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Here's Lookin' At Lizzie
By Guen Sublette
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2003 Lamppost Press and Guen Sublette
All rights reserved.
Friends — Who Needs 'Em Anyway?
What a cutie: In The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Lizzie meets a new friend, Paolo, who proves irresistible, what with his dimpled olive complexion, smooth Italian accent, "great hair," and shiny red motor scooter. In fact, he's everything Lizzie's longtime, messy- haired pal Gordo isn't. He's also quite different from classmate Ethan, who worries more about shreddin' the wheels of his skateboard on Roman cobblestones than finding adventure and romance under the twinkling nighttime lights of an ancient Città Eterna. Duh, who wouldn't trade a dreary old pal and juvenile skateboard wheels for a crazy chance on a speedy moped?
As Lizzie learns, however, a crazy chance doesn't always lead to the outcome you'd expect. For one, it brings longtime snobbish rival Kate to her side as an unexpectedly supportive chum. Go figure: Add one little "r" to the word fiend, and you've got a "friend"!
What's more, good old boy-pal Gordo turns out to be one of the best friends Lizzie could ever hope for. For some, having a boy who's just a friend (rather than a romantic diversion like Paolo) can be a bit tricky. Like, what should you talk about? Take a tip from Gordo and try telling some old half-forgotten joke about the king of Norway. (OK, so maybe that's not the best advice after all. But at least it's a good way to stall for time if you need it!)
We asked girls and boys from across the country what they've learned from watching Lizzie, what it takes to be a real friend, and how to keep your old friends. Read on for some unexpected insights on friendship!
One thing you might learn from watching Lizzie is that you shouldn't judge someone by what they look like but how nice they are to you and your friends. I hope that I can trust my friends and my family. It's important to always talk to them and never be mean or talk about them behind their backs. How you can tell that someone is a friend is by being nice to them and they are nice back to you. That's how you know whether someone is a real friend.
I was not surprised that Lizzie became better friends with Kate in the movie because they had always been friends, but when they are with their separate friends they hate each other. I think that it made the movie more interesting.
Friends are people you can trust. You can keep your old friends by staying loyal. You can tell someone is a good friend when they stay loyal, like Gordo is to Lizzie in the movie as well as on the TV show.
I was, but I sort of wasn't, surprised that Lizzie and Kate became better friends at the end of the movie because Kate was mean most of the time, but she and Lizzie used to be BFs (see "Speaking of Which" section at end of book for a glossary of tween terms such as this one).
Nicole P., 10
I can trust my friends especially if they are faithful. I can keep my old friends by not fighting or being mean to them. You can tell by their attitude who's a friend.
I think it was good that Lizzie and Kate became better friends in the movie because Lizzie and Kate always argue. You should never fight with friends.
I pick a lot of the same types of friends as Lizzie — like Miranda and Gordo. At my age it's not a problem having a friend who's a boy. Maybe when I get older it will be different.
Being just friends with someone of the opposite sex can sometimes get a bit complicated — especially as you get older. "I don't understand girls," says Lizzie's little brother, Matt. Even Lizzie sometimes wonders about the just friends relationship she has with pal Gordo. "Why do I feel all flushed and light-headed?" she wonders, in one TV episode when Kate tells her that Gordo has a crush on her. In another episode, Lizzie tries to change herself to become someone Ethan likes as more than "just a friend." In the end, Lizzie learns that her true pals — no matter what their sex — are the people who trust and care for her.
Sometimes all the characters in the TV show are enemies. Once they had a race and at the end, near the finish line, Lizzie said sorry first to everyone, then they all said sorry back and they all crossed the finish line together. I liked it because they didn't have their usual friends as partners — Gordo was with Kate, Miranda was with Larry, and Lizzie was with Ethan. It taught me to say sorry first when you get in a fight. If it doesn't work, just walk away.
I think Kate (deep, deep down) is a nice person, but she's afraid to show it.
I learned from the movie that a real friend will sacrifice just about anything.
As a boy, I know what it's like to have friends who are girls because most of my friends are girls. It's the same as having a friend who's a boy.
If you like someone and you ignore your friend, they get their feelings hurt. You can trust someone who's never told one of your secrets. You can keep your old friends by not getting into fights and get each other's phone number or new phone number if they move.
You can tell if someone's a good friend by asking their other friends what they think about them or know about them.
I think it's a good thing that Lizzie and Kate became better friends in the movie because now they can get to know more about each other.
You know someone's a good friend if you play with them every day. If they are mean to you and say, "Shut up," and, "Duh," they're not usually my friend.
If you ask a boy to help you with something and he does it, you know he is your friend, like Gordo is to Lizzie.
You can have more than one best friend. I can trust all of my friends. I can tell if someone is a good friend because they don't make you choose who your friends are.
In one TV episode, Lizzie becomes friends with the rebellious, "tormenter extraordinaire" Angel and ditches her old pals Gordo and Miranda in exchange for an exciting new friendship and style that includes tattoos, nose rings, and a defiant attitude. When she takes it too far, Gordo and Miranda finally pull her aside and tell Lizzie she needs to stop — that she shouldn't act like someone she's not. Luckily for Lizzie, she listens to her old friends. Sometimes your old friends can help you remember who you really are.
Sticking together (like Lizzie and her friends do) is very important because you'll have your friends no matter what, even if you're mad at them.
You can trust people as friends if they don't speak badly about anyone.
Lizzie and Kate are such different people, so I was surprised when they became better friends.
It is good to make lots of new friends, but it is great to have a couple of good friends that you can really trust.
Everyone who watches Lizzie on TV probably wishes they had a couple of good pals like Gordo and Miranda. They're trustworthy, caring, supportive, and — for the most part — consistent, unlike Kate, who shows friendship for fleeting moments, then quickly snaps back to her snobbish, sarcastic self. After a short-lived sweetness and appreciation for something Lizzie does to help her, for example, Kate is quick to quip, "Glad that's behind us!" and then returns with a flip of the hair to her original, conceited state.
I knew Kate and Lizzie would be friends again because they were very good friends when they were little, and once you have a good friend, you never lose them.
You can trust a person if they don't make fun of you.
Maybe I would like to have Lizzie as a friend. As a boy, you're just friends with girls and not really, really good friends.
"I guess I'm just the guy you say 'Hi' to in the hallway — not the guy you should go out with," laments Gordo in one TV episode. Trying to distinguish between just friends and more than friends can indeed be tricky!
You can keep old friends and make new ones. You can trust people who care about you. You keep your old friends by not ignoring them when you find new ones. If someone is your friend, they care about you and they won't just ditch you!
You should always stay loyal to your friends. When you make new friends, you shouldn't forget about your old friends. A way to keep the old friends is to remember all the good times you had with them.
I think you can tell good friends from bad friends because good friends accept you as who you are and don't try to change you to "be cool."
I was surprised that Lizzie became better friends with Kate in the movie because Kate is usually mean to her. I think it's good that they became friends because they used to be such good friends, and it was sad when they weren't friends anymore.
No matter what happens you should always keep your friends. I can trust all four of my other friends. I just always keep my old friends. If someone's a good friend, they can trust you and keep secrets.
It was cool that Kate and Lizzie became friends at the end of the movie because in only two of the episodes was Kate being nice to Lizzie. I also think that they should be friends.
You should get to know someone before you become friends with them. I can trust my best buddy, Danielle. I keep my old friends by calling them on the phone or writing them letters. I can tell if someone's a good friend if they are caring, nice, honest, and don't tell other people your secrets.
I think it was a very good thing that Lizzie became better friends with Kate at the end of the movie.
It's so weird that Kate is so mean.
You can't trust too many people when you first get to know them, but after you get to know them, you might feel like you can trust them. After you make a friend, you don't want to lose him/her. One way to keep a friend is to not lose interest in them. Don't forget to include them in your activities.
It's hard to not like someone, and it's better to have friends than enemies.
You can tell if someone is a friend if they like you for who you are. As a boy, a girl can be your friend if you don't have a crush on her.
Real friends stay with you through thick and thin. You can trust people who like you for who you really are. I keep my old friends by talking to them nicely. You can tell if someone's a true friend because they'll like you for who you are and not what you have.
I've always been pretty good at picking good friends. This year I've had some faulty friendships.
Lizzie and Kate are not big fans of each other, but in the long run I think they'll come through for one another.
Sometimes friends can be more than friends. Friends that I have known almost all my life I can trust. You can keep your old friends by saying sorry and making up with them. You can tell someone is a good friend if they are always there for you.
Kate used to be Lizzie's friend, and whenever Lizzie is going through something, if Kate is there Kate helps Lizzie.
I would like to have Lizzie as a really good friend.
Friends will always be there for you and help you. I can trust people who never tell or repeat gossip about me. No matter if you have other friends, you can keep your old friends by remembering how they helped you and still keep in touch.
Friends are more important than anything. I stay in contact, and I can tell if someone's my friend because they invite you over and they stick up for you.
You learn that friends are what's on the inside not on the outside. You can trust your true friends and to keep them, keep your promises. As you get to know people better, you can really tell if they are good.
Your Imaginary Friend
Acckk! Friends can be so flighty! But deep down, you know who your true friends are. They are the ones who kind of hunker down when you act too crazy — and they're still there when you come back. As Miranda says in one TV episode, "I'm happy to have the kind of friends who still care even when I'm wrong." The important thing is to make sure you don't lose your friends altogether by remembering to show them how much you really care about them. Here are some ways:
* Never say bad things about them to someone else, no matter how upset you are. What you say is bound to get back to them. Try writing your feelings down in a private journal instead.
* Remember to tell your friends what you like about them: the way they laugh, their engaging smile, or what have you. A happy friend is a good friend indeed! In one TV episode, Lizzie tells Gordo he's "smart, funny, and a little weird sometimes, but I wouldn't like you any other way." Now those are some good pal qualities!
* Just because your friend isn't rich, beautiful, or exotic doesn't mean she's not precious. True beauty is more than skin-deep!
* Remember that many of your friends can, and probably will, change. Just because someone was your best bud in grade school doesn't mean you will remain close to him or her in middle school or even high school. This is natural and shouldn't be something you need to dwell on. Look for friends who make you feel good now, and treasure each other's company and trust.
* If you and your closest buddies aren't speaking to each other because of a communications breakdown or otherwise hurt feelings, try being the first to talk. You'd be surprised how one apology can open the floodgates to warmer feelings.
Tripping, falling, spilling ... Lizzie does it all on her TV show and in the movie. The crème de la crème is when she trips and falls on junior high graduation day — bringing the entire stage curtain down with her in the opening scene of The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Thought it couldn't get worse? Never underestimate the power of a pesky little brother to put the cherry on top of that most embarrassing moment. (In the movie, Matt blackmails Lizzie by threatening to broadcast her blunder on national TV.) Other members of Lizzie's family are also experts at contributing to her humiliation. Take, for example, the time Lizzie set off on her first school field trip campout, only to find out that the last-minute chaperone was none other than her own well-meaning mother! To make matters worse, her mom showed up holding a mesh bag brimming full of toilet paper — just in case Lizzie or her friends needed it for calls of nature. Like, SO not cool!
While it seems possible that such a horribly embarrassing scene could only happen to Lizzie McGuire, many a tween can vouch for equally humiliating experiences.
On one TV show, Lizzie fell headfirst into a garbage can because she wasn't paying attention. It was hilarious!
I can relate to Lizzie's embarrassing moments: Once I went to scare my friend Alexis, and it turned out it wasn't her!
What might Lizzie learn from such a situation? Don't hide from the whole world. If people tease you, act like you meant to ruin your graduation.
One of my favorite embarrassing scenes from a Lizzie TV show was when Lizzie walked up to Miranda and then Miranda opened her locker and hit Lizzie in the face.
I like the show because it deals with things that happen in real life and are funny because Lizzie is so clumsy. I'm very clumsy, too! Once I was walking down the street to go see a movie, and I tripped and almost fell on my face. That was embarrassing because it was in public. I wasn't really hurt though — I just kind of stubbed my toe.
I think that all of Lizzie's trips and falls are funny — I don't have a favorite one.
I have plenty of embarrassing experiences myself, like the time I fell out of my desk in the middle of class. Like Lizzie, I am a klutz.
If you are caught in an embarrassing situation, act like nothing happened. It always works for me!
My favorite embarrassing scene in the movie is when Lizzie falls in the bathtub.
Once I was at school and I knew my mother was there. I went to go hug her and — oops! — I hugged the wrong mommy.
If something embarrassing happens, just say, "Oops," and move on with your life.
In an opening scene of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Lizzie is so busy singing to herself in the bathroom that she accidentally trips and falls (with her clothes on) into the bathtub. The scene is typical of Lizzie and her frequent bouts with clumsiness — and it's what endears her to fellow klutz fans worldwide!
I always like when Lizzie does things like falling down. Once I had a starring role in a play, and I forgot my lines — that was embarrassing! It helps to laugh at them. You can also forget about it.
No matter how many times Lizzie trips and falls, she always manages to pick herself back up again and usually with a half-silly smile. How's that for inspiration?
Excerpted from Here's Lookin' At Lizzie by Guen Sublette. Copyright © 2003 Lamppost Press and Guen Sublette. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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