by Lauren Piester | Fri., Nov. 30, 2018 1:19 PM
This weekend, Eve is back.
Eighteen years after the debut of the first movie, Tyra Banks is once again playing a doll come to life in Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve, and there was really only one way we could prepare ourselves for such an event: We had to rewatch Life-Size 1.
While we were ready for a cheesy TV movie we could have only loved at the naive age of 10, we were not ready for the movie we actually got—an unexpectedly funny and sweet movie that was also a lot more feminist than we remembered it being.
The movie wastes no time in telling us that little girls no longer like dolls. They like to play football, and they want something "with microchips" rather than a silly doll named Eve with a hundred careers and a hundred corresponding outfits
Casey (Lindsay Lohan) is one of those football-playing, doll-hating girls who's been in an understandable bad mood ever since her mother died and her dad stopped having time to go to her games, but she's got a plan. She's been Googling (Ask Jeeves-ing?) resurrection magic online, and she steals a book of spells from a bookstore in the hopes of bringing her mother back to life.
Her plan is interrupted when her dad's work friend Drew shows up to give her an Eve doll as a birthday present. Casey obviously hates it and hates it even more because it came from dad's new work friend, so she throws it aside. Drew then feels bad for the doll, so she brushes her hair with the hairbrush containing Casey's mother's hair, which was an important factor in the resurrection spell.
So, when Casey tries the spell, it's not her mother who comes back to life. Instead, she wakes up to find Tyra Banks next to her in bed, and needless to say, Casey's not thrilled about it.
The movie's a little bit insane, complete with the quintessential early 2000s shopping spree fashion show and male characters who are not very bright (Casey's dad has no problem buying Eve, who he just met, an entire new wardrobe and letting her stay in his house) and one big doll whose sporadic knowledge of how things work makes no logical sense, but there's a message here that essentially boils down to everybody needing to chill out a bit.
Casey learns to let people be in her life again. Her dad needs to let work go a little bit and pay attention to his daughter, and all the Eve dolls need to chill in every way. They don't need a hundred careers, and they don't have to be good at everything. In fact, it's annoying to be good at everything, and puts a little too much pressure on the kids these dolls are aimed at. Eve saves her own kind by mass producing herself in a more casual outfit, with a more casual hairdo and a much more casual attitude. The new dolls can also talk!
At the end of the movie, Eve goes back to being a doll, and we find out what became of that particular doll in Life-Size 2, which brings to life a different Eve—one that didn't come straight from the store, but had belonged to protagonist Grace (Francia Raisa) since she was a little girl. She's a very different, much more manic and life-experienced version of Eve, and while she's still faced with the demise of the Eve doll, she's got some very different kinds of adventures to go on with her very special friend.
Life-Size 2 feels a lot louder and brighter and more insane in good and weird ways, and it's a lot more 2018 in good and weird ways. Grace appears to be bisexual, and now the "Be a Star" jingle is a trap song (as described by Tyra Banks herself), that celebrates inclusion of all kinds even if it also includes verses about bikini bodies on a yacht. Sure, Eve is unexpectedly rapping during an important business presentation, but she's rapping for a very good cause.
It all feels a little bit sillier than it did the first time around, but there's still some holiday magic there for sure.
Life-Size 2 premieres Sunday, December 2 at 9 p.m. on Freeform.
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