Natalie Schroeder | Staff Writer
With Christmas coming up this month, Freeform premiered Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve, the long awaited sequel to Life-Size that was released in 2000. The first installment follows Casey Stuart, portrayed by Lindsay Lohan, as she tries to cope with the death of her mother. Hoping to bring her mother back with a magic book she has found, the spell goes awry when her Eve doll comes to life instead.
Following this, Eve helps Casey cope with the death of her mother and everything that has happened since. While Tyra Banks has reprised her role as Eve, the rest of the cast is new. Both the original and this sequel follow the main character through hardships and Eve attempts to help the girls.
This sequel follows Grace Manning, portrayed by Francia Raisa, as she becomes the CEO of Marathon Toys. Soon after taking this role, she realizes she is in over her head and the Eve doll gets discontinued, which moves the plot toward Grace’s Eve doll coming to life. The movie follows Grace as she gives up on the company and soon realizes that she can’t let the Eve doll be discontinued.
Although Lindsay Lohan does not make a physical cameo as fans had hoped, there are nods to her character in the first film. There was a picture of her character, Casey, with a note about the book that brought Eve to life in the first movie. The name Casey was mentioned again in the ending when they used her love for football as an inspiration for a new doll.
The first movie was highly rated and taught valuable lessons and morals to their viewers. While this second movie has lessons to be taught, the storytelling is several levels under the first. Throughout the movie, there were many scenes that someone who grew up with the first movie would find uncomfortable and forced.
Adapting the dialogue to how people think teens talk today is almost ill advised for a movie that is about a doll coming to life with magic. Since the platform allows more leeway with subject matter, there are many scenes that suggest they were thinking of their older audience. However, these scenes were the hardest to watch.
This sequel brought back the song “Be A Star” and also attempted to add a new flair to it. While the desire to do this is understandable, the new version was difficult to watch because the lyrics did not match the childlike performance. During this new version, they introduced new dolls to their audience with “woke Eve” being one of the main ideas. While it is easy to understand the reasoning behind this idea, this being the name of the doll seems to be unnecessary.
With the extended wait of almost 19 years between the first movies and its sequel, it was hard to look away from the movie because of the desire to see the ending. There were important conversations between Grace and her friends and, even more importantly, with her mom. Throughout the movie we learn about the hardships that Grace has had to face and even though it is enough for anyone to give up, the viewers are certain that Grace won’t.
Even though the wait was long and Banks was capable of reprising her role, the Grace Manning character was not as likeable as Casey Stuart. The ratings for this movie were not awful but there were aspects of the movie that hindered its ability to get a rating higher than 5.5 from IMDb. The movie as a whole was not as iconic as the first movie, but what sequel is?