Movie Review: Mean Girls (2004)

Synopsis: After being homeschooled while living in Africa her whole life, Cady Heron must adjust when her parents move to Illinois and send her to high school. When she is given an invite to join a girl clique known as "the plastics," Cady's two outcast friends encourage her to do it so she can get inside dirt on the school bully, Regina. The plan backfires, however, when Cady winds up replacing Regina as new queen of the Plastics.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried and Tina Fey.

Review: My oldest daughter had to watch this movie for her Women's Studies class and, since I had the afternoon off, I wound up taking the time to watch it with her. It wasn't the first time I've seen this movie but it had been a long while. After seeing it again, I have to admit this film is a lot better than I remembered.

I think the thing that helps this movie the most is the all-star cast. Lohan was fantastic as Cady, but even with that, I don't think this movie would have been anywhere near as good without the support she got from Fey and others. The movie managed to play to their strengths and create characters that were a bit over-the-top but not to a point it was too ridiculous.

My favorite character in this movie had to be Regina (McAdams). I am a big fan of strong antagonists and Regina was the perfect adversary for Cady. One thing, in particular, I liked about her was the way the movie managed to show why, even though she wasn't necessarily a nice person, people wanted her to like them, though I did think the movie stopped a little short of giving me reason to actually like her.

Despite liking the movie overall, there were some things I wasn't a big fan of. One of them was the overall lack of effort when it came to the male characters, including the main love interest for both Cady and Regina, Aaron (Jonathan Bennett). While the movie was obviously centered around the girls, I feel like the writers could have at least made half an effort to show Aaron was worth the fuss (other than him just being attractive). In fact, I kind of wish the movie would have just had the two frenemies realize he wasn't good enough for either of them (though that NEVER seems to happen).

Another thing I didn't like about this movie was how it gave Cady's friend, Janis (Lizzy Caplan), a free pass. Ultimately, everything that ends up happening in this film is the direct result of her manipulating Cady into helping her get revenge on Regina. Just because things got out of control and Janis got hurt too doesn't make her a victim. If anything, you could argue she was the real "mean girl" in this film.

Final Opinion: This movie is as old as my teenager but still stands the test of time. She loved it and I am reluctantly admitting it is one of the best comedies I've watched recently. If you haven't seen the movie or, like me, it's been a while, it's worth taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A-


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