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Mean Girls

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Mean Girls

Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey
Director: Mark Waters
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: April 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Lizzy Caplan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Daniel Franzese, Tim Meadows, Jonathan Bennett, Wai Choy, Amy Poehler, Rajiv Surendra, Jonathan Malen, Olympia Lukis

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

le I didn't grow up home-schooled by zoologist parents in Africa like Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), I did attend a small, private school until the 10th grade when I transferred to Beverly Hills High School. So as Cady learns to cope with the cliques, crushes and cattiness that characterize today's teen years, I could relate to the angst depicted in this totally cool chick flick.

For naive Cady, suburban West Shore High School is an exotic, terrifying place, particularly if you've never faced bitchy teenage beasts before. Which is why, at first, she is flattered when a trio of most awesome girls, known as the Plastics, invite her to have lunch, much to the chagrin of two outcasts, a Goth punk (Lizzy Caplan) and gay guy (Daniel Franzese), who warn her about them. Within the Plastics, blonde, beautiful Regina George (Rachel McAdams) reigns supreme, disdainfully dictating to her moronic acolytes, insecure Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) and dim Karen (Amanda Seyfried), who obey her every hostile dictum, including cautioning Cady against dating Regina's hunky ex (Jonathan Bennett) and joining the nerdy Mathletes. Inevitably, Cady is drawn into their malicious power struggle until she realizes that popularity status just isn't worth it.

Adapted by "Saturday Night Live" writer Tina Fey (who plays Cady's math teacher/mentor Ms. Norbury) from Rosalind Weisman's "Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence," the story delineates the quirky hierarchy and challenging subculture of the teen world. Having delved into this genre before with Lohan in "Freaky Friday," director Mark S. Waters mines it for its most droll, nasty nuggets. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Mean Girls" is a refreshing, astute 8. It all rings true!

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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