High Jinks—Mean Girls and Saved!
schools can be difficult under normal circumstances, but
more so if you’re Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) in Mean
not just a new girl from out of town, but a new girl from
out of Africa where she was homeschooled while her parents
worked there as zoologists. The sassy script is by Saturday
Night Live writer/performer, Tina Fey, who also plays one
of the teachers. Based on Rosalind Wiseman’s non-fiction “Queen
Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques,
Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence,” the
film has a sharp eye for life in the high school jungle.
While it goes off track at times, it is always interesting
and fun to watch.
Desperate for friends, initially Cady hangs out
with class misfits, Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel
Franzese). They urge her to infiltrate “The Plastics,” a
wicked trio led by the regal, Regina (Rachel McAdams) and her
self-absorbed handmaidens Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) and Karen
(Amanda Seyfried) and report their doings back to them. But
what happens is that Cady, in pretending to like them, actually
is drawn into their circle and falls for their way life. This
is a bit of a stretch since Cady seems far to grounded and
smart to go along with them.
When Cady falls for resident jock, Aaron (Jonathan
Bennett), Regina’s treacherous side takes command, which
makes Cady decide to remove her crown. Cady climbs higher on
the high school social ladder, and gets giddy enough to loose
sight of her real self. The fallout has the students going
wild and rampaging in the halls.
Directed by Mark Waters, the film, the cast and
writers, give even the most objectionable characters enough
heart so you never want to want to hate them. While the cast
is universally good, Caplan and Franzese deliver the best lines.
A perfect complement
to this movie is Saved! a
satire set in American Eagle Christian High School. While
its sharp point of view might ruffle a few feathers, its
message certainly will not: “Religious beliefs are
fine, just don’t carry them to extremes.”#