After much anticipation, Diablo Cody, renowned for her unique storytelling, returns to the silver screen with her latest creation, “Lisa Frankenstein.”
This offbeat teen rom-com, directed by Zelda Williams in her theatrical debut, promises to be a delightful blend of genres, offering something special for those who relish the unconventional. Amid the talented cast, Liza Soberano marks her Hollywood debut, and a bold departure from the love team culture that dominates Philippine showbiz.
Unique twist on a classic tale
“Lisa Frankenstein” is set in the year 1989 and revolves around the life of an unpopular high school student, Lisa Swallow, portrayed by Kathryn Newton.
The plot takes an unusual turn when Lisa accidentally reanimates a handsome Victorian corpse during a lightning storm. Played by Cole Sprouse, this “dream guy” becomes a project for Lisa as she begins to rebuild him using a broken tanning bed in her garage. The film is said to be an homage to the ‘80s and a celebration of those who never quite fit into the mainstream, blending elements of a teen rom-com with darker, more fantastical themes reminiscent of classics like “Edward Scissorhands” and “Sweeney Todd.”
Soberano debuts as “Taffy”
Soberano enters the Hollywood scene with her portrayal of Taffy, Lisa’s stepsister. Known for her work in the Philippine entertainment industry and as one-half of the popular “LizQuen” love team, Soberano’s shift to Hollywood is a significant move in her career. In “Lisa Frankenstein,” her character adds to the complexity of Lisa’s life, offering a counterpoint to the main narrative.
Soberano’s transition to Hollywood comes after her controversial rebranding, and signing with James Reid’s talent agency, Careless. Her candid discussion on the “Get Real” podcast about the intricacies of Philippine showbiz, particularly focusing on the unique culture of love teams, provides insightful revelations into her journey, a topic that has generated considerable buzz. In the podcast, she discussed the unique challenges of Philippine love teams, where actors are expected to blur the lines between their on-screen and off-screen relationships.
“Lisa Frankenstein” is more than just a career move for Soberano; it’s a declaration of independence and artistic exploration. By embracing a character like Taffy, she moves away from the expected narratives of Philippine cinema and embraces a new, more diverse future in acting.
“Lisa Frankenstein” is set to hit US theaters on Feb. 9, 2024. As of now, it will only be available for viewing in theaters, offering audiences a full cinematic experience. With a PG-13 rating, the film explores themes of love, identity and self-discovery, woven through with elements of violence, sexual material and teen struggles. Audiences eagerly await this genre-mixing film, not just for its unique storyline but also to witness Soberano’s transformative performance. This film is a crucial step in her journey, representing a break from the past and a bold stride into a future filled with endless possibilities.
In an industry often resistant to change, Soberano’s move is a refreshing and inspiring story of an actress not afraid to redefine her career on her own terms. Her role in “Lisa Frankenstein” is not just about showcasing her talent but also about challenging the conventions of an industry that has long dictated the trajectory of its stars.