Monday, May 17, 2004

POPCORN REVIEW: "Mean Girls" is so Fetch!


Mean Girls, staring Lidsey Lohan, finally tackles the age old question: "Which is more difficult, surviving the African Bush or making it through a suburban Chicago High School?" (Attention Mark Burnett: Idea for the next season of Survivor!) Cady (Lohan) grows up in Africa with eccentric and intellectual parents who superbly home schooled her in academics, but failed to socialize her to the ways of the suburbia. Ill-prepared and naive, Cady finds herself longing for the animal kingdom while lost in the passive aggressive anxious mess that is High School. After falling in with the neurotic angry artsy girl Janice and her hefty gay side kick, Cady is wrapped up in teen turmoil to bring down The Plastics... the clique of girls everyone hates yet still wants to be. Soon, like a vice cop going undercover, the lines of place and purpose and truth and lies become blurred. Cady loses herself and her friends in the quest of Queen-Bee status in a manner that makes the African queen Cleopatra look timid.

Mean Girls is smart, stylish, and in it's own way, socially conscious. Can a girl be gorgeous and good at calculus? Can she honestly get a man by honestly being herself? The screenplay adaptation by Tina Fey garnered more laughs per minute than most comedies in recent memory. Flanked my many SNL colleagues and alums, this cast is full of scene stealing comedians without too much of over the top gross out humor. Not to be over looked, no teen assemble is complete without some man candy. Jonathan Bennett provides a dose so sweet some might find themselves asking how many licks does it take to get to the center of a...... OOPS! Well, you get the picture.

As for the movie's star, last summer Miss Lohan proved she can hold her own against Jamie Lee Curtis in another Mark Walters helmed pic (Freaky Friday), and this spring is proving she can carry a film all her own. Destined to be a super star performer, Mean Girls has crowned Lohan the reigning Teen Queen by being smart, funny, neurotic, sexy, classy, and most importantly a great actress. In the current world of celebrity skin and child star peter pan syndromes, she sets an example not only for the girl next door, but her industry counter parts could learn a thing or too as well.

Whether you're a 20 or 30 something feeling you've grown up too fast, a 13 year old girl dreading the transition to high school in the fall, a 15 year old boy looking for some eye candy, or a mom or dad looking to understand the wacky ways of your 17 year old daughter, this film has something for everyone of every age. Mean Girls breathes new breath into a sometimes played out genre. As the heir apparent to Fast Times, The Breakfast Club, Heathers, and Clueless, Mean Girls is the queen of the Spring Fling.


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