- Mark Waters
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, June 13, 2005
Cady (Lindsay Lohan) grew up in Africa. She was schooled by her parents, so when they have to move to the U.S. and she has to get into a normal high school it’s quite a shock for everybody. Cady finds herself in a world she doesn’t know, and has a terrible first day. At first she befriends some people that could be called the misfits. But soon Regina (Rachel McAdams) sets her eyes on her and it’s a completely different story. As it happens, Regina leads a trio of girls known as The Plastics who are the most gorgeous and popular specimens around. Cady decides to have some fun getting to know their weird little world and becomes their “friend”; but soon she finds herself as part of them and that’s when everything really starts to change.
Mean Girls is based upon the book “Queen bees and wannabees”, written by Rosalind Wiseman to tip parents how to help their daughters through high school. It was adapted as a screenplay by SNL alumni Tina Fey, who did a wonderful job in translating the mordant and witty humor to a movie that could’ve otherwise been silly and completely unoriginal. From the first 10 minutes you know you’re in for something different and a little bit above par.
And what is it that makes it better than other movies of the sort? To start off, it is an intelligent movie. It’s a satire in every sense of the world, portraying the high school world as some sort of survival competition. It captures every single nuance, feeling and sentiment of that specific age when girls are starting to grow up and finding their place in the world. A savage world, that is.
The movie has some sequences that are absolutely hilarious and over-the-top, and the portrayal of the superficial Plastics is dead-on. The humor is all over the place, from sweet to black to blacker, but always with its tongue firmly in its cheek. The only problem I found with the movie is that it is not able to maintain this kind of level for its entire running length. The last half hour turns into the usual prom denouement which we’ve seen countless times in movies before. Too bad they didn’t manage to satirize even that.
Lohan became an overnight star after this movie was released. And no wonder. She’s absolutely magnetic, able to control her acting and transitions as to always seem believable. She is ably supported by Rachel McAdams, another very talented performer, and the rest of the teenage cast, which includes Lacey Chabert. Tina Fey herself and SNL Amy Poehler appear in brief but solid turns.
A surprising movie at every turn.
“I know it may look like I was being like a bitch, but that's only because I was acting like a bitch.”
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Other reviews of Mean Girls (2004): Groucho