Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
Mr. Beaks has been telling me for weeks now that this is something special. He’s quite fond of the film, and I expect his write-up soon. For now, this first report will have to do:
"Mean Girls" is like a teen movie by way of the Discovery Channel. Lindsay Lohan plays Cady, attending a new suburban high school after an academic career of home-schooling, and much/all of that taking place in Africa. She discovers that high school is like the jungle, only less kind (there's a cute scene when she's in the mall and she views the kids hanging around the fountain like it was a waterhole). The cafeteria tables are broken down into subsets as specific as nerdy Asians and hot Asians. Cady's adopted by the "Plastic" clique of pretty, vapid girls led by Regina (Rachel McAdams), the ex-girlfriend of the guy Cady is crushing on. Some of Cady's more 'eclectic' new friends (a funny, artistic cliquelet of two) think it would be cool for Cady to infiltrate the Plastics and destroy them from within. Cady infiltrates only too well, alienating her arty friends before she comes to her senses, does the right things and wins the guy in the final reel (and if you think that's a spoiler, you must've never seen a teen movie in your life).
"Mean Girls" is written by Tina Fey, who also plays Cady's math teacher. About half of this movie is as funny as "Heathers" (ironically, the director, Mark Waters, is the brother of "Heathers" writer Daniel Waters- thanks, IMDB!), which unfortunately but correctly implies that half of this movie isn't. It's a little on the predictable side in that you know where it's going, although it does take some entertaining routes in getting there.
It might be a little presumptuous to say someone is the finest actress of their generation when most of that generation can't drive in every state of the union, so let's just say that Lindsay Lohan is near the top of the list. Daniel Franzese was especially funny as Damian, the male member of the arty duo and that "sexually suspect" kid every high school seems to have a handful of (although I don't think most high schools would be so tolerant of a boy who uses the girl's room and crashes the supposedly 'girl's only' assembly). Amy Poehler is car-wreck fascinating (and I mean that in a good way, believe it or not) as Regina's mother, who is living vicariously through her daughter and offering refreshments to boys Regina is entertaining in her bedroom while said boys are sliding headfirst into second base, if you catch my meaning. (PG-13 sliding, FYI, and that's for language more than anything else).
As predictable as I found this movie, what was interesting was the way Fey and Waters created and shaped the Plastics in that, as bitchy as they are, they're sort of sympathetic. Lacey Chabert as Gretchen shows a masochistic streak wider than a three-lane highway, letting Regina walk all over her and coming back for more, just to be accepted by her clique. Once Cady learns the rules to the game she's forced to play, she plays it so well that the only time I notice the title invoked in the film, it refers to her. It's weird that I saw "Mystic River" this past Sunday, and while I can't fairly compare these two films by any stretch of the imagination other than I had a large Coke at both, I find myself thinking about the characters of "Mean Girls" and their interaction more than those of Penn, Robbins and Bacon.
No names, please, I'm Shy.
Thanks, Shy. Can’t wait to see Beaks take this one on in the days ahead, and I’m sure Herc will be there for the first show, being a fan of all things Fey.