Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Movie Review: "Mean Girls" (2004)

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Movie"Mean Girls"
Director: Mark Waters
Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) was home schooled her whole life by her research scientist parents in Africa. When Cady's mom (Ana Gasteyer) gets tenure at an American university, they enroll Cady in a public school for the first time at the age of 16. Cady experiences a huge culture shock  learning the social hierarchy of high school. Cady befriends a couple of social outcasts Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese), who give her the info on all the social groups. They devise a plan for Cady to infiltrate the most elite and meanest group of girls in the whole school known as The Plastics, lead by the evil Regina George (Rachel McAdams), and bring them down.  Cady soon finds out that she is just as capable of being a mean girl as those she's trying to ruin. 
This is the perfect example of a guilty pleasure movie, and yet I hate myself for liking it because it features Lindsay Lohan. I can recite it almost line for line. There are so many wonderful quotes in this movie and it makes me laugh so hard every single time I watch it. One of my favorite quotes is "Oh my god, Danny Devito, I love your work!" This is one of Lindsay Lohan's only good movie roles...and speaking of that, what the hell happened to her?! She went 18 to 50 in a matter of two or so years. Despite her eventual failure, this movie did serve as a successful launch point for a few other stars: Rachel McAdams, who was really almost 10 years older than Lohan while filming this movie and acting as a teenager, Amanda Seyfried, and Lizzy Caplan. These ladies have all gone on to do bigger and better things in their careers, leaving Lohan to be hit by a bus of drugs and hardcore partying (get the bus reference?).

Tina Fey penned the screenplay for this movie and we think she did a fantastic job. She so wonderfully and beautifully captured the essence of the hierarchy of so many high schools across the country, though obviously exaggerated for comedic purposes. It is your typical jocks and cheerleader types at the top, social outcasts and gothic outsiders on the bottom story, but with so many other division in between. We can't think of anyone off the top of our heads from either of our high schools who were as trendsetting as Regina George, but we're sure they existed at some point in time. There will always be snobby elitists at every school no matter where you live and those who try to gain popularity by copying them in an effort to be cool. It also shines a spotlight on how catty and petty teenage girls can be, and this obviously follows some of them into adulthood, as referenced by Regina George's "cool mom," played masterfully by Fey's BFF Amy Poehler. Even Cady's name, though spoken like K-A-T-Y, is pronounced C-A-T-T-Y by several teachers and students, and there's no way this is a mistake or done on accident. Fey obviously had an agenda during the making of this script, and though it is based on a book, her own messages of female empowerment and accepting girls for who they are, as well as promoting female togetherness and friendship play a central role throughout the movie.

This is a must see if you like quotable films and it is even watchable for those who typically don't tolerate silly high school centered teen comedies.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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