Freeform has, perhaps, outdone itself.
The cable network Sunday aired a sequel to the seminal 2000 TV movie “Life-Size,” in which a tiny Lindsay Lohan accidentally brings her doll (played by Tyra Banks) to life, and it is by far the weirdest thing on TV this year.
“Life-Size” was one of those films that aired seemingly every week on the Disney Channel in the early 2000s, and apparently gained enough of a cult status to warrant a sequel, which brings back Banks, but, unfortunately, not LiLo. Instead, Francia Raisa (“Grown-ish”) steps in as Grace, the young CEO of the toy company that manufactures the Eve doll, who needs some help from her life-size best friend to find her heart. Also, the meaning of Christmas and a boyfriend and her mom and some other things, too, because why not?
Freeform’s blatant millennial nostalgia play is – shocker! – full of nostalgia and millennials, with just a sprinkling of Gen Z “wokeness” in there for the kiddies. The whole idea of “Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve” (because the doll is named “Eve”!) is absurd, and the final product starts out hilariously bad before going off-the-rails bonkers, ranging from Banks rapping to a criminal conspiracy to what I’m pretty sure is a version of hell.
Like the first film, the doll is brought to life by a resurrection spell and sings a song about shining bright and shining far and being a star. But there are some definitive twists to the formula. For instance, when Grace wakes up with a strange woman in her bed, she just assumes she blacked out and hooked up. (The number of bad sex jokes in this scene is pretty staggering, for what’s supposedly a kids movie.)
Most of the film consists of groan-worthy fish-out-of-water jokes that rely on seeing Banks wandering around the world in a full evening gown and giant wig. Because Freeform decided to make it a Christmas movie, there’s also a sequence set in some kind of Christmas theme park, where Grace bonds with a hunky guy whose name I can’t even remember, but he has a cute little sister and just enough scruff to seem down to Earth.