It doesn't take much to see that Lindsay Lohan is lucky. She's been this generation's Disney girl (starring in remakes of The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Herbie, the Love Bug) and found critical acclaim in writer Tina Fey's much-loved high school safari Mean Girls. At a time when most girls her age are worrying about picking a major, the former teenage drama queen is hanging out with Paris Hilton, reportedly dating model Kate Moss' ex, and basically living it up. Talent, ambition, and good looks aside, let's face it -- that means you've won some kind of the cosmic lottery.
Which is partly why Just My Luck seems to hit a little too close to home. Lohan plays Ashley, a PR underling blessed with spectacularly amazing good fortune. She has a fab apartment, fab clothes (only a girl with luck on her side could wear head-to-toe white), and never has to carry an umbrella. When she kisses Jake (Chris Pine), a lovable loser who, in his first scene, gets splashed by a taxicab, rips his pants, and finds $5 (only it has dog poop on it), their fortunes reverse. He becomes the rising star, and she has to work in a bowling alley.
Lohan walks -- or, more aptly, stumbles -- through her latest film. It's difficult to separate Lohan the actress from Lohan the personality. And the task is not made any easier by the material. Ashley is not a particularly likeable, fully developed, or even engaging character. We don't know where she's from or where she wants to go. Mostly she seems blissfully unaware, self-absorbed, and, after losing her luck, sort of whiny.
Perhaps the filmmakers hoped that Lohan's larger-than-life tabloid personality would fill the gaps in character. Unfortunately, since rumors abound about her reckless driving and wild partying, it doesn't do anything to make Ashley any more real.
The moments where Lohan shines are when she's more like the girl-next-door than a glamour girl: sliding across a bowling alley, having already-chewed gum fall in her mouth, kissing a string of strangers to get her luck back. (Relaxing, it's not. With all the bad juju floating around, someone is always getting splashed, falling down, breaking things, or finding themselves covered in feces.)
Just My Luck is reportedly Lohan's last "teen" movie. Next she'll be in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion with Meryl Streep, John C. Reilly, and Kevin Kline. Is La Lohan ready to move from teen queen to Oscar nominee? In Just My Luck, she seems to be an adult: She has a job, her own apartment, and no parents in sight. But something is off, as if she's playing dress-up in her older sister's clothes.
As a teen confection, Just My Luck is not too sweet or too sour. But while it's perfectly palatable, it also seems hollow, as if the only thing inside is a generic paper fortune and a few lucky numbers.