Thursday, March 19, 2015

This movie is so fetch!

Mean Girls
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Tina Fey
Released: April 30, 2004
Viewed in theaters: May 7, 2004

When I first saw this on the big screen, I left the theater not liking the movie. But I can attribute that to the bad theater-going experience I had with it as I've since rented the movie (and now own the DVD) and have watched it a few more times and it still makes me laugh.

Picture it: Omaha, 2004. I'm standing in line at the box office to buy a ticket to see Mean Girls. In front of me were six annoying 12 year old teenybopper girls. I was praying to myself, "Please let them be seeing New York Minute!" But no, of course they were going to see Mean Girls. Just my luck! One of them had a cell phone and was saying, "Blah, blah, why won't your mom let you come to the movie?" Haha. One of their friends wasn't allowed to see it! I'm walking to the theater and on the way there, I walk past a woman talking to an usher saying, "Theater 5 is completely out of control." Well, guess which theater I was in, folks? :::rolls eyes::: Lucky me! Ugh. So I walk in and there is an entire row filled with young boys and girls. Then there's another row in the front filled with teenybopper girls and they were all clapping and whooping and hollering. Ugh, pre-teens are the worst! I see the usher standing near the doorway and he has an eye on the kids. Then the manager comes in (hilarious) and he goes to the two rowdy rows and he basically tells them (I couldn't hear everything) that if he gets any complaints about them, he's gonna call all their parents or something like that. The kids were pretty well behaved during the movie for the most part. During the Mathletes competition when Cady's team wins, there's applauding in the movie, so of course the obnoxious twerps in the theater had to applaud and whoo as well. So you see what I had to deal with? 

Cady (Lindsay Lohan) is a new student at a high school after being home-schooled when she lived in Africa for the past twelve years. She has trouble making friends at first until outcasts Janis (played by Lizzy Kaplan who has since become more of a known name) and Damien take her under their wing and tell her everything she needs to know about the students at the school. They warn her about "The Plastics", a trio of superficial and snotty girls that consist of the very dumb Karen (Amanda Seyfried), Gretchen (Lacey Chabert), whose father invented toasted strudel, and the Queen Bee, Regina George (Rachel McAdams - who was 27 or 28 when she made this, but she can pull off playing a high schooler!) Janis really hates Regina as we learn a backstory that they used to be best friend in middle school until they started drifting apart and Regina spread a rumor that Janis was a lesbian...except she used a much worse name.

This movie was written by Tina Fey (it was adapted from a book I've never heard of) and she also plays Ms. Norbury, the math teacher. There are other SNL alums peppered throughout the movie. Ana Gasteyer plays Cady's mom, Tim Meadows plays the principal, and Amy Poehler plays Regina's mom. She plays the "cool" mom, which means she is the worst mom. She wears these velour pink sweat
suits and serves the girls cocktails (non-alcoholic though, what kind of mom do you think she is?) She walks in on Regina making out with a boy on her bed and is more proud than appalled. She desperately wants to fit in and be the friend of these high school girls as she'll say, "So tell me girls, what's the 4-1-1?" And when the girls were performing a sexy dance to "Jingle Bell Rock" for the talent show, she was in the aisle doing the dance along with them. 

Cady gets invited to sit at the exclusive Plastics lunch table after they see her being harassed by Gretchen's ex-boyfriend and feel sorry for her (and also because she is deemed pretty enough to sit at their table). They extend their invitation to have her sit with them for the rest of the week and Janis and Damien encourage her to do it so they can find out all the awful details about the Plastics. Cady learns about all the stupid rules the Plastics have made: they wear pink on a certain day of the week, they can only wear their hair in a ponytail one day a week, jeans can only be worn on Fridays, etc. This is probably going to date me, but hearing all those rules reminded me of the Sweet Valley Twin books (the ones that took place when the twins were in middle school) and Jessica Wakefield belonged to the clique, the Unicorns, with the other rich girls and they always had to wear something purple everyday. Please tell me I am not the only one who remembers this! And Lila Fowler was the Queen Bee of that group. And there was also a girl named Mary and one named Mandy and was there an Amy too? I'm sure they had other rules too, but I only remember the purple rule. (Because purple is royalty!) 

"Stop trying to make fetch happen! It's not going to happen!"
Cady has a crush on Aaron, the boy who sits in front of her in math class. Gretchen and Karen are scandalized when they hear about this because he is Regina's ex-boyfriend. Gretchen tells Cady that dating another friend's ex is "against the rules of feminism!" Regina tries to talk Cady out of dating him because all he cares about is school, his mom, and his friends to which Cady replies, "Is that a bad thing?" Regina ends up back with Aaron just to spite Cady, infuriating Cady and she and Janis and Damien come up with a plan to ruin Regina George. They find out that Regina has been cheating on Aaron by hooking up with another guy in the projection room so they try all kinds of tactics to get Aaron to go there and catch his girlfriend with another guy including posting a sign saying that swim team will be held in the projection room after school. It's a funny joke, but is this guy really that stupid he would believe that? And he actually goes up there but Regina isn't there. 

Cady gives Regina nutrition bars and tells her they will help slim her down when in fact they make her gain weight. She also turns Gretchen and Karen against Regina when they're on a multiple-way call and overhear Regina say mean things about them. When Regina finds out all the things Cady has done (and her long, exaggerated scream made my cat's ears perk up!) she brings out the Burn Book, a book where she and the other Plastics have written mean things about other students and staff. Cady's only entry was when she was venting about Ms. Norbury and writes about her being a drug dealer. A high school teacher being a drug dealer? Who ever thought of such a thing?! Regina frames Cady, Gretchen, and Karen soley for the Burn Book as she has put her picture in there and has written that she is a "fugly skank" so she is not implicated to the scandalous book. She makes copies of the pages and tosses them around school so everyone finds out about the mean things that have been written about them and there is a riot until the principal gathers everyone into the auditorium and threatens to cancel the Spring Fling Dance, but can't since he already paid for the DJ. He also threatens to keep everyone there all night if he has to, but then a teacher steps in and says they can only keep them until four, so he quickly has to adjust his threat. 

To help the girls express their feelings, Ms. Norbury has them do some exercises, including getting on a platform, say what they are sorry for and then have them lean back and fall into the crowd who will catch them. I don't know which one made me laugh more: the girl who tells her friend, "I don't hate you because you're fat, you're fat because I hate you" (What? lol!) and then it reveals she's in a wheel chair as she falls back into the crowd who has to catch her, or when Gretchen says, "I'm sorry people are jealous of me, but I can't help it if I'm so popular" and everyone moves away as she falls back and Karen is the only one to catch her. The vacant smile on Amanda Seyfried's face is just the funniest thing ever and it was so funny when the two girls are lying on top of each other after Gretchen has fallen on top of her. Although I do love Karen's speech apologizing to Gretchen for laughing at her when she had "diarrhea that one time at Barnes and Noble and I'm sorry now for bringing it up again."

The movie ends with everyone learning their lesson (of course) and Cady gives a nice speech about acceptance and all that good stuff after she has won Queen of Spring Fling. We find out the following year, their senior year, the Plastics have parted ways but are still amicable with each other. 

And since this is a teen movie, I must bring out my required teen check list!

Is there a party scene? Check
Is there a prom scene? Not prom, it's the Spring Fling, but close enough.
Is there a football scene? No
Is there a make over scene? Check
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Check...and I'm pretty sure they added new ones in this movie! 
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? No, this movie came out after that one, but there is a small connection as Lacey Chabert played the Jennifer Love Hewitt character from Can't Hardly Wait in it. 

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