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TV Review: ABC Family's 'Labor Pains'

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'Labor Pains'
Two stars
7 p.m. Sunday, ABC Family

In extreme cases, I have a hard time separating the actor from the role. This is why I can't watch Woody Allen movies anymore - for the fear that he might write himself another part where he kisses a young starlet. Too close to reality for comfort.

And Lindsay Lohan has reached that point for me, too. Clearly I have read too many Us magazines. As I was watching "Labor Pains," my mind kept wandering, as I scrutinized her for self-tanning streaks, or hair extensions, or hickeys. It was hard to hear Lindsay say, "I'm officially a pathetic loser," or to have another character say, "I didn't want people to think that you're a wayward skank." Too close to reality for comfort.

But "Labor Pains" - originally intended for theaters - deserves an open-minded review, and so I will try.

The concept of the movie is insultingly stupid: An office screwup, about to be fired, lies and says that she's pregnant. The company's legal department backs her up, and so eventually there is an excuse to film a scene where Lindsay is wrestling in her lingerie with a fake pregnancy belly. (Was this before or after her flirtation with anorexia?) (Focus!)

For what the movie is, there is some good writing. I always enjoy a joke about APGAR scores or recycling breast pumps.

I liked the cast, too. Lindsay's love interest is played by Luke Kirby, who is more from the Jonathan Silverman school of endearing cuties than the expected straight-up hottie. And her office best friend is played by Cheryl Hines, who can do no wrong in my book.

It's startling, actually, how many recognizable faces are in the movie. If I were to suggest a drinking game for viewers - which would be wrong, considering the pregnancy plotline as well as Lindsay's past alcohol troubles - I would advise you to drink some sort of girly shot each time you see actors who have most likely since fired their agents. Janeane Garofalo! Chris Parnell! Tracee Ellis Ross! Willie Garson! Creed Bratton! Jay Thomas! Ana Ortiz!

(You could also chug some hard lemonade each time you spot Lindsay wearing leggings from her own line.) (Focus!)

If you don't think too hard about it - and don't mind seeing every single romantic movie cliché crammed in two hours - then you will find "Labor Pains" to be less painful than actual birth. If only there were a mental epidural to go with it.

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This page contains a single entry by Paige Wiser published on July 15, 2009 4:58 AM.

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