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  • 12A
  • Comedy, Drama
  • 2004
  • 97 mins

Mean Girls

Mean Girls

Synopsis

A teen comedy that's smarter and more savage than the average. Lindsay Lohan is the high school newcomer trying to survive in a cut-throat world of classroom cliques

About

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It's superficially simple to confuse Mean Girls with any number of movies aimed at the female teen market (such as The Lizzie McGuire Movie, or Lindsay Lohan's own venture, Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen). However Mark S Waters' comedy-drama picks apart its rivals and the appalling values they uphold.

Adapted by Tina Fey from Rosalind Wiseman's guide to teen living 'Queen Bees And Wannabes', Mean Girls takes a sledgehammer to everything from cliques to status anxiety. Our companion on this journey through the depressing world of the American teen is Cady (Lindsay Lohan), who discovers that her upbringing in the wilds of Africa is far from adequate preparation for surviving the rigours of the urban academic jungle. That said, she doesn't help herself by ditching the mates she makes on the first day to hang out with The Plastics, a clique run by the formidable Regina (Rachel McAdams).

What follows is a tale packed with the type of betrayal and double-cross you'd usually only find in the most incident-packed thriller. And since so many of the characters are winningly played, we're obliged to give a damn about the reversals that affect these young souls and their fragile relationships. With Lohan building on her good work in Freaky Friday, McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried make for the best bitch posse from hell since the Heathers. There are also nice supporting turns from Saturday Night Live regulars Fey, Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows.

Of course, since Mean Girls is a Saturday Night Live production, the drama is served up with tons of gags, which are mainly very funny. From tragic shopping addictions to basic teen stupidity, Waters and Fey mine original humour from these and other familiar topics. And while they have plenty of satirical fun, writer and director never let the social comment get in the way of a good knob gag.


Find out where Mean Girls placed in Charlie Lyne's Top 20 Teen Movies

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Tina Fey, Amanda Seyfried, Tim Meadows, Lacey Chabert, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Caplan
  • Director: Mark S Waters
  • Screen Writer: Tina Fey
  • Writer (Book): Roland Wiseman
  • Producer: Lorne Michaels
  • Photographer: Daryn Okada
  • Composer: Rolfe Kent

In a nutshell

The best of the recent clutch of teen movies, Mean Girls also represents a return to form for the filmmaking wing of Saturday Night Live.

by Richard Luck

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