The good news: If you thought Liz & Dick would be lame, you aren't wrong.
The bad news: It falls short of being laughably, irresistibly bad. What a missed opportunity!
Even so, Liz & Dick will probably pay off for Lifetime, at least. Despite warnings (like -- listen up! -- this one) that viewers not waste their time on this made-for-TV film, lots of them will fall prey to their curiosity and flock to Liz & Dick when it airs Sunday.
And though "highly anticipated comeback movie role" oversells the situation mightily, Lindsay Lohan should also marginally benefit from her involvement. As superstar Elizabeth Taylor, she has the opportunity to remind an audience that she is capable of appearing in places other than a courtroom.
Liz & Dick covers the epic quarter-century love affair of Taylor and Richard Burton, who, after meeting on the set of Cleopatra, ditched their respective spouses, wed, divorced, married again and split again, all while keeping the world scandalized with their romance.
But however colorful this love story, it confronts numerous hurdles en route to the screen.
For one thing, Liz Taylor is among the most recognizable and legendary stars of all time. Who can capture her presence in a biopic?
Clearly not Lohan. Her hair is darkened, her lips are painted, her ample decolletage is put on display. But any resemblance to Taylor's ivory voluptuousness is slight. As a star and a sex symbol, Lohan is smaller-than-life, not larger.
Meanwhile, she is unable (or can't be bothered) to transform her throaty manner of speaking to resemble Taylor's lilting, English-accented voice.
Notwithstanding her status as a tabloid cover girl, Lohan in the past was regarded as a reasonably good actress.
Not here. And what of Burton? Australian-born Grant Bowler (True Blood, Ugly Betty) does his best to portray Taylor's Welsh leading man. But Bowler is most notable for not looking at all like Burton, while instead bearing a striking resemblance to Burton contemporary Christopher Plummer.
For those who simply must watch this film, the high point is scenes re-created from the 1966 Taylor-and-Burton drama, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Lohan and Bowler seem to be spoofing it on Saturday Night Live.
On his and Taylor's second wedding day, Burton, loutish as ever, toasts their tortured relationship thusly: "They love, they drink, they fight, they fornicate, they marry, they divorce, they marry again. Really, how long can this show run?"
How long, indeed, the viewer will be wondering.
Liz & Dick comes down to this: It doesn't do Taylor or Burton any favors (nor, of course, could any such trifle do their legends any harm).
And whatever Lohan's hopes for a comeback at 26, this flyweight endeavor won't restore any luster to its fallen star.
If only it were worse!