Paolo From ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie’ Is A Fuccboi
This post contains spoilers from the… 2003 film
Paolo Valisari may look like the Italian boy of your dreams, but you're wrong. He's a relentless fuccboi who fooled not only all of Italy but also the Elizabeth "Lizzie" Brooke McGuire. It's been 15 years since he was exposed as the Milli Vanilli that he truly is in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, but the cut still runs deep. Here's why.
We first meet Paolo in a meet-cute situation where he mistakes the Lizzie McGuire, who is blonde, for his singing partner Isabella Parigi, who is brunette (both played by "Sparks" singer Hilary Duff). That's red flag numero uno. He's wearing what I would imagine to be a very Italian fuccboi outfit: fake Versace sunglasses with a blue tint and a sloppily tucked-in button-down with the collar unbuttoned under an ill-fitting blazer—but hey, his hair looks sexy pushed back. So sexy you'd be forgiven for looking past his poser Italian accent. Had Paolo and Lizzie met in 2018, he would surely be wearing tiny, neon sunglasses paired with an Off-White belt and a Supreme tee. His hair, though still gorgeous, would be tucked inside a fitted cap with a little side-swoop peeking through.
Fuccboi Flag Number 2: Paolo introduces himself with his first and last name, like Lizzie is supposed to know who he is or something. She, an American, clearly does not know, which piques Paolo's fuccboi instincts even more. He may ask to see her again like a proper gentleman, but there's scheming going on behind those eyes. "Some people," he says, "when they come to Rome, they want to find adventure"—which is a very fuccboi thing to say—gaslighting Lizzie's true reasoning for being there (a freakin' school trip) with his own nefarious plan. Lizzie, you in danger girl! Paolo, get a job! Stay away from her!
Alas, Paolo eventually woos the innocent Lizzie into his plan under the guise of romance. He takes her around Rome on a moped which is the 2003 version of a skateboard. "I just thought you should see Rome the way Romans do," Paolo says. And so, Paolo whisks her around, taking her to various Famous Person™ places and into some random fashion house where a Pomeranian takes the hem of a gown and unravels it while Lizzie wears it. Paolo, in true fuccboi form, does nothing to stop the dog or the unraveling. How do you say pig in Italian?
Anyway, the fuccboi fuckery continues as he dodges singing in front of Lizzie during a rehearsal even though she politely asks him to sing for her. Red flag, Lizzie! The madness only gets worse as this pivotal awards show Paolo and Isabella are supposed to perform at approaches and, quite honestly, is best described by the Wikipedia entry for The Lizzie McGuire Movie: "At the airport, Gordo [Lizzie's BFF who is also on the school trip] meets Isabella, who has returned for the concert and is upset Lizzie is impersonating her." Duh! Paolo reduced Isabella to a lip-syncing sidepiece so he could break free as a solo pop star when in reality it is he who cannot sing! Paolo would literally cover up his lack of talent by throwing a talented woman under the bus so he could succeed! Masculinity is so fragile! Ugh.
Either way, feminism prevails because Paolo and his That '70s Show fuccboi Fez looks get exposed by both brunette Hilary Duff and blonde Hilary Duff. Together, they show all of Italy how vocally inept Paolo and his fuccboi uniform of leather pants and a suavely unbuttoned black shirt really is. It's the ultimate plot twist: Lizzie successfully fooled all of Italy into believing she was Isabella, performed at an awards show in the fucking Colosseum with full choreography and an outfit reveal that would leave RuPaul shook, and exposed a fuccboi's truth to the world—all before entering the ninth grade. She beat him at his own game. Anything Paolo can do, girls can do better. That, dear friends, is what dreams are made of.