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MEAN GIRLS, 2004
Movie Reviews!

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MEAN GIRLS MOVIE POSTER
MEAN GIRLS, 2004
Classic Movie Review
Directed by Mark Waters
Starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Tim Meadows, and Tina Fey
Review by Elizabeth Cooper



SYNOPSIS:

Cady Heron (Lohan) is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels (Bennett), the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George (McAdams).

REVIEW:

The film follows Cady Herron (Lohan) and she maneuvers through her first year of school, at age sixteen. The opening is instantly believeable: a brief, well-composed summary of the situation Cady finds herself in. Cady was raised and home-schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents. And she happens to be hot. Okay, now you are ready for the plot of the film.

On her first day ever of school, Cady first falls in line with the alternative, non-popular crowd at school. They love her, they accept her, and they inform her about the nuances of high school that until now, Cady has never experienced. Everything is fine until she meets, The Plastics.

The Plastics are the popular, mean, pervasively teasing, backstabbing trio that prowl the school. The Leader is Regina George (McAdams), with Gretchen (Chabert) and Karen (Seyfried) as her almost dumb soldiers. For Cady, hanging out with them is a new phenomenon, but she is convinced that The Plastics are her friends. While discovering the backstabbing tactics of the group, Cady likens the popular kids to jungle animals going in for the kill. While this is funny the first time, it gets a little old as the analysis continues to the second half of the film. Cady enjoys hanging out with The Plastics, even if she doesn’t fully understand everything that they do. That is, until, Regina steals the boy she likes. Let the war begin!

Cady starts by turning Regina’s friends and boyfriend against her. This proves to be no easy task, although it is an amusing one. Then she tricks her into eating protein bars, which cause her to balloon up to (dare I say it) a size 6! With all that, Regina still reigns supreme, until Cady turns her soldiers against her. Oh, and she tells Regina’s boyfriend that she has been cheating on him. After the full-on attacks, Regina crumbles and Cady takes over as Queen of the Plastics, becoming the most popular girl in school. And soon, the most hated.

The second half of the film explores Cady’s transformation into a carbon copy version of Regina; she talks about other girls, spends hours looking at herself in the mirror, and lies to her parents. Eventually, Cady’s actions catch up to her, and the whole school dislikes her for her mean deeds.

Despite the somewhat predictable storyline, Mean Girls remains fresh with the likeable, almost tongue-in-cheek dialogue from SNL Veteran Tina Fey. Even as the teachers yell out typical clichés about being nice to everyone, there is always a sarcastic response (by Fey?) that seems to sum up the comedic underlying tone of the situation. It’s artful and subtlety crafted, which is probably why the film appeals to more than just a high school and early college audience.

The film’s subject matter should be a familiar one to director Mark Waters. His previous films include Head Over Heals and Freaky Friday. The talents of the young cast are commendable, especially that of Rachel McAdams as the ruthless Regina. Amanda Seyfried is also delightfully dumb as Karen, especially when she talks about her “special talents.” Lindsay Lohan is consistent in her Disney-esque good girl role; nothing bad and nothing to put her in a high caliber of actresses. In fact, since the film, both McAdams and Seyfried have enjoyed more successful careers.

Mean Girls is a fun film that you can enjoy over and over again. In the end, Cady finds redemption by becoming nice again, and she regains the friendships she lost (and the hot guy). Okay, the end does go a little sappy, with Cady realizing that being mean to other girls won’t make you any happier, but at that point in the film, just go with it. It’s an enjoyable film, and even if there’s a little sappiness to it, at least its witty sappiness.

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