Movie News

Our First Review Of Tina Fey

Published at: Feb. 16, 2004, 8:29 a.m. CST by staff

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.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 16, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Fey

    by Truman_Burbank

    Tina Fey has beautiful breasts. Or is that Rachel Dratch? Anyway, no wonder SNL has sucked balls for the past year, year and a half, two years (I lost count)... Tina was writing this! Get back to work, Miss Fey. Give Seth and Amy some god damn material. ps- Foist.

  • Feb. 17, 2004, 3:10 a.m. CST

    <sigh>

    by Lazarus Long

    As if it weren't bad enough that Saturday Night Live has sucked for nearly 15 years (Will Ferrell couldn't save it alone), we have to suffer through Tina Fey's smug presentation of the Weekend Update, to remind us how DAMNED CLEVER SHE IS. Here's an update, Tina: As head writer of this sub-par show that survives solely based on its long-outlived legacy, you should be held responsible for the terrible sketches that go on too long, the ones that weren't funny to begin with, and the general blandness of the material. Turn Tina, Lorne Michaels, and the whole stinking pile out to pasture. I'd rather watch my Mr. Show boxed sets. Besides, Family Guy is coming back to TV. That's comedy, not this tired pop-culture fuck fest. This is crap for people in high school who haven't discovered the truly subversive stuff. Shit, even when I was a teenager I was watching Kids in the Hall, Monty Python, and later on, The State instead of this dreck. GET IT OFF!!!

  • Feb. 17, 2004, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Tina Fey is a Goddess

    by zabbadoo

    SNL now is funnier than it has ever been, the lack of Tracy Morgan and Will Ferrell is kind of sad but the rest of the cast has admirably picked up the slack. Right now SNL has more fantastically talented AND supremely attractive women than it ever has. I don't understand why Lorne hasn't already made a movie deal for them to headline. Gwyneth Paltrow also btw because her and Maya have fantastic chemistry. Get on the damn bag!!! Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Suck it Lazarus, suck it hard.

  • Feb. 17, 2004, 4:58 a.m. CST

    I love this premise...

    by deputydoofus

    I like movies that overdramatize simple little interactions between people. I know that sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but I really do. It would make sense why "Mean Girls" would stick with you more than "Mystic River" because the interactions in it are more relatble. If this film was directed well, I'm sure it will be good. I have every confidence in Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan that this will work.

  • Feb. 18, 2004, 3:48 a.m. CST

    my balls are huge.

    by MisterBlonde

    That is all.

  • Feb. 18, 2004, 11:25 p.m. CST

    I disagree with Lazarus...

    by Yossarian

    The show has been better than it has in years, Fey brings a certain surprising raunchiness to the show. And weekend update is the best! And Rachel Dratch is hilarious in pretty damn much everything.

  • Feb. 19, 2004, 12:58 a.m. CST

    SNL is kicking much ass...

    by Snow Is Fun

    Tina Fey is a genius. Her and Jimmy Fallon have finally made the Weekend Update not only tolerable, but highly enjoyable. I HATED Colin Quinn's Weekend Update. And how can this Lazarus dude say the show has sucked for the past fifteen years? The past fifteen years have been great! Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers, the list goes on and on and on... Oh, yeah, and WILL F---ING FERRELL.

  • Feb. 26, 2004, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Linsay Lohan is this generation's Hilary Duff

    by mbaker

    Having lost Hilary Duff to Warner Bros. Di$ney looks for another "I-wanna-be-a-star" figurehead for teen girls to emulate and blow their allowances on. Enter the totally untalented Linsay Lohan! This type of behavior is considered acceptable, while girls with personality, intelligence and talent are considered geeks. What's worse is that with the pending box office success of "Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen", other studios will be launching copycat movies with similar characters. Both Linsay, and Hilary need to be put infront of a firing squad, and put out of their misery! I'm sick, and tired of Di$ney's obsession with teenage girls!! Di$ney needs to realize that teenage grils aren't the only carbon based lifeforms with cash! These idiots don't seem to realize how much money their losing by limiting their fan base! I guess this is what we're gonna expect from Di$ney now that Pixar is gone, and their animation studios have all been shut down. Maybe Comcast should've went ahead with their huge coorperate buyout, and de-thrown Ei$ner for good.