Apparently, screenwriter and "SNL" scribe Tina Fey has had a revelation. Get ready. Here it is: Teenage girls can be mean. That's right, everybody can breathe easy now knowing that "Mean Girls" has enlightened us to this secret of the universe.
Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is the new girl at school. To make her seem more interesting than she really is, her backstory is that she was home-schooled while in Africa with her parents. One would think this would give Cady (pronounced Katy) some unique perspective on the world, but mostly what it does is allow the filmmakers to substitute African musical accompaniment for humor when they're desperate, which is often.
Wanting to be liked, Cady falls in with the wrong crowd, led by Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Originally, Cady hatches a plan with her only friends to expose Regina as a conniving bitch, but Cady is so smitten with popularity that she becomes one herself, only to realize that she shouldn't be mean to other people, life is good, and one should never, ever leave a cute bunny in the freezer overnight.
Let's face it: The Columbine murders have screwed up high school revenge films for the foreseeable future. "Mean Girls" vaguely recalls "Heathers," a movie in which the young antagonists meet with a slightly darker fate, but since teenage suicide no longer seems very humorous, we're left with this overwrought pap. Since kids never learn the meaning of the word "satire" and parents would rather blame Hollywood for their offspring's misdeeds than actually spend the time raising the brats themselves, we get insufferable little speeches in the middle of movies, like the one Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) gives during a student meeting, to make sure everyone gets the point. Again, in case you missed it, that point is "don't be mean." Hurray! Does anybody else remember that cathartic moment in high school where we all held hands and celebrated our common interests? Me neither. I remember dog-piling the fat kid.
While Hollywood screams the moral of its tale from the rooftops, it also ramps up the titillation factor like a midget swimming in Dolly Parton's cleavage. After all, what does the current trinity of wholesome female stars (Lohan, Hilary Duff and Anne Hathaway) have in common? That's right: giant boobs. Sure, sex sells, but making sure that everyone in America knows that Lindsay Lohan is absolutely stacked is priceless. Don't think this is a problem? Check out the trailer for the wholesome Olson twins' new movie. Most of it seems to center on Mary Kate running around New York in nothing but a towel.
"Mean Girls" is exactly the type of movie that gets made by adults who either used to be mean when they were young (and now feel guilty) or were victimized by mean people and now realize that the key to teenage peace is a message movie about not being mean. My contribution to this ridiculously simplistic idea was to scream at the assistant theater manager on my way out hoping she would take it out on somebody the next day at school.
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