We’ve spent three years doing it. You know, taking to the Internet and the comment boards after each and every one of Lindsay Lohan’s legal infractions to discuss our hopes that she’ll get it together and make a comeback. How could we not root for the young, freckled actress who first won our hearts in 1998’s The Parent Trap? Who proved her talent as a comedic actress and a leading lady in 2004’s Mean Girls? And who held her own against thesps like Jamie Lee Curtis and Meryl Streep in 2003’s Freaky Friday and 2006’s Prairie Home Companion, respectively?
But now, after news spread that Lohan has failed her court-mandated drug test (and after the actress herself admitted to the failed test) — which stemmed from her post-jail probation — it’s become increasingly clear that the 24-year-old star’s supporters have dwindled to a smaller group than the few who sat through I Know Who Killed Me. (Low blow, I know.) At this point, audiences have all but completely abandoned their sympathy for the actress. When I saw People‘s report in my RSS feed, I’ll admit I was surprised to see that some readers even chose to “Like” (in the Facebook sense) the news that Lohan could be destined for more jail time.
It’s cruel, and very sad, but not completely unexpected, considering the amount of headline-grabbing setbacks she’s experienced — or should I say caused? — in her young life. Yet, we still can’t completely blame a starlet whose fall from grace happened at such a formative age. Whether or not Lohan’s continued troubles are in part the fault of an enabling Hollywood — who have allowed her to continually parody her demons via VMA cameos and FunnyorDie — is moot. We can spend all day like we’ve spent the past three years pointing fingers at her stage parents, at the media, and at the industry, but, for a lack of a better phrase, what’s the point? That blame game and rampant conversation surrounding Lohan is exactly why many have lost all hope in her — just as we eventually get tired of discussing the Lost finale, or Adam v. Kris, or Mel Gibson, it’s tough to not to get sick of wondering whether Lohan can regain her once-evident promise. (Many of you probably passed that point a long, long time ago, and will no doubt tell me so in the comments.)
It’s unlikely Lindsay Lohan’s career will ever recover. And that’s okay. At this point, Lohan doesn’t need to topline a box office hit with a multi-million dollar budget. She doesn’t need to surprise us all with an Oscar-worthy performance in a small indie film. She even doesn’t need to launch a profitable leggings line. What she needs to do is to get clean. For real this time. Wouldn’t that be the real comeback?