Let’s face it: Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) is just too darn polished to be a junior-high underdog, even by the standards of her ‘luxe suburban environs. But that hasn’t tarnished her comeback-kid cred among the six-and-ups who faithfully follow her Disney Channel show – and it doesn’t make The Lizzie McGuire Movie, a clever, agreeably weightless theatrical outing, any less enjoyable.
On a class trip to Rome (where the locals and the location photography are suitably bella), Lizzie is mistaken for an Italian teen diva, sparking a spasm of girlish wish fulfillment. (Imagine mainlining Pixy Stix and you’re almost there.) But you’ve got to root for a heroine whose perennial Prince Charming resembles a Blow Pop dipped in hair: Only a tween of true substance would recognize the merits of a skinny, mop-topped overachiever named Gordo (Adam Lamberg).