The year was 2005. Lindsay Lohan had just stormed out of the Herbie Fully Loaded premiere, reportedly because a song she recorded for the movie was not used the way she wanted. Previously that year she’d been hospitalized for exhaustion; several months later, she’d be accused of drunkenly driving her car into a van on Robertson Boulevard (though a police report later confirmed that she was sober and not at fault). It was the year she turned 19.
For Lohan, 2005 was the beginning of a slippery slope that would see her transformed from working actress into tabloid fodder. Eight years (and seven stints in rehab) later, Lindsay Lohan is poised to change all that. One week ago today, Lindsay Lohan left treatment at Cliffside Malibu after a nearly 90-day stint. It was, compared to her previous rehab stays, relatively uneventful. Sure, Lohan switched facilities mid-treatment, but there were no late night escapes in search of a Diet Coke this time. By all means, America likes a comeback and Lohan is positioned to be the ultimate comeback kid.
It’s been clear since day one that Lohan was something special. At the age of 17, she’d headlined three movies that grossed more than $65 million (The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls). Certainly child stardom doesn’t always translate into a successful acting career, just ask Macaulay Culkin, but Lohan showed off a more adult side in A Prairie Home Companion and while her latest, The Canyons, isn’t exactly getting rave reviews, Variety‘s Scott Foundas called her a “fascinating presence,” praising her performance as “one of those performances, like Marlon Brando’s in Last Tango in Paris, that comes across as some uncanny conflagration of drama and autobiography.”
Internet writers, myself included, have, for years, mocked Lohan’s every move. And it was deserved. The girl who’s saying she doesn’t “need” rehab, calling it “a joke” while she can’t seem to avoid breaking the law is clearly not taking herself seriously, and doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.
But, this time, so far, Lohan is taking the right steps. She’s been laying low since leaving rehab, save for a light-hearted and self-deprecating appearance on Chelsea Lately. An informal poll of friends and colleagues tells me that most people would be thrilled to see Lohan fulfill the promise of her early-2000’s self. For Lohan, the formula is simple: keep your head down, work hard and impress us. Remind us why we loved you in the first place. We’re eager to recall that feeling.