I recently copped a lot of flack for putting Mean Girls in my list of top 25 movies of all time. I stand by the decision as this is the best teen comedy I have ever seen, written by the brilliant Tina Fey and a reminder that back in the day, Lindsay Lohan was quite talented.
Lohan stars as Cady. She has spent her whole life being home schooled in Africa until her parents decide to return home and she starts attending public school for the first time. She must quickly learn the rules of the schoolyard, finding out very fast that high school is far wilder than anything she saw in Africa. Cady is introduced to the school rules by Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damien (Daniel Franzese) who take her under their wing. When Cady is accepted by the local group of hotties known as the Plastics, led by the evil Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Janis convinces Cady to infiltrate their group and bring it down from the inside. Cady reluctantly agrees, but soon finds herself becoming more and more plastic the longer she spends with her new friends.
This is such a great film. The only teen comedy that even comes close to Mean Girls is Clueless. The dialogue is great, and the young cast work so well together. Rachel McAdams is terrific as Regina. You hate her so much, and that is exactly how you should feel about her. This film really put her on the map and helped springboard her to the popularity she now has.
Of course the star of this movie is Lindsay Lohan. I would so very much like to see a parallel dimension where she didn’t ruin herself with drugs and the wrong crowd. There is so much talent in her, and it is such a shame to see it wasted. Regardless, she is terrific here and I have a feeling we will not be getting a better performance from Lohan for the rest of her career.
Mean Girls is a biting look at the high school world and the best teen comedy of my generation.
Mean Girls is my favorite teen movie. Clueless and Easy A are right up there battling it out for second, but neither quite captures the reality of girl cruelty quite like this film. It’s the perfect pairing of an awesome script and an even better cast. Totally fetch.
Mean Girls is based on the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, discussing the negative influence social cliques can have on teenage girls. Non-fiction adaptations rarely equal great comedy, but in the hands of the talented Tina Fey this serious book becomes one of the sharpest comedies every written. But even with all its laughs, there’s a dark undertone to the story that perfectly underscores what it’s like to be a teenage girl: one minute you’re in everyone’s good graces, but just as quickly you’re on the outs. The offenses are arbitrary and the punishments swift. This is definitely a film I enjoy because I’m an adult. I unfortunately still have to deal with some of this “girl-on-girl crime” even as an adult (some women never grow up), but for the most part this is all safely in my past. I can openly laugh at how stupid everyone is as a teenager, because I never have to go through that again. Thank god.
The cast of Mean Girls has mostly gone on to bigger and better things. Lizzie Caplan now stars in Masters of Sex (excellent show, check it out). Rachel McAdams has become a bit of a rom-com darling, where she often manages to bring life to some pretty ordinary scripts. Lacy Chabert was an acting veteran by the time this was released and continues to do a lot of television voice work. This movie was Amanda Seyfried’s film debut, but has gone on to roles as varied as the daughter of polygamist Mormons and porn star Linda Lovelace.
And then there’s Lindsay Lohan. Oh, Lindsay. The fact that this is her best role ever is both awesome and sad. Lohan is wonderful as protagonist Cady Heron, a previously home schooled girl trying her best to navigate the shark tank that is high school for the first time. This girl clearly has some great acting chops. She’s not the best character in the film, but she holds her own against the crazier personalities inhabiting this story. But, I often watch Mean Girls and wonder what might have been. Lohan is more known now for her legal troubles and appearing to have aged 20 years overnight. She’s done a lot since this movie, but is more often leaning on self-deprecating humor than taking roles that would truly showcase her talent.
Mean Girls is seriously one of the best comedies ever made. I can’t say enough good things about this movie. It’s funny, smart, and infinitely quotable. I could watch this a million times and still laugh out loud.