Review: “Life-Size 2” is a Diverse, Nostalgic Treasure

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Review: “Life-Size 2” is a Diverse, Nostalgic Treasure

Tyra Banks as her character Eve in the 2018 holiday film “Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve.” (Photo credit to Freeform)

Tyra Banks as her character Eve in the 2018 holiday film “Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve.” (Photo credit to Freeform)

Tyra Banks as her character Eve in the 2018 holiday film “Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve.” (Photo credit to Freeform)

Tyra Banks as her character Eve in the 2018 holiday film “Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve.” (Photo credit to Freeform)

Genesis Sandoval, Editor

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This past Sunday, December 2, Freeform premiered “Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve,” a sequel to the underrated 2000’s Disney Channel Original Movie “Life-Size.” The original starred a young Lindsay Lohan, who accidentally brings to life a Barbie-esque doll named Eve instead of her intended mother. Together, Lohan is able to learn how to better cope with the loss of her mom’s death. “Life-Size 2” features a similar plot starring Francia Raisa as Grace Manning, the CEO for Marathon Toys (who is the CEO because of her mom’s imprisonment after starting the company) which is the company manufacturing the Eve doll. After discontinuing the doll, Grace ends up bringing her personal Eve doll to life. An emotional roller coaster ensues.

“Life-Size” meant a lot to me growing up. The film was slightly older than I was, but even then, I still fell in love with it after accidentally catching it on TV once. I watched it over and over since then, and never stopped loving it. My love for the original created a harsh critic out of me when I inevitably watched the sequel. I went in with high expectations, hoping it was going to match the original, nostalgic film I knew and loved so much.

And it did.

The film quickly proved itself to be for those who loved it so much growing up. I watched “Life-Size” for the first time when I was around 6 or 7, and now was watching the sequel in my final year of high school. “Life-Size 2” felt like it was for me. It still featured a clueless Eve, but the other characters had adult-based humor. While I was growing up, “Life-Size” was too.

“Life-Size 2” features multiple nods to the original. The references to Lohan’s character were done as nicely as they could without Lohan actually being present. Lohan’s disappearance physically was disappointing, but that was only due to her own schedule. Eve is also able to call the Eve doll from the original, with Banks donning her iconic final outfit from the ending of the film. The various nostalgic references to the first film made me believe this movie wasn’t going to be horrible.

I’d be lying, though, if I said my heart didn’t drop when I heard Eve’s remix of her iconic song “Be A Star.” The remix was not the best, but I’ll forgive it due to the fact Eve sings the original version earlier in the film. Despite the remix, the scene it is featured in is what made the whole film worthwhile. New Eve dolls are introduced, including “Woke Eve” and “Love is Love Eve.”

That’s when I started crying.

The world has changed a lot since 2000, the year the original film premiered. Women’s marches, the legalization of gay marriage in the United States, the #MeToo movement, and so much more has happened in the past 18 years. “Life-Size 2” acknowledges these changes and other important characteristics throughout it. The film recognizes diverse sexualities without it being a big deal and still doesn’t follow the common “Bury Your Gays” trope, a cliché where LGBTQ+ characters in the media are killed off. It also acknowledges how not all girls are physically like a doll and the fact that women can do anything they believe in. Eve is meant to be a role model for everyone, as shown by her emotional comment, “Woke Eve wants to stage a march to the Capital. Love is Love Eve says there’s a little girl in Arkansas who needs to know it gets better.”

“Life-Size 2” is a beautifully nostalgic film for both everyone who grew up with the first film and those who haven’t. This long-awaited film reminds us again of the most important thing Eve can teach us: “Shine bright, shine far, be a star.”