Directed by Mark Waters.
Written by Tina Fey. Based on a book by Rosalind Wiseman.
Starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tim Meadows and Tina Fey.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 4/26/04
My friend Tricia passed along a freebie to
go see "Mean Girls" this past week, and without it I would have
never gone to check out a Lindsay Lohan film. But, after a
hilarious set of giveaways aimed at the teenage girls that were in
my audience courtesy of a local radio station, I have to admit:
"Mean Girls" is a great time at the movies.
Part of this may have to do with the Tiny
Fey script; Fey, the lead writer for "Saturday Night Live", injects
this teen comedy with some truly hilarious moments. Cady (Lohan),
a 16-year-old that prior to this school year has been home-schooled
in Africa, moves to a town in Illinois bent on getting the most out
of the high school experience. She learns that life in
American schools takes quite an adjustment period, so in hangin' out
with two of the school's outsiders, the slacker Janis (Lizzy Caplan)
and the "too gay to be believed" Damian (Daniel Franzese), Cady
learns about the school's teachers and its many cliques, chief of
which are The Plastics, a three-girl royal circle led by Regina
(Rachel McAdams). The Plastics are every high schooler's worst
nightmare: they're beautiful, rich, self-important and the
object of every straight male's affections and female's
trendsetting. And, they're evil--but, Cady is strangely drawn
to The Plastics, and in becoming part of their clique, Cady slowly
begins to love the lifestyle...but, will it destroy her friendship
There's really not too much in the way of
drama in Fey's script, based on a book by Rosalind Wiseman.
This is good, because the laughs come early and often, thanks mostly
to the hilarious "Oh my God!" acting of the three actresses playing
The Plastics, the Damian-Janis-Cady friendship and Fey herself, who
delivers as Cady's math teacher who is facing a number of problems
of her own. The kids in my audience seemed to be laughing more
than I was, but I was still whooping it up quite heartily myself; in
one scene, where Damian is using the women's restroom at the school,
a short, pudgy female yells at him
Short, Pudgy Girl: "What are you
doing in here?"
Damian: "Oh my God! Danny DeVito! I LOVE your
And our theater freakin' lost it.
Seriously, the timing on this was straight "Simpsons", it was so
spot-on and delivered so quickly. There are at least a dozen
scenes like this; one bit has two Korean women arguing in an
assembly (and arguing IN Korean) when one of them just drops it
while waving off the other: "Nigga, please!" So funny.
Just the IDEA that Koreans might say that to one another was enough
for me to burst out with the giggles.
Lohan undergoes a fun transformation from
unknowing outsider to clique leader to normal kid in just 90
minutes; director Mark Waters, who also directed Lohan in "Freaky
Friday", gets good mileage out of Lohan and all of his actresses,
with strong turns coming from the various leads and the male love
interest, played by Jonathan Bennett. Good soundtrack, and the
pacing is good; a dance number in the middle of the film was good as
well. Aesthetically, the film was all good.
Save for a consistently profane script (many
times, I thought, unnecessary given the target audience) and some
scattered moments of "lessons" and "learning" for young people, I
was very satisfied with "Mean Girls." I probably won't see it
again, but the experience was niiiiiiice.
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard