’ and everyone keeps saying how smart and full of potential she is. I didn’t see one bit of that potential or intelligence in this movie; and that ‘heart of gold’ is a load of crap. She’s a spoiled rich girl that doesn’t want to work and just wants to drink all the time. Why should I care about her? She doesn’t even seem to care until the script says so towards the end.
It’s fairly apparent that the writers realized how much of a terror Grace is and so they made sure that it turned out the ‘bad guy’ actually framed her mother of…something, not sure what, they never say…in order to get her sent to prison. Good job, writers, you made a quick fix where I have to say, “Well there’s an innocent woman in prison so I guess I have to root for Grace.” Cheaters. It feels like a cheap and quick move in order to manipulate the audience. Don’t worry, the ‘bad guy' is thwarted pretty quickly. Not by Grace, but by some guy we occasionally see in the board room meetings that so happened to overhear the ‘villain’ clumsily reveal over the phone that he framed Grace’s mom. That guy was somehow able to collect enough evidence in a day to get the F.B.I. to arrest the ‘baddie’ and clear Grace’s mom of the charges. The law works fast.
Not only was it insufferable to deal with the Grace character as this whiny little drunk brat, but she also is the reason for one of the laziest ‘third act breakups’ I have ever seen. So, from the very beginning with Eve showing up in Grace’s life, Eve makes it as apparent as possible that her goal is to keep the “Eve” doll toy line going and change Grace’s mind about halting production. When the third act hits after they have become the best of friends, everything is going so right between the two of them, and Grace has decided to continue the “Eve” brand… the writer had no ideas on how to make the pair naturally split up so Grace gets mad at Eve because while Eve talked on the phone she said that she had accomplished her mission to keep the “Eve” doll production line going… Oh no. Did you get mad at the person that from the start told you exactly what she wanted you to do and you finally did it and she’s happy about it, but now it must mean that she was only using you all long and you have to have something to whine about so it might as well be this? Grace, you’re an idiot. I apologize for anyone named Grace reading my review. I don’t mean you. Unless you’re the fictional character of Grace Manning from Life-Size 2. Then I do mean you.
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Grace Holding Her Waiter Captive Until She Finishes Her Drink In Order For Him to Bring Her Another One Immediately.
Hey, You’ve Barely Talked About The Actual Point Of Life-Size! That Being Eve!
The fact that our lead characters whip out a book of spells to bring a doll to life is already crazy enough as it is, but there are places this movie goes that made me question if I actually saw that happen or not. Before I get to what I mean there, I do want to say that Tyra Banks as Eve was enjoyable at times. From the very first frame with Tyra showing up on screen, you can just tell through her performance that she is excited to be in this role and she is having a lot of fun playing Eve again. Her expressions and delivery did manage to keep me relatively entertained throughout the movie and I honestly would like to see her more often in movies. As long as it’s not in something like Halloween: Resurrection. Anyways, to get to my meaning from earlier; there is this chef in the film that has a crush on Eve, but by ‘crush’ I mean he full-blown wants to bang her. Apologies for putting it so crudely, but that is exactly what he’s doing. Anyone using their brain would realize that this woman Eve is not mentally all there and pretty much has the mentality of a five-year-old. Nothing wrong with that for this character, but the fact that this guy is trying so hard to have sex with her is beyond creepy to me. But this ‘romantic’ subplot ends in such a terrifying way that I don’t know if I should be calling this guy out for karma or feeling bad that he had no idea where this would lead. So at the very end, Eve has to go back to her world of Sunnyvale. A realm that the Eve dolls reside in while they are in doll form, the chef says that he is willing to go with her as he is under the impression that Sunnyvale is a town in Arizona. Immediately they both turn into dolls and he is trapped in a world where every person looks exactly the same and all of the food is made out of plastic. In other words, a living hell for a chef. I mean this man thought he was probably going to just take a flight out to some small town and it’d be fine because he gets to have sex with someone as hot as Tyra Banks. Nope. You’re trapped in a plastic purgatory without any means of escape while all the loved ones you left behind will probably think you’ve disappeared or died. Not to mention that you will actually die seeing how you have no real food or water to keep you alive. I truly hope that Tyra Banks with the mind of a child was worth it, buddy.
Who Is This Movie For?
I’m still at a loss for figuring out what the demographic for this movie is since it seems to be trying to be a kid's flick like the original, but the writers know that anyone that grew up with the original is in their mid-20s to early 30s so they inject some more adult stuff in there, but it’s also pandering to the teenage audience with dialogue that’s trying to be ‘hip’ with today’s lingo; like simply referring to a ‘Woke’ Eve doll, that’s how lazy these people are. Turning the “Be A Star” song into a rap in the third act. Just a lot of painful pandering to try and be cool to the kids, but it makes no sense since anyone older that isn’t a moron will just be annoyed by that. But anyone older trying to watch this movie with logic meant for toddlers isn’t going to enjoy it because it’s too dumbed down. I really don’t get who this movie is trying to be for. So, to me, it comes across as not meant for anyone. Too immature and condescending for an older audience, not appropriate enough for a child audience, and not relevant enough to resonate anywhere in between since the first one is an obscure television gem from before they were born.
Life-Size 2 Baffles Me…But I’m So Glad I Saw It.
This movie makes no sense, it was idiotic, manipulative, and completely off its rocker at times. I had a blast watching it. Not for genuine reasons though. I laughed at the absurdity of it all; the lead being so unlikable while the movie tried so hard to make me root for her. The creepy vibes present with an adult woman who is a celebrity known to be an alcoholic that is having a sleepover with a bunch of twelve-year-olds and the parents are completely fine with this as they are under no supervision. Or how the chef is trying to bed a possibly mentally disabled woman. The ‘bad guy’ having legitimate reasons for wanting Grace out of the company yet the movie says we should hate him. It was hilarious. I will never watch this movie ever again, but I’m glad I watched it once.
If you have any sort of nostalgia for Life-Size, I, unfortunately, cannot tell you how this sequel stacks up to its predecessor. This may come across as offensively bad or maybe this will be wildly loved and on par with the original. I have no idea, I’m not well enough aware of how people are receiving this movie as of right now. For me personally, I have to say that this was pretty bad and enjoyable in all of the wrong ways. With the exception of Tyra Banks as Eve who does give a fun performance, this may be worth checking out for her alone since she gives so much to this role and seems as though she has a lot of love for playing Eve again. The rest of the movie, however, is a hot mess.
Do you remember the legacy that is "Life-Size"?
© 2018 John Plocar