May 11, 2004 > Mean Girls
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language, and some teen partying
by Susana Nuņez
After having flopped not once, but twice in her recent big screen attempts, Lindsay Lohan has redeemed herself. Recently, fans have seen her in the not-so-stellar remake of Freaky Friday and the downright miserable Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Lohan has has finally found her niche. Mean Girls, based on the book by Rosalind Wisemen entitled Queen Bees and Wannabes, is a film for everyone. What appears to be another stereotypical, lame teen movie is actually solid with an accurate and funny portrayal of teen life. There are exaggerations for comedic purposes, but the film retains its nonfiction quality.
Cadey Heron (Lohan) moves from her peaceful home in Africa to a small town near Chicago, Illinois. Although Cadey is familiar with the jungle world and its wild inhabitants, she has never encountered the wildlife that resides in a high school. Home-schooled by her parents, she is new to the culture of high school; cliques, social stature, popularity, decisions that can result in "social suicide," and so forth.
Luckily, she quickly makes friends with the bitter, yet kind, Janice Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and her "almost too gay to function" sidekick Damian (Daniel Franzese). After they make Cadey her own map of the school cafeteria, including every clique table, they warn her of the Plastics, or "teen royalty" in Damian's perspective. Everyone either wants to be like them or accepted by them - usually to no avail. Cadey, however, appeals to the Plastics and soon is morphed from an intelligent and sweet girl to a vain, teen goddess.
Regina (Rachel McAdams) is the "queen bee" of the Plastics which include Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried). When Janice and Damian watch the Plastics welcome Cadey, they devise a plan to destroy Regina.
Emmy winner Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live wrote the screenplay for the film, which hits very close to home for many girls in high school. The importance of social stature is closely examined and it's easy to see how Mean Girls offers a realistic parallel to an average high school. The film has a good message for young girls, unlike many other recent teen movies.
Mean Girls will keep audiences thoroughly entertained and offers something for everyone, whether a math nerd extraordinaire or the coolest kid on the block. This film isn't just for Lindsay Lohan and SNL fans; it offers a reflective pause for anyone who has been exposed to the civil wildlife of high school.