Friday, August 21, 2009

Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004)

Talk about your misleading titles, the girls in Mean Girls, the Tina Fey-scripted, Mark Waters-directed film about a home schooled outsider forced to transverse the social minefield that is public school, aren't mean at all; in fact, they're downright sweet at times. I guess all my years of watching films that do nothing but promote cruelty and violence have clearly have deadened my mean judging abilities, because I desperately wanted to see more than feelings being hurt and reputations ruined. Sure, a character totally gets run over by a bus at one point. However, that was the fault of the bus driver (no motorized vehicle should be going that fast in a school zone). No, catty remarks and unpleasant comments written in a scrapbook don't quite cut it as far as teen-on-teen abuse goes. The fact that Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is supposedly from the continent of Africa was also a bit of a distraction. First of all, Africa isn't a country; if you keep referring to it as a country, more and more people are going to start believing it's a country. Secondly, her accent showed no trace of ever having lived in whatever African country she grew up in. Now, I'm not saying she should have sounded like the female version of Pik van Cleef (Emil Fouchon's principal henchman in Hard Target), but a slight accent would have helped me suspend some belief. Then again, Lindsay Lohan sporting a, oh, let's say, Botswanan drawl, isn't really something I want to see.

Using the harshness of the animal kingdom as a metaphor for the cutthroat atmosphere of your average Toronto high school (again, you can shove as many American flags into the frame as you want, you ain't fooling me), the film earnestly tries to teach us that meanness is wrong. Which I agree it is. But it doesn't exactly make for edgy entertainment.

This apparent softness will no doubt irritate fans of Jawbreaker and Heathers, as the proceedings go all gentle on us pretty quickly. That being said, there are some genuinely funny moments in the film, and plus the colourful outfits worn by The Plastics (an exclusive clique for popular girls) were excessively skimpy and an absolute pleasure to bask in.

The cast of Mean Girls is a mixed bag. In that, it's split down the middle between those who have a gift for comedy and those who don't. Surprisingly, it's Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who are the ones who stink the most at making with the ha-ha. Tina comes off as a self-satisfied know-it-all, and Amy, well, she is just plain annoying as a so-called "cool mom." (What can say? I prefer the random weirdness of Kristen Wiig for my female-based SNL yuks.)

The lead mean girl is played by Rachel McAdams (wearing an ugly blonde wig) and not once did I find her bitchy antics to be amusing. Okay, maybe when she says "boo you whore" to a fellow mean girl. But other than that...

Stealing the show as far as I'm concerned was Amanda Seyfried as Karen Smith, a mildly clueless gal whose breasts know when it's raining. Exhibiting a genuine gift for comedy, the gorgeous, ashen-legged actress does a tremendous job at playing a complete idiot. But not in a crass, unaware Jessica Simpson sort of way. Uh-uh, Miss Seyfried's craft is more akin to the works of Anna Faris and Jessica Cauffiel. I liked how Amanda played Karen as a harmless sycophant (she doesn't do a single mean thing during the entire movie). Oh, and I dug the way she looked in a short skirt, and, of course, as a slutty mouse.

While not quite on the same level as Amanda, a bronze-legged Lacey Chabert does earn some laughs with her character's misguided commitment to the expression "fetch." And former ladies man Tim Meadows has two or three moments of funny as well.

Flirting with a moderate brand of transvestitism was completely acceptable at my high school (earrings, ponytails, pointy footwear, concealed garter belts, etc), but being a card carrying Friend of Dorothy was not groovy at all. Which brings us to the flamboyant resplendence that is Daniel Franzese as Damian, an openly gay student who, along with his butch gal pal, Janis (Lizzy Caplan), helps Cady bring down The Plastics. It's weird, but to see someone so far out of the closet in a high school setting like that was so strange to me (my old-timey school would have ate him alive). Anyway, Daniel is top drawer in terms of cinematic hilarity, as almost everyone of his lines garnered a chuckle, especially: "You go Glen Coco!"

video uploaded by that1foo18


  1. Christ on a bike, I take a well deserved sabbatical at the super exclusive DELTA BURKE BB&B BATHING GARDENS in Orlando, Florida and I miss not one, but THREE new reviews!

    Well, I'll try and keep this brief with only one comment per review:

    Mannequin: Funny you mention plastic combs...I have been on an emotional rollercoaster with my wife's Bumpits™ Volumizing Insert for a month now....Can you blame me?

    I mean, what boy doesn't want to feel confident and beautiful, like he just stepped out of a professional salon?

    To Live and Die in L.A.: Okay, I haven't seen this one, but I do rank William Friedkin's 1980 offbeat, romantic comedy, CRUISING, as one of my all time favorite films.

    Mean Girls: This one got me thinking about my high school days..I usually went for the punky, new wave girls or the big faced, heavy metal chicks but there was a part of me that secretly desired to french kiss the crunchy banged, curiously orange colored, snobby gals that stalked the lunchroom like ravenous panthers looking for baby alligators, armadillos, and raccoons. Just sayin'.

    Okay, off to try on my new Delta Burke® Tigress Plus Size Halter Tankini Swimsuit before Summer's over!

  2. Muhammad on a moped, thanks for taking some time from your unique sabbatical to visit my online vagina.

    Funny you should mention plastic combs again, I lost my lucky plastic comb yesterday. Sure, I ended up finding it. But let me tell you, those were ten stressful minutes I never want to experience again.

    The blonde in the opening of the Bumpits ad is actually hotter in her pre-Bumpit state. The rest, however, are well-served by Bumpits' volumizing magic.

    I have no idea. I haven't been to the salon ages. *sniff*

    Note to self: Watch Cruising (yeah, I know, I'm lame for not having seen it yet).

    Early on, I went for scrappy girls who wore over-sized jean jackets and had acne on their forehead. Punky, new wave gals came later.

    Baby alligators, armadillos, and raccoons?!? What a tasty menu.

    Damn, those Delta Burke® Tigress Plus Size Halter Tankini Swimsuits ain't cheap.

    Oh, and Evil Toons was uploaded to YouTube, but parts 3 and 4 were deleted before I could view it. *more sniffing*

  3. The only thing I don't like about this movie is that when I received it for Giftmas the DVD was full-screen pan-and-scan - I despise fullscreen. They should call it "illiterate hillbilly vision."

    Wow, that started out harsh. Excuse me.

    I do really like this one. It took some chances, making the outsiders act just as phallic-like as the cool kids. It happens.

    As for the meanness? Rose McGowan would flay those broads alive ;-)

  4. Holy crap! I received a pan-and-scan Mean Girls DVD for Giftmas (Annual Gift Day) as well. Weird, wild stuff.

    "Phallic-like." Hee. It's kinda like "dick-like," but slightly different.

    No question. Rose would have destroyed their pink covered asses with simple glance in their general direction.

  5. I can't believe I just realized your Tumblr was one I was following. I feel so stupid.

  6. Hmmm, I wonder what gave me away. :)