We’re doing something a little different this summer for #WayBackWednesday! I asked the Fangirlish staff to tell me their favorite summer flicks–films they associate with summer, be that a film set in the summer, a film that was released in the summer, or a movie they spent a summer watching. Each writer will tell you why they chose their movie and I’ll be reviewing their film recommendations during June, July, and August. This is our Summer Vacation series! Pour yourself a glass of Kool-Aid, make some ramen, and find out how we spent our summer vacations each #WayBackWednesday.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie is one I saw bits and pieces of back in the day, but never in its entirety. My sister had a copy of the movie on DVD and watched it fairly frequently. I never really got into Lizzie McGuire. I was a little past the target age range for the show when it premiered, but I did catch the occasional episode and knew enough about the show to get the gist of the film. This week is the first week I watched The Lizzie McGuire Movie in its entirety, thanks to brand new Fangirlish staff writer, Alicia, suggesting it! Check out the trailer for The Lizzie McGuire Movie and we’ll get started with the final edition of our Summer Vacation Series for #WayBackWednesday.
Here’s why Alicia thinks The Lizzie McGuire Movie is a fantastic choice for a summer movie.
“Growing up in the early 2000s, I had no choice but to associate The Lizzie McGuire Movie with summer vacation. When it came to Disney Channel, Lizzie’s TV series tie-in played on loop every summer — and for good reason. This is the summer movie dreams were made of. It had me pining for the day I could go on a school trip to sun-kissed Italy and accidentally be mistaken for a worldwide pop sensation. This movie had many of us believing we could ride around a foreign country on a Vespa, free of teacher supervision.
It certainly played to the wilder imagination of wanderlust viewers with cinematography that brought the streets of Rome to your living room. And the idea that two women who look exactly alike could ditch their loser boyfriend and have the best summer of their lives was one I never shook. ‘Sing to me, Paolo,’ truly was a cultural reset.
After all these years, The Lizzie McGuire Movie still has me dreaming of escaping to Italy. Whether we like it or not, this movie has come to define the nostalgia of summer movies for an entire generation.”
The Lizzie McGuire Movie serves as the canonical ending of the Lizzie McGuire TV series. However, according to IMDB, new episodes still aired after its premiere. Lizzie (Hilary Duff) has graduated from middle school and is headed on the trip of a lifetime to Rome. While there, she is initially mistaken for an Italian pop star, Isabella, by Isabella’s singing partner Paolo. What follows is a whirlwind romance, secret identities, and finishes with an early-aughts pop dance extravaganza. Lizzie’s Roman holiday is one you’ll want to check out for yourself.
Here are a few reasons that The Lizzie McGuire Movie makes for fun summer viewing.
Early 2000s Pop Bops
Watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie this week was a real blast from the past for me. I never thought I’d get nostalgic for the early 2000s, but there were little things that really pushed my nostalgia buttons. While the clothes and some of the references made me laugh, it is the music that about did me in. The light pop tunes in this film had me nodding my head and bopping along with the soundtrack.
There are a couple of fun tunes that really hit me in my #WayBackWednesday feels, namely the cover of “The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)” by Atomic Kitten, and “Why Not” and “What Dreams are Made Of” by Hilary Duff. While I never watched Lizzie McGuire consistently growing up, I did watch a lot of The Disney Channel. The music videos for two Hilary Duff songs got a ton of rotation between shows and commercials, so despite not really watching the show or even watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie in its entirety before this week, I still managed to have all the words imprinted on my brain 18 years later.
Other notable artists on the soundtrack are Taylor Dayne, Jump5, Dean Martin, and the sister of Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff. If you’d like to feel a little younger, give the soundtrack for The Lizzie McGuire Movie a spin.
One thing that I appreciate about Lizzie McGuire is that it’s always got great humor. I can relate to Lizzie having an inner monologue. I enjoy the humor it creates and I actually really enjoy that her inner monologue is animated. Some of the jokes are a little cheesy, but goodness, they work. I especially love the humor from Miss Ungermeyer, delivered expertly by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Alex Borstein. She is the real standout for me in the humor department for this film. While I was watching the film, my husband looked over my shoulder and said, “I keep waiting for her to cuss!” It’s funny how seeing a performer in a different context can change our perspective.
Speaking of which, I also think Lizzie’s parents, Jo and Sam, (Hallie Todd and Robert Carradine) are quite funny. It is also perhaps that an extra layer of humor comes from where I associate those actors. Hallie Todd plays Lal, Data’s daughter, in an emotionally poignant episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Offspring.” Robert Carradine is Lewis in the 1980s cult classic, Revenge of the Nerds. If you’ve not seen Revenge of the Nerds, let’s just say that it will never make regular rotation on The Disney Channel, so I find it extra hilarious that he’s playing the mild-mannered dad on a family-friendly show.
If you could use some feel-good humor to close out the summer, The Lizzie McGuire Movie is a good film to cue up.
Going Out with a Bang
The mic drop finale in The Lizzie McGuire Movie seals the deal for me. I was shocked to find myself cheering along with the film, especially since I do not have the nostalgia or emotional investment of the TV show. I won’t spoil it for you if you’ve not seen it already, but let’s just say that the finale is very emotionally satisfying. Also, it’s potentially the most early 2000s thing I’ve ever seen. If you love a good ending and a satisfying end to a beloved TV series, you’ll want to check out The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Thanks very much to Alicia for recommending The Lizzie McGuire Movie to me for the end of our #WayBackWednesday summer vacation series. I’m not afraid to be pushed a bit out of my comfort zone in the movie department and this one was a lot more fun than I anticipated.
Alicia is one of our newest writers here at Fangirlish. She’s got a great breakdown of Free Guy right now on the site and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
We are pushing the pause button on #WayBackWednesday while I’m covering all the new Star Trek series coming out right now. Fear not, #WayBackWednesday will be back soon. In the meantime, tell me what you think about The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Leave me a comment with a movie you think I should cover in a future edition of #WayBackWednesday. Or, simply tell me your favorite summer vacation flick. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how we spent our summer vacations each #WayBackWednesday. See you soon!
The Lizzie McGuire Movie is streaming now on Disney+.