It is not uncommon for movies that prominently feature music in the plot to have some guitar playing involved. Quite often, characters are portrayed to have a certain degree of skill when it comes to playing the instrument.
This inevitably causes some to wonder about whether or not they are actually playing the guitar. Due to effective method acting, it can be quite difficult to tell sometimes.
The question of whether Lindsay Lohan can play guitar often comes up with this topic of conversation. Can she really play the guitar?
What Movie Features Lindsay Lohan Playing Guitar?
Lindsay Lohan is portrayed playing the guitar in the 2003 film Freaky Friday. The film co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and received fairly positive reviews upon release.
You might be somewhat familiar with the plot of this movie. It essentially consists of a mother and daughter who wake up to find that they’ve somehow switched bodies.
Lohan’s character as the daughter resides in the mother, with the mother having to act as the teenager.
The two characters are forced to live out each other’s lives as if nothing happened due to important events. Music plays a heavy role in the plot as Lohan’s original character plays guitar in a band.
Unfortunately, with her mom’s spirit occupying her body, it means that her mom must play the guitar instead. This, of course, is no small feat, as the band has an important audition on the horizon.
Nevertheless, the show must go on, and you can bet that, despite the transformation, she gives it a shot. The result is lackluster, but the gig is saved with the daughter playing backstage while in her mother’s body.
While it might be a silly plot, the story actually has a beautiful message. All too often, we take those closest to us for granted.
We constantly measure people based on our own expectations of how we think they should live life.
This can be a difficult lesson to learn, and the lesson presents itself multiple times in a lifetime. However, the only way we can truly understand the other person is to take a walk in their shoes.
In this case, the mother and daughter literally do live out each other’s lives and gain a valuable understanding. This ultimately allows the two characters to be much more accepting of the other and the choices they make.
Is Lindsay Lohan Actually Playing The Guitar?
Throughout interviews at the time, Lindsay Lohan stated she had to learn some guitar for the film. But, is her guitar playing what we hear throughout the actual film?
To ascertain whether she is actually playing, we need to take a look at the individual instances of her playing. This will allow us to analyze whether she is playing, or if it just appears as if she is.
The Intro Scene
The very beginning of the film actually opens up with Lindsay on stage with a band. They seem to be playing an event such as a large wedding reception.
Her band’s formation seems to include a setup of 3 guitarists (herself included). The song they play is titled “Ultimate” and has a sort of pop-punk sound to it.
At the beginning of the scene, we can see Lindsay making strumming motions with her picking hand. Her fingers also move slightly in accordance with the note change in the song’s guitar lead.
What is a little off-putting is that her strums stutter out of time in accordance with what the music sounds like. Her fingering is quite bizarre and does not appear to be a shape that would sound like what’s being played.
None of the other guitarists on stage are playing in a way that would indicate they are playing the lead part.
Within the first 7 seconds, you can already tell that the part she’s playing on film isn’t the recorded music. After this initial opening guitar lead, Lindsay then stops playing to focus on singing.
Eventually, she does pick up the guitar again to play the lead guitar part. Like the last time, her playing does not exactly match the recorded music’s necessary movements.
As we are nearly halfway through the song at this point, there is no need to go on any further. This is enough evidence to ascertain that, at least in this part, she is acting rather than playing.
The Garage Scene
The next scene to feature Lohan’s fictional band Pink Slip takes place in a garage. At this moment, they are rehearsing for the big audition coming up, playing the song Take Me Away.
During this scene, it is still Lohan’s original daughter character playing as herself. She appears to command the guitar part with confidence, but is she really playing?
The song starts out with a focus on Lohan’s guitar with a part that features heavy strumming with natural harmonics. Lohan does appear to be strumming in time with how the song’s guitar sounds.
However, due to some camera trickery, we might actually be looking at somebody else’s strumming arm. The owner of this arm is not known until the camera pans up, and Hollywood is known for these tricks.
As the song progresses past this point, the guitar takes on more of a riff. At the same time, Lohan appears to keep up with the strumming motion.
However, closer inspection sees that she is basically holding the guitar with one fingering position. The scene makes it appear as if she’s playing the main riff, but her fingers do not match up.
Her guitar’s strap height is also at a level that seems to impede efficient and comfortable playing of any kind.
Furthermore, we then see Lohan from behind and she appears to keep her fretting hand in the same spot. It would seem as if she is just playing one chord throughout the entire song.
Another thing to note is that the song’s riff might require more delicate picking than the motion she’s using.
As the song progresses, it is clear by Lohan’s fingering that she’s not actually playing the guitar here. Rather, it’s just pure acting as if she can confidently play the guitar.
The Audition Scene
During the audition scene, Lohan’s band Pink Slip is again performing the song Take Me Away. However, by this time, her mother’s spirit is occupying her body, and has to play the song instead.
Because of this, Lohan spends the scene acting as if she’s scared and clueless about what she’s doing. She at least managed to capture what somebody who doesn’t play guitar would feel like being on stage.
When it comes time for the guitar solo, Lohan (as the mother) starts to freak out. She is immediately taken by surprise when the daughter (as Jamie Lee Curtis) plays the guitar solo.
After this, Lohan (as the mother) begins to fake playing the guitar in a very cheesy manner. However, her fingerings here look just as fake as in the previous scenes, although it is intended to be so.
The real question here is whether or not Jamie Lee Curtis actually played the guitar solo in this song. Judging on what she’s visually playing, answers point to no.
Some Things To Keep In Consideration
With films that feature music, it’s actually not uncommon for professional musicians to record the instruments. This ensures that the film remains under budget and a soundtrack can be made in the most efficient way possible.
Lindsay’s supposed parts in this movie aren’t necessarily difficult by any means. However, it would still require a decent amount of experience to be able to play those parts.
Unfortunately, that kind of time is generally not available when working with a film studio. So, instead, those starring in these films will do what they do best: act.
Quite often, studios will have these stars work with well-known musicians before filming. This preps them on certain things to be able to make it look as if they are playing the guitar.
Sometimes, the results can be very realistic, causing the audience to wonder if they really are playing.
Can Lindsay Lohan Play Guitar, Final Thoughts
However, based on this single film, it must be said that Lindsay Lohan cannot play guitar. Making music with this instrument requires far more work than holding a made-up fingering and strumming.