Just My Luck is a romantic comedy most definitely aimed at the tweenage market. It stars teen queen favourite Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen) and Chris Pine (Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement) and is directed by Donald Petrie (Miss Congeniality; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days). You can guess what to expect.
Lohan plays Ashley, the luckiest woman in the world. She never has accidents and has everything in life she could want. Pine plays Jake, a bumbling and disaster prone dreamer waiting for his one chance to plug the band he’s discovered. They kiss at a masquerade party Ashley has organised and Jake has snuck into. Suddenly their luck switches – cue endless slapstick humour as Ashley’s life falls to pieces while Jake finds the success he always dreamed of. They meet by chance and fall in love. Cue the obligatory happy ending.
Lohan gives a fair performance as Ashley coming across as likeable albeit in a nave and totally unrealistic way. Pine is actually quite endearing as the general all-round nice guy love interest, although there is something a little unsettling about a man that age whose best friend is a 10 year old girl. They make an okay couple, although you wouldn’t expect a great deal of on-screen sizzle in this sort of movie.
As so often happens, one of the best things about this film is the supporting cast. Faizon Love (Elf) gives a great performance as the record company mogul Jake must impress, Missi Pyle (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is both uptight and vulnerable and Ashley’s ber-bitch boss. Ashley’s best friends are Samaire Armstrong (TV series The OC) who believes everything will be ok if you just believe, and Bree Turner (The Wedding Planner) who realises that there’s something not right about Ashley’s luck. McFly play themselves and come across as a nice bunch, and not as wooden as you’d expect a boy band to be.
Unfortunately for Lohan her luck ran out when she decided to make this movie. The whole thing just doesn’t work. You know the old phrase that a camel is a horse designed my committee, and that’s the sort of feel Just My Luck has to it. She was good in Freaky Friday, so let’s have the whole switching concept from that, and we liked the slapstick from Mean Girls so let’s bring that in too. Oh, and let’s not forget great clothes, the love interest… With an intro so cheesy it has you reaching for a bucket, the best thing about this movie is the soundtrack.
Some of it is also just ridiculous. No one in their right mind is going to consider the inevitable results of putting water on an electrical fire, or picking a contact lens out of cat-litter tray and using it, or insulting a piece of artwork at a gallery opening and so on, to be bad luck. This is the time for Lohan to make the transition to serious adult actress, not be playing a totally clueless Muppet. The concept would have been a good vehicle for the Olsen Twins five years ago, or maybe an episode of a TV series, but it can’t stretch to 103 minutes without becoming repetitive.
If you have any young female relatives, you’ll have to watch this at some point. Just think happy thoughts and wait for the credits. If you’re Lindsay Lohan, fire your agent and take comfort that whilst we’re all panning this, we’re not discussing your driving or Paris Hilton.