For a young actress at a critical junction in her career, Lindsay Lohan could hardly do worse than “Just My Luck,” a breathtakingly inane romantic comedy about being really happy and lucky and losing it all. If she keeps this up, life may yet imitate art.
As the star’s dramatic maturation goes, this is a giant step backward from “Mean Girls,” “Freaky Friday” . . . even “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”
Lohan plays Ashley Albright, a Manhattan public relations assistant so favored by fortune she can’t walk down the street without a $5 bill sticking to her shoe. Taxicabs stop for her, the clouds part for her, hideously wealthy young men routinely stoop to her. Best pal Dana (Bree Turner) helpfully iterates: “You’ve got to be the luckiest person in the world.”
And the smuggest. For while Ashley is by no means a cruel or vindictive character, she is loathsome, if only for how blithely she gobbles up all the swag. We’re uncomfortably reminded of Lohan’s off-screen tabloid persona — the spoiled big-city princess, floating through a life of velvet ropes and gift bags.
But Ashley gets her due. At a swanky music-biz benefit hosted by record company mogul Damon Phillips (Faizon Love, preening like a gay Suge Knight), Ashley shares a dance floor smooch with Jake Hardin (Chris Pine from “The Princess Diaries 2”), a rock band manager whose luck is as sour as Ashley’s is sweet. Magically, their karmas are flip-flopped. Jake’s band (Brit rockers McFly, playing themselves) immediately land a recording deal, while Ashley is booted from her job and loses all her possessions in an apartment flood.
“Ever since the party I’ve become the anti-Midas,” complains a perplexed Ashley. “Everything I touch turns to crap.” One wonders if she touched the screenplay, too.
It takes four story authors, two screenwriters and one supremely ungifted director (Donald Petrie of “Welcome to Mooseport”) to run Ashley through an interminable and unfunny series of mishaps. By and by, Ashley reunites with Jake and discerns the source of her misfortune. Now she has a dilemma: Does she take her luck back, or surrender it to the man she loves?
It should be a dilemma. The motivations in “Just My Luck” are so loosely managed that we’re never sure who’s thinking what. And for Lohan — a genuinely gifted actress with questionable taste in scripts — the question applies doublefold: What the hell was she thinking?