Mean Girls (2004)


When I was in Chicago with my friends Melissa and Liz, this movie came up in conversation, and Melissa was shocked, shocked to find out that I had never seen it, so I promised her that it would be my very first movie for my very first chain!  Then several months went by and I didn't watch it, but it's the new year and it's time to get this show on the road! Mean Girls, here we go!

First of all, I'll bet this was really different to watch when it first came out when it's impossible to see Lindsay Lohan at this age without your heart breaking a little.  So talented, so much potential, so much crap coming down the pike directly at her.  What's funny is that she worked so infrequently as a child that I always thought that her parents were really looking out for her and wanted to protect her childhood.  That sure was a wrong guess on my part.  Okay, okay, shake it off, watch the movie that exists, don't mourn the future that is in store for this bright, beautiful kid.

i was afraid at first that this would be like Wayne's World, which I saw for the first time a couple of years ago and found that it was way too late in my life to watch Wayne's World. Who was my favourite performer in Wayne's World ? Ed O'Neill. See? It was way too late to watch Wayne's World.  It is not, however, too late to watch Mean Girls, which totally holds up. 

Mean Girls is about Cady (Lindsay Lohan), a homeschooled teenager whose family just moved from Africa to the US and thus is attending high school for the first time.  She immediately makes friends with a couple of freaks, (Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese) who convince her to join The Plastics, ( Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lacey Chabert) the titular mean girls of legend, and undermine them from the inside, but she ends up getting caught up in the power and glory of high school popularity.

The movie is terrifically funny, but also is so kind to all the characters, even the ones who are kind of awful.  Rachel McAdams' character, Regina, is utterly the worst, but the movie doesn't particularly feel that bringing her down to a miserable nothing would be a happy ending, because being super mean to the mean girl is just revenge, not actually solving the problem, so, spoiler, everything kind of works out really well for everyone in the movie.  Thank you, Tina Fey.

Of course there is also a hot guy, Aaron, played by the extremely hot Jonathan Bennett, who Regina threw away, Cady likes, so Regina took back, which leads to much plot.  My favourrite moment in the entire film is Aaron, in this scene, one of many where Cady visualizes the high school kids as jungle animals, but the only one where Jonathan Bennett seriously sells the hell out of pretending to be a jungle cat.  Or possibly a monkey.  Whatever it is, he just hits it hard and I loved it.

There are, of course, loads of SNL people as the various grownups, Ana Gasteyer as Cady's mom, Tim Meadows as the principal with a crush on Tina Fey's kind of hot mess of a recently divorced math teacher, Amy Poehler (in reality, only seven years older than Rachel McAdams) as Regina's mom, all great, all clearly having a lot of fun.  Especially Amy Poehler.

It was a lot of fun watching this on the same day as I saw Spotlight, Rachel McAdams sure has changed!  Interesting to see such incredibly different performances back to back.  Amusingly, Amanda Seyfried hasn't changed a jot in twelve years, I think she could still probably pull off playing a high schooler.  Lacy Chabert, on the other hand, what utterly unrecognizable in her role, it was the big hair.  At the very end when her hair is straightened. that was the first time I thought, hey, do I know this actress? 

Basically, the movie was swell.  And I had never seen it!  Thanks, Melissa!

Okay, so that's the first link, what's next?  Remember, it has to be something that I never have seen before, but also something I actually want to see, not just something that exists on the planet earth.  Which frankly is a little tricky in some of these actors cases.  Names not being named, but Liz and Dick is not something I am yearning to finally see at long last after lo these many grey and dismal years.  So this is what I am thinking:

Lindsay Lohan - Freaky Friday

Rachel McAdams - The Notebook

Tina Fey - Muppets Most Wanted or Season One of Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt

I can't find anything good with Amanda Seyfried in it that I haven't already seen, or anything by director Mark Waters that looks good at all, except for Freaky Friday, which is already my Lindsay Lohan choice.  I am willing to take suggestions if anyone can think of something that can link directly to Mean Girls!