Mean Girls (2004)
Lindsay Lohan stars as Cady Heron, a young girl who has lived in Africa most of her life and that means she has also been home-schooled. When she finally attends an American high school she starts to quickly find out that it’s really quite a similar set of animalistic rules and behaviours, most of them bemusing to her. Befriending two of the school’s “outsiders” (Janice and Damian played by Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese), Cady is also soon drawn into a plan to infiltrate the plastics (played by Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried) and blow their insular world apart. But can she go so deep undercover without actually succumbing to the same shallow temptations and bitchy mannerisms? And once in can she actually extract herself and get back to normality?
Based on the book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman and adapted for the screen by Tina Fey (smart and sassy and also starring here as Ms. Norbury), this movie plays out like a cross between Clueless and Heathers. It’s the finest teen movie post-millennium and worth a watch to anyone thanks to a script so sharp that it could cut your hair. Every other line is a deadpan gem or a pearl of stupid brilliance and, to deliver them, the makers of the movie have assembled the perfect cast. As well as those already mentioned we have Amy Poehler as a silicon-enhanced desperately groovy mom, Tim Meadows stealing almost every scene he is in, Neil Flynn and Ana Gasteyer as Cady’s parents and a whole host of other great young actors who just manage to fit right into their characters, often hilariously so.
The comparisons between teen cliques and animal groups are amusingly slotted in and not worn out with overuse, the dynamics between all of the characters are well realised (especially for a “teen comedy”) and move the story along without feeling too contrived and while lessons are learned and people change as you would expect none of these things hamper the movie or even allow the pace to slow down for that long. One mildly serious line simply means that another piece of comic brilliance is only seconds away. And cute girls dancing in skimpy Christmas outfits always gains a movie extra credit from me.
Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett, Rachel McAdams
Runtime: 97 min