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Overall Rating
4.04

Awesome: 37.1%
Worth A Look45.7%
Average: 8.06%
Pretty Bad: 2.69%
Total Crap: 6.45%

11 reviews, 120 user ratings


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Mean Girls
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by Erik Childress

"Why Couldn't MY High School Have Lindsay Lohan And Tina Fey?"
4 stars

Like it was yesterday I remember my “school retreat” at Driscoll Catholic High School. All the classmates were gathered together in front of the fireplace and given a chance to get something off their chest. Throw in a hug from the next participant and your sins will be forgiven. In a moment straight out of The Breakfast Club, a friend of mine (like me, one of the only three not to participate) gave a speech asking everyone to remember what had been said so it could translate to the rest of the school year. Despite a round of applause, not much had changed on Monday. Mean Girls thrusts us right into that backstabbing, mocking society that is the hallways, cafeteria and phonelines of high school and does so with a sharp wit that helps it rise above your standard teenage fare.

Just as this year’s The Girl Next Door used Risky Business as its template for teenage angst, Mean Girls certainly rises from the school of Heathers. The talented Lindsay Lohan plays Cady Heron (constantly mispronounced as “Catty”, get it?) For years she’s been home schooled with her globe-trotting parents (SNL’s Ana Gasteyer and Scrubs’ favorite janitor, Neil Flynn) and is now getting her first shot at a real school. She’s provided the breakdown of the class structure by gothy Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and the “almost too gay to function”, Damian (Daniel Franzese).

Of note are “the plastics”, a trio of rich girls both feared and admired in the girl world. Karen (Amanda Seyfried) is nominee for dumbest female on the planet, Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) knows all the secrets ("that's why her hair is so big") but never catches herself on time before telling others and Regina George (Rachel McAdams) is the “queen bee” with all the fakery and bitchiness that comes with the title. After falling into this crowd one day at lunch, Cady is suckered into a plan by Janis to be used as an “inside woman”, revealing all the dirt behind-the-scenes in an effort to dethrone the queen.

Mean Girls hits a lot of right notes through its big laughs. Cady’s assertion how it’s weird to be trusted by adults all her life only to enter a world where the teachers treat her as just another face is an all-too telling indictment of the educational system not producing free-thinkers. It’s also true how Cady doesn’t seem to necessarily enjoy her newfound popularity, not because love-and-hate go together but simply because it’s just an element of life that she becomes used to. When she comes to the realization that the rules of the girl world have no bearing on what it takes to live in the real world, she spouts out a speech of lessons so wholly simplistic they should be added to the list of commandments.

That’s all just icing on what is a pretty tasty cake already. As written by Tina Fey (adapted from Rosalind Wiseman’s parental guide, “Queen Bees and Wannabes”), Mean Girls has all the sarcasm and drollness that has made her Weekend Update one of the highlights of another weak patch in the SNL timeline. Imagine a smart Adam Sandler comedy where the comic bits still manage some cartoonish lunacy while maintaining real enough to tell the truth.

I’ve been listening to colleagues go on-and-on about how Lindsay Lohan is the real deal. She was good in last year’s Freaky Friday remake and years ago in The Parent Trap, um, remake. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen didn’t do much for her street cred, but Mean Girls is going to triple it. Fitting that one of the themes of the film is finding your individuality because this is the film where Lohan will begin to separate herself from the Hilary Duffs and Mandy Moores of the world. She IS the real deal and she’s encircled herself within a great script and actors with enough room to make their mark as well. Of particular note are Tim Meadows who has never been funnier as the docile principal with a Joe Clark complex and Franzese who is on target with every line of dialogue.

There are obvious twists to the plot that are standard-issue in any “the unpopular becomes popular” tale, but Mean Girls takes us to a resolution that is not entirely obvious and we’re grateful for it. I don’t know if it’s entirely believable and I don’t believe it’ll change anything on Monday. But it was still nice to hear the final speeches and I applaud Mean Girls for succeeding where so many others have failed. It would be interesting to revisit these characters in ten years at their high school reunion after they’ve been separated from the rat maze, become individuals and forced to confront each other as just people. It may take a decade longer than the next Monday morning, but what a wonderful society it would be.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9283&reviewer=198
originally posted: 04/30/04 14:04:50
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User Comments

10/07/11 Kevin Breece one of my favorite comedies! you can watch it many times and still laugh! 5 stars
8/23/11 Annie G Better than most films of high school. The whole (teen, adult) family enjoyed. 3 stars
7/21/11 BuyTickets So gooood 5 stars
5/25/10 art one big SNL SKIT stretched out to a MOTION PITCURE! 1 stars
5/12/10 Natalie Meyerson WHY does cast list above omit showstealers Amanda Seyfried and Daniel Franzese?? 5 stars
5/12/10 Lenny Zane GREAT, and what a marvel, coming on eve of LL showing world what a miserable slouch she is! 5 stars
9/30/09 art THIS MOVIE SUCK"S! 1 stars
8/03/09 Rachel Definitely a must see for teen girls. 4 stars
5/24/09 art WHO CARES?,THIS IS NONSENSE! 1 stars
4/11/09 Dane Youssef A REAL look at the timeless enviorment of teenage girls, bitchiness and high school itself 5 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. i thought it was funny :] not the average dumbed down teen comedy.. 4 stars
10/06/08 Jenny Tullwartz Sorta true, Iris. DID turn out to be last significant thing Flimsy Lohan is likely to do! 5 stars
10/04/08 Iris Verna Best film of millenium so far; downside: ends most cast member's careers (nowhere up to go) 5 stars
9/01/08 Samantha Pruitt really funny and smart! very quotable, with great characters 5 stars
8/31/08 Shaun Wallner Boring not worth it! 1 stars
8/27/08 louise really good and dum 2 stars
5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT A STANDARD VERSION OF LOW COMIC JOKES 1 stars
4/02/08 superfriek great film Linsy Lohan is so pretty in this movie, I jest love her, and I love the world to 1 stars
10/16/07 Beau a well made hilarious film, great character creations and lindsay's at her best here!! 5 stars
10/02/07 Rachel MacAdamia Nuts Love the sequel in which Regina gets diarrhea and kills Karen for telling people about it. 5 stars
9/23/07 Hard Rock Jane Austen Yep,Hello Stronger, and so it'll remain unless she can extract her head from her poop chute 5 stars
8/14/07 Aaron Smith Janis is the redeeming character here. 4 stars
7/29/07 Hello Stranger lindsay lohan's best acting role. 4 stars
2/04/07 mean girls rocks omg this is one of my favourite movies of all time, you can watch it douzens of times!! xx 5 stars
1/28/07 Lauren Olin Deserved Oscar nominations much more than LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE or DEVIL WEARS PRAVDA! 5 stars
12/15/06 cherry ok but not the best 3 stars
12/11/06 Stacy Very funny and sometimes realistic portrayal of high school. Love it. 5 stars
11/27/06 sirina total crap the worst movie ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/11/06 David Pollastrini all the women in this film are hot! 4 stars
8/11/06 Jennifer my favorite movie of all time! i watch it almost every other day! 5 stars
6/09/06 Dan Good movie actually... 5 stars
6/04/06 The Velcro Warlock Insightful & captivating but doesn't need fans like Sallie. 4 stars
4/16/06 Sallie To anyone who ever said "mean girls" sucks, go fuck yourself. 5 stars
3/23/06 tabiya karim hmmmmmmmmmmm i hate lohan she sucks goddddd 1 stars
3/09/06 Jenna Hilarious and true at the same time! 5 stars
2/14/06 Harriet Beak very funny real life teen movie 4 stars
1/03/06 cody a cool movie with sexy woman like lindsey lohan, but it had only few laughs here and there 3 stars
10/15/05 tony HILARIOUS! 5 stars
10/09/05 rob Really good; developed characters, hilarious, realism, dark (but not dark enough) 5 stars
10/04/05 shawney hartland you should show mean girls more offen on tv 5 stars
9/20/05 Jonathon Holmes if only more teen movies were like this... 4 stars
9/06/05 aiyana i love the movie so much. I've seen it like a hundred times. No kidding! 5 stars
9/01/05 Coral Good Voice it was OK 4 stars
8/16/05 alexandria it was so unbelievablly incredible like rikki 5 stars
8/12/05 nads shows tina fey in a bra. 3 stars
7/31/05 kit mean girls was so realistic to highschool. I loved it. 5 stars
7/19/05 619 love this film os should i say "thats sooooo fetch" 5 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma I did not expect this to be so hilarious 5 stars
6/27/05 dan good film and i wanna bang lohan 5 stars
6/14/05 i am god sss 1 stars
5/10/05 Mike S. zeitgeist- I weep for you. 5 stars
5/09/05 zeitgeist I weep for the future. 1 stars
3/31/05 paris hart the best chick flick ive ever seen gd acting perfect teen comedy 5 stars
3/15/05 y2mckay Clever and funny script, the WU girls, hot chicks, and big boobs - What's not to like? 4 stars
2/25/05 dbx really overrated, ok if you can get past the hype 3 stars
2/23/05 sarah mean girls is one of my absolute favourite films of my life it is funny 5 stars
1/07/05 Buford Lindsay Lohan has big titties! 5 stars
12/30/04 Debra Sherman too jvenile but what was I expecting 2 stars
12/26/04 DM Witty and very clever. Tim Meadows is funny, too. 4 stars
12/06/04 Larry It shows Tina Fey in a bra. Good masturbation material. 3 stars
12/04/04 Britany Rose It was a good movie 4 stars
11/18/04 megan mean girls was a fun filled flick that made my family laugh so its worth a good look 4 stars
11/09/04 Diana where can i get the A little bit more dramatic top?email me at strawberilious@hotmail.com 5 stars
11/08/04 Kittie funny, sassy, more original that most teen films suprisingly entertained 4 stars
11/04/04 Koren Laholt A very good movie for kids over 12 4 stars
10/24/04 Natasha Theobald bitterly funny look at the suffering of high school 4 stars
10/18/04 gray beats the crap out of most teen girl movies 4 stars
10/16/04 Rapunzel Gladstone I think Lindsay Lowhanded, not Lindsay Lohan, wrote previous comment! 5 stars
8/28/04 Millie Maelstrom Q. Why does Karen NEED to put her fist in her mouth? A. To keep her foot out. 4 stars
8/26/04 Heather Purplethorne Shucks, Cady. I DID want to see Karen put her whole fist in her mouth! 4 stars
8/24/04 Robyn Jamil-Walid Tina Fey entertains us with her screenplay despite thinking her shit don't stink. 4 stars
8/23/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen Happy ending for all part a bit unrealistic. Lindsay yet to rival Freaky Friday excellence. 4 stars
8/07/04 Stephanie Throckmorton Actually,Eric C,Lindsay was at top of her radiance inCOATDQ;just couldn't save stupid movie 4 stars
8/07/04 Delight does anyone no were to get the top from that the blonde1 wore sayin"a little bit dramatic"? 5 stars
7/28/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne EricDSnider liked this! He must have hickupped during the fart scene! 4 stars
7/26/04 Elena A complete surprise. Insightful, hilarious and the most realistic teen movie since Thirteen 5 stars
7/24/04 yasmin its was really good good job 5 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz funny 4 stars
7/17/04 legend One of the best teen comedy flicks out this year. 4 stars
7/16/04 Bruno I liked it! I luved their outfits, plus the soundtrack is really good! 5 stars
7/15/04 TheOthersFan For a film not rated "R," it deals with teen sexuality with surprising frankness 4 stars
7/10/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen Happy ending for all part a bit unrealistic. Lindsay yet to rival Freaky Friday excellence. 4 stars
7/10/04 marloes scholten the best teenage movie ever 5 stars
6/19/04 John Aster Habig true to the smallest detail based teen film since Orange County 5 stars
6/18/04 M should of been a bit more 'edgier' its too sugar coated! 3 stars
6/10/04 Savanna AWSOME!! FUINNI~! 5 stars
6/05/04 DdMM A fun, easy ride... 4 stars
5/31/04 Zierra Langham It didnt turn out the way i thought it was 4 stars
5/30/04 Alina hilarious movie 5 stars
5/28/04 Graham Though Heathers is actually better than Chekov.. 4 stars
5/27/04 Marlon makes HEATHERS look like Chekhov 2 stars
5/27/04 Ria This movie was the greatest comedy, look both ways before you cross. 5 stars
5/27/04 None Great Movie 5 stars
5/24/04 ajay surprisingly funny. The Indian dude was a crackup and you can't go wrong with Orbital!!!! 4 stars
5/24/04 Phantom Great! I saw it again just to see "Jingle Bell Rock!" 5 stars
5/23/04 Ray Zuper!!! 4 stars
5/22/04 Shark Awesome! Teen guys will fall in love with Lindsay Lohan! 5 stars
5/21/04 Blakers a great film 5 stars
5/20/04 batgirl i could watch this movie a dozen times and still laugh 5 stars
5/16/04 Chase Go see it! 5 stars
5/16/04 Marie it was just like my school def 2 stars
5/15/04 Koitus Cute film! I "personally related to" the party / puke scene, from H/S! L. Lohan is H-O-T! 4 stars
5/15/04 Blakers a great film 5 stars
5/15/04 Jay iT wAs ToTaLLy AwEsOmE n So FeTcH 5 stars
5/15/04 Jeff S Better than it had any right being, though the ending was weak. 3 stars
5/13/04 Me I am so sick of these stupid fucking teenage girl movies 1 stars
5/12/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
5/10/04 Chiend What? No tits?!! I want my fucking money back! 1 stars
5/07/04 he a great film 5 stars
5/07/04 kevin hilarously funny! 5 stars
5/06/04 Laura I have not seen this film! 4 stars
5/06/04 Kayla I thought this movie was awesome, but then again I am a HUGE Lindsay Lohan fan!! 5 stars
5/05/04 britt actually really funny, over exageratted but true 4 stars
5/04/04 earl hofert just did not come together as i should have; horrible ending 2 stars
5/03/04 Me a great film 5 stars
5/02/04 cpbjr Funny at times, hot little girls all the time 3 stars
5/01/04 KingNeutron 3.5 *'s. Lindsay is hot as always, Rachel M looks like a young 7of9. Not bad for Tina Fey. 4 stars
5/01/04 Me A GREAT FILM I LOVED IT. 5 stars
5/01/04 susan lee tina fey rocks! 4 stars
4/28/04 Mike V Great! A really smart, funny, sweet, sarcastic take on female high school angst 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Apr-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-Sep-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Jun-2004 (M)


Directed by
  Mark S. Waters

Written by
  Tina Fey

Cast
  Lindsay Lohan
  Tina Fey
  Lizzy Caplan
  Lacey Chabert
  Rachel McAdams
  Tim Meadows



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