The good news: If you thought "Liz & Dick" would be lame, you aren't wrong.

The bad news: It falls short of being laughably, irresistibly bad. What a missed opportunity.

Even so, "Liz & Dick" will probably pay off for Lifetime, at least. Despite warnings (like -- listen up! -- this one) that viewers not waste their time on this made-for-TV film, lots of them will fall prey to their curiosity and flock to "Liz & Dick" when it airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.

And though "highly anticipated comeback movie role" oversells the situation mightily, Lindsay Lohan also should marginally benefit from her involvement. As superstar Elizabeth Taylor, she has the opportunity to remind an audience that she is capable of appearing places other than a courtroom.

'Liz & Dick'
» When: 9 p.m. Sunday
» Channel: Lifetime
» Info:

"Liz & Dick" covers the epic quarter-century love affair of Taylor and Richard Burton, who, after meeting on the set of "Cleopatra," ditched their respective spouses, wed, divorced, married again and split again, all while keeping the world thrilled and scandalized with their steamy, rocky romance.

But however colorful this love story, it confronts numerous hurdles en route to the screen.

For one thing, Liz Taylor is among the most recognizable and legendary stars of all time. Who can capture her presence in a biopic?

Clearly not Lohan. Her hair is darkened, her lips are painted, her ample decolletage is put on display. But any resemblance to Taylor's ivory voluptuousness is slight. In a scene where Burton celebrates her "spilling white-hot bosom," his tribute falls flat. As a star and a sex symbol, Lohan is smaller than life, not larger.

Meanwhile, she is unable (or can't be bothered) to transform her throaty manner of speaking to resemble Taylor's lilting, English-accented voice. Nor did the makeup artist bother covering Lohan's freckled shoulders and arms to match Taylor's storied alabaster skin.

Notwithstanding her status as a tabloid cover girl, Lohan in the past was regarded as a reasonably good actress.

Not here. For instance, when Taylor and Burton meet, both in costume, at the start of shooting "Cleopatra," this electric moment is marked by his rakishly inquiring, "Has anyone ever told you you're a very pretty girl?"

The best Lohan can muster as a comeback: a roll of the eyes and an impatient sigh.