Why Lindsay Lohan Should Play Herself on the Big Screen

It's been tough for Lindsay Lohan to get roles lately.

Heck, it's been hard enough for her to get free drinks -- last week, People reported that she had a major freak-out after being presented with the bill at a bar for two bottles of champagne that she and her friends downed.

But the word on the street is that Lindsay is up for a role in a romantic comedy called "One Night With You." The flick is about a child star who grows up, falls into scandal, goes to rehab, and has to figure out how to unsoil her reputation. Her flacks have an unconventional idea -- they want to send her on a reality TV dating show so that America can fall in love with her again. [PopCrunch]

VIDEO: Dina Lohan says that Lindsay Lohan dated Heath Ledger.Play

This sounds like kind of the perfect role for Lindz. Honestly, we hope the filmmakers decide to take it a step farther and call the character in the movie "Lindsay Lohan" and throw in a few more recognizable details, like perhaps a female DJ ex. Why? Because meta, mind-bending roles have a proven track record for rekindling the deadest of acting careers. Don't believe me? Here are five examples.

* John Malkovich had all but disappeared from the pop culture consciousness before 1999's "Being John Malkovich," an oddball film written by Charlie Kaufman about an unhappy couple who find a portal that puts them inside John Malkovich's consciousness. Apparently, when Malkovich first read the script, he loved it and wanted to produce it, but he didn't want to star in it. It took years to convince him to play the lead. Good thing he did—the role put him back on the map. Ten years later, I can still vividly remember the scene where there are 100 of him in a restaurant, having conversations comprised of only the word "Malkovich." [IMDb]

* It was hard to remember Neil Patrick Harris as anything but "Doogie Howser, M.D." Until 2004, when he took a part in "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle," playing a demented version of himself. The title characters pick him up on the street—he's hitchhiking, while high on ecstasy, and tells a story of how he got kicked out of another car for snorting cocaine off a woman's posterior. Soon, he steals Harold's car. The role made him a cult hero and showed his range. A year later, he got his career-redefining role on "How I Met Your Mother." [Wikipedia]

* After their breakout hit, "Good Will Hunting," Matt Damon and Ben Affleck went on to big budget, A-list-cast Hollywood affairs like "Saving Private Ryan," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and "Armageddon." But by taking extended cameos as themselves, working on the absurd project "Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season" in Kevin Smith's "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back," they reminded people that they had a sense of humor. It gave them back their indie cred. Even if the rest of the movie was thoroughly eh. [Flixster]

* In last year's flick "JCVD," donezo action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme managed to resuscitate his acting career. In the movie, he plays himself—an aging martial arts film star battling a mid-life crisis. When a custody battle sends him over the edge, he heads back to his hometown in Belgium, where he accidentally lands in the middle of a bank robbery, and has a chance to show off his skills. This French film got great reviews, and assured that no one would look at Van Damme the same way again. [NY Times]

* Paul Giamatti's career never really petered out after indie hits like "American Splendor" and "Sideways." But over the summer, he played a character named Paul Giamatti in the movie "Cold Souls." In the flick, he was an actor starring in a Chekhov play who decides to put his soul in storage so as not to thoroughly be depressed by the role. Cue, his downfall. Things didn't work out so great for the fictional Paul Giamatti, but this was the role that took him from being known as "that guy in 'Sideways'" to actually being a household name.

So Lindsay, please start working on your Lohan accent.