Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
|Featuring||Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine, Samaire Armstrong, Carlos Ponce, Chris Carmack, Faizon Love, Missi Pyle, Makenzie Vega|
|Producer||Arnon Milchan, Arnold Rifkin, Bruce Willis|
|Distributor||20th Century Fox Pictures|
This one is a fairly easy one to do because this review deals with subjects we all know well. Superstitions and Lindsay Lohan.
All kidding aside, the topic of luck guiding our lives should send a warning out to Christian parents of teen and pre teen kids, mostly girls, who will flock to see this cute, although dopey film. Then, no matter what her personal life has dished out, we tend to be at home with a movie with Lindsay Lohan in it, because customarily it is something we can send our kids to without too much precaution.
That said, Just My Luck' is the story of Ashley Albright (cheerful but wasted performance by Lindsay Lohan), a bright and perky girl who’s just out of college and working at a celebrity-centered New York public-relations firm. Her boundless good luck is surpassed only by her own obliviousness to the misfortune of others. Happy-go-lucky (smile) and knowing her good fortune, Ashley draws people and handsome young men to her like a magnet. It seems her primary source of stress is party planning for her boss, Peggy Braden (a total caricature of the evil boss by Missi Pyle).
The pretension of her workplace is mirrored in her truly oblivious exchanges with her co-workers, who are also, conveniently, her best friends since High School: Dana (Bree Turner) and Maggie (Samaire Armstrong). Ashley is so used to getting everything she desires and is so conceited about it, we as an audience never connect with her utter horror over how much her life changes when her luck is taken away from her later in the film.
Jake Hardin, (Chris Pine, not quite the charismatic guy he should be) is a self-proclaimed unluckiest man alive, who gets soaked in every rainstorm, slips on every banana peel, trips over every crack in the sidewalk, and ignored by every cab. For some unknown reason Jake has been trusted by an up and coming band (McFly, named after the main character in the Back To The Future trilogy) to handle getting them a break out contract with the hottest studio in New York. Go figure.
Anyway, as luck would have it (smile #2) Jake just happens to meet up and has a dance with Ashley at a high-octane party she has lavished-out for her boss. Their kiss (which happens only 15 seconds after they meet) not only allows their germs to meet cute, it also magically transfers her luck to him!
As the inevitable result, Jake nabs a great job from record mogul Damon Phillips (Faizon Love) and coincidentally that break out music deal for his rock-band friends! He now can hail a cab by lifting his pinky, while Ashley winds up on the receiving end of those pesky rainstorms, trips, dips and all around klutziness Jake once possessed.
The rest of the movie, predictably centers on these two finding one another, getting their kisses exchanged again and hopefully getting their own lives back. The complication, as is expected, is that they fall in love and ultimately want what is best for the other.
“Just My Luck” is a flimsy, formulaic film who’s few saving graces include a drool-worthy wardrobe and a few slapstick giggles that Lindsay is so perfect at. If only her publicity people had spent a fraction of the energy they put out propelling her into the adult world of “dish” and instead finding Ms. Lohan a worthwhile vehicle to launch her new “grown-up” persona, this might be a very different review as she is a fine comedic actress.
The PG-13 rating (for some brief sexual references) is accurate. The idea of sexual relationships starting after the first dance, the first date or the first kiss runs rampant in today’s teen romance comedies and is something parents need to talk over with their teen and pre teen kids. Although subtle, the reference is clear. This is the world’s idea of love and not God’s.
Which brings me to spiritual warfare.
There is an unseen war going on and the main target, if you as Christian parents haven’t already guessed, is the young and ungrounded. Some obvious temptations are drugs, promiscuity, and the general party scene. But lets not loose our focus on the obscure. Luck is not a valid path. No fortune teller, psychic network or tarot card can guide anyone except to the path toward confusion. Cloaked in the cute and just-for-fun guise of teen comedy, the indirect and innuendo is there. The suggestion to the young that luck is real and viable is more dangerous than any outright example such as underage drinking and drug use.
Even though I can advise you as to how many cuss words are used in this film (sh** x 2, holy crap once and several expressions of “SOL”), and sex scenes or nudity (none), it is the ease and matter-of-fact supposition that luck, karma, fortune tellers and superstition are real choices a person can use to guide their lives is of much more concern!
In a world sovereignly controlled by God, there is no “luck,” there are no coincidences. The rules of the game are black and white, light verses darkness, death or life, there is no in-between. Even the most innocent entertainment can manipulate in Satan’s favor. The character’s “luck,” or lack thereof, is so superficial that it’s tempting to chalk most of it up to stupidity and to just plain clumsiness. It also raises the questions: What would either of them do in a situation that was not just inconvenient but actually difficult? Who should they rely on besides the fortune teller, palm reader, personal karma or the idea of blind fate?
Parents tell your kids that every believer is subject to the wiles of the enemy. Satan has crafted deception into an art because he knows it is the most effective way to destroy us. The Bible gives us a heads-up when it comes to Satan’s style of attack. Looking back on the very first deception, Eve was blindsided because she didn’t expect the enemy to deceive her. Here is where you can teach your children to be aware, even in the pages of books or the characters on the screen, that the enemy is there. When we simply expect the unexpected, we can defend ourselves against the wiles of the devil and his subtle messages, even within the harmless concept of luck.
It is important for teens and young adults to recognize they are being watched and tempted by an unseen enemy. The devil wants to attack God’s people from within. Most of us are being shocked and numbed to a point of inactivity. Teach your children to put on the whole armor of God, not just bits and pieces of it. They simply can’t afford to be careless with their Christianity when confronted by ungodly concepts.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
I am not saying don’t go see this cute, light hearted movie, what I am saying is for parents to be sure their kids have a strong grasp of the subtle ways the enemy can change their minds. To be grounded in scripture and know when to guard against the devil’s schemes in our lives. Listen to Peter’s warning and listen to your parent’s teachings in scriptural things:
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders” (1 Peter 5:5).
Tweens and teens will love the clothes and the colorful staging. Ground them in God’s word and send them out knowing they will have fun with this movie, and that God (not luck)rules their lives with Power:
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
and that God rules with Sound Mind:
“…we can understand these things, for we have the Mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Luck doesn’t really exist in our world and Tarot Cards do not tell our future. It is supernatural, however, this force which guides us and that supreme force is The God of Heaven, Jesus Christ.
Violence: None / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None
My Ratings: Good / 4