If you are a female ages 19-25, then you were (hopefully) a die-hard Lizzie McGuire fan. You strived to have Lizzie’s wardrobe, a best friend like Miranda, and the unrequited love of Gordo. You were devastated when the series ended, but ecstatic when the movie came to your local Blockbuster.
When I first watched this film, I was insanely jealous of Lizzie’s adventures abroad, specifically of her relationship with Italian pop superstar Paolo. Fourteen years later, after having an abroad experience of my own, I’m still jealous of Lizzie’s time in Rome. In Copenhagen, I met my own version of Paolo, but my experience failed to live up to the expectations Lizzie set so high for me.
In order to emphasize my not-so glamorous abroad fling, I will outline a side-by-side comparison of Lizzie’s relationship in contrast to my own.
First off, I would like to point out that Lizzie was a recent graduate of the 8th grade. I, on the other hand, was a 21 year old college junior. I had to wait seven years to even remotely experience the thrills of Lizzie’s international love story.
I truly believe the reason why Lizzie succeeded in Rome was mainly due to the fact that she happened to have an exact identical twin, Isabella. Isabella also happened to be a huge pop star all over Italy. Lizzie then experienced that classic mix up when hundreds of people start asking for your autograph and willingly gift you a huge wheel of cheese. It is because of this that Lizzie is introduced to Paolo.
I, less glamorously, met my Paolo while trying to escape the incessant pestering of a drunken thirty-something year-old Danish man, who spoke little English and claimed to live on a boat. Still relatively new to Copenhagen, I was ready to take on the nightlife, but it wasn’t off to a great start. Just as I was about to leave the bar and call it a night, my tall Danish Paolo came up to me and just started talking. We hit it off and before I knew it, he was shoving his tongue down my throat.
Lizzie, however, got caught up in Paolo’s world. Riding on the back of his Vespa, Lizzie saw the whole city through a local’s eye. They held hands under a sky full of fireworks at the Trevi Fountain. She helped him get ready for his big performance at the Coliseum, where we all learned that Lizzie could sing (despite her constant reminders that she’s incredibly shy). She even got to do that awesome scene where she tries on all those outfits and walks on the runway!
My Danish Paolo and I communicated solely through texts, snapchats, phone calls, and rare video chats. When we made our first plan to hang out, he suggested just picking me up and driving us to “wherever.” I, however, got nervous and canceled last minute. After a lot of clarification, we were back to talking again. He was really sweet and said he just wanted to get to know me. But, when I suggested he take me out somewhere, he asked if he could just come over to my place instead. Romantic, right?
When Lizzie finally learned that Paolo was a duplicitous, lying little bitch, she totally showed him up. We were all ready to see Isabella reveal the fact that Paolo was lip-syncing and then steal the show. However, not only did Lizzie help reveal the true Paulo, she also got to be the one to perform Isabella and Paulo’s hit song “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” at the Coliseum. Talk about telling your boy bye!
I, on the other hand, after not hearing from my Danish Paolo for two days, texted and called him an embarrassing amount of times – twenty, if you were wondering what constitutes embarrassing. When he finally contacted me back, he told me our “relationship” was getting to be too much for him and that we should probably end whatever we were doing. I proceeded to cry for the next three hours until my friend brought over a tub of ice cream and suggested we watch “No Strings Attached.”
So yes, you could say Lizzie killed it in Rome, as a 13 or 14 year old, in comparison to my abroad love life. But you know what Lizzie? You can suck it! You were supposed to prepare me for situations like this, but you led me totally astray. Disney Channel, you should have a TV show based on my life. On second thought, actually, it would have to be on Bravo or MTV. It would not be appropriate for your audience – unless little girls want a rude awakening that boys can really suck sometimes.
Image via and and via Allie Tsuchiya.