Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mean Girls

Mean Girls; Comedy, USA, 2004; D: Mark Waters, S: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Mcadams, Lizzy Caplan, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Franzese, Tina Fey

Cady Heron is a teenage girl that spent her whole life in Africa, being teached by her mother at home. By moving back to USA, she enlists to a high school for the first time in her life, and her first day ends with her feeling like an outsider. Luckily, she makes friends with two other outsiders; Janis and Damian. Later on she meets a popular girl, Regina, who also becomes her friend. Regina also has two other girls that seem to follow her; Gretchen and Karen. Still, Regina proves to extremely superficial and evil, spreading bad rumors about Cady and stealing her crush Aaron from her. Janis and Damian use Cady to spy on Regina and try to ruin her reputation. After Cady becomes the new most popular girl, Regina frames her by placing a gossip book on every student in school. In the end, Cady realizes she became as superficial as Regina and decides to make up with Damian and Janice at the dance night.

"Mean Girls" isn't a stupid teen film is seems to be, but rather a solid, sometimes even sharp and clever satire that analyzes the world of high school and teenagers, capturing perfectly the double relationships of attractive but superficial girls that are friends but actually hate each other. Already somewhere in a scene near the start of film, one of the characters, Janis, divides during lunch the whole school into groups; the popular, the outsiders, the foreigners, the dumb, the smart, the sexually active and others, telling so casually more truth than it seems. The plot concept is clever, the execution rather weak, standard, and the direction from Mark Waters is sometimes good, but also sometimes incompetent and silly - for instance, in one scene, Regina tells her mother's breast implants are as hard as a rock; when she shows up and hugs Cady, she almost causes her a slight pain with her "sharp" bust. Another awful joke is also centering over breasts; Karen, apparently a dumb blond girl, is questioned from Cady about what she is good at. She replies she can sense when it's going to rain in her breasts...but mostly when it's already raining. These kind of low attempts at humor reduce the film's quality, and it's structure is confusing and eclectic, but the unusual story about the heroine Cady that "infiltrates" the rows of the evil Regina's clique as a mole seems like a girly version of a spy thriller and has it's charm. Lindsay Lohan is pretty good as Cady, who near the end figures she herself became too superficial since she "started to talk about Regina 80 % of her time, while in the other 20 % she only thought how to start talking about her", but the best parts were delivered from Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese as amusing outsiders Janice and Damian, whose roles were unfortunately too small for comfort.


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