Sunday, September 2, 2007

Mean Girls (2004)

* * *

Like far too many movies, Mean Girls comes out of the gate firing but halfway through loses steam and crawls across the finish line. The first forty-five minutes is entirely fresh, funny, and honest; the second forty-five is stale, bland, and cliche. This is a teen comedy, so the acting is nothing more than should be expected. Lindsay Lohan stars as Cady, a girl trying to fit into a new school and wade through the cliques and hierarchy that exists in a modern high school setting, and Rachel McAdams co-stars as Regina, the queen of mean. No individual performances are distinctly funny aside from SNL vets Tim Meadows as the high school principal and Amy Poehler as Regina's mother. What makes Mean Girls a success is Tina Fey's script. The film is brutally honest in portraying high school age girls and the high school experience and is entirely unique in this respect. The first half of the film is a no-holds-barred, hilarious perspective on shallowness, frivolousness, and superficiality. Almost anyone who grew up in the 90s and 00s personally knows these characters, some better than others. Poehler's portrayal of the tragically pathetic mother of the popular girl is written and performed perfectly. But, sadly, halfway through the movie Mean Girls begins to fall down the hill it climbed so bravely, and like a cliche-snowball builds and builds to the size of Lindsay Lohans coke lines. In an attempt to churn the humor into morality, Fey falls into every trap, using plot lines that have been beaten to death. Mean Girls has more than enough memorable quotes to be worth watching, but also more than enough rehash from all other teen comedies to be shut off halfway through.

Good For: fans of teen comedies, girls of all ages

Bad For: 99% of the male population

The Gallery
The Economist: * *
The Film Maker: * *

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