ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  mark s. waters

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  97 minutes

RELEASED  -  30 april 2004

DISTRIBUTOR  -  paramount pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  mean girls

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $17,000,000
mean girls - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from mean girls at

buy the dvd from mean girls at

cady heron is a hit with the plastics, the a-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for the ex-boyfriend of alpha plastic regina george.

nearly earned an r rating for explicit, risqué gags and jokes which were subsequently cut.


picture from mean girls

picture from mean girls

picture from mean girls

picture from mean girls


three out of four possible stars

Displaying a usually hilarious and comically droll wit, first time screenwriter Tina Fey, in adapting novelist Rosalind Wiseman's book, has, in Mean Girls, created a film with an enthusiastic bite and an off-kilter approach to the teen comedy. Equal parts Clueless and "Saturday Night Live," the film is fortunate to boast a quick and polished cast and a biting screenplay. Teen soap operas and immature filmic fart fests have become far too common in Hollywood to allow any real creativity to show up on the screen, so Mean Girls is quite a welcome surprise. One might even venture to state that the film is reminiscent of those great farcical teen comedies of the 1980's like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.

As the new girl in school, just having returned from an extended stay in Africa with her parents, "Cady Heron" is played with flair by teen film queen Lindsay Lohan, who hits a home run in the fish-out-of-water type role. Like last year's enthusiastic remake Freaky Friday, this film is bouncy, swiftly moving, and never boring, and allows audience members to truly sit back and laugh with no effort required. Save for a surprising moment near the beginning of the film where Tina Fey (she plays Cady's math teacher, "Ms. Norbury") unexpectedly flashes her high school class, the film is remarkably free of crass humor. The funny in this film comes from the breakneck dialogue and the completely on-target satire of American high school students.

Boasting a large accompaniment of "SNL" alums, Mean Girls is, nevertheless, a film that belongs to the teenaged stars on the poster. Rachel McAdams, in her swiftly ascending career, is a strong foe as Alpha Female "Regina George" against Lohan's equally as devious Cady Heron. That's probably one of the most entertaining portions of the film: that everyone is just so enjoyably sneaky and underhanded. Far from truly vilifying any of the main characters, Fey's screenplay is much more of an equal-opportunity affair, with no character being left entirely innocent by the end of the film. But that's part of the attraction of the film. No character is one-hundred percent evil, but then no one is a complete angel either.

While the machinations and plots engaged in by the various character might have found steady purchase in the plot of a dark espionage film, the fact that the scheming and maneuvering takes place in a high school makes the film potentially enjoyable for a wide range of ages. Anybody with even a slight memory of the insanity of a high school cafeteria can find the entertainment value in this film. Though the film is not simply filled with mindless entertainment, either. There's actually a "lesson," of sorts, that comes through in the end without anybody's head ending up on a pike. It would be a bald-faced lie to suggest that the film could end up as an ABC After School Special somewhere, but parents might appreciate the fact that the film is not one-hundred percent gags.

The supporting cast of the film has been deftly chosen, with SNL frequenters Tim Meadows (playing the Principal), Ana Gasteyer (playing Lohan's mother), and Amy Poehler (playing McAdams' mother) owning the most notable roles. In fact, it's rather interesting to see each of the usually goofy SNL players take on the roles of the parental set. Although Amy Poehler's performance borders on insanity, each of the parents and teachers in the film is played by a capable actor.

Other supporting performances are handled well also, with Rajiv Surendra a highlight as "Kevin Gnapoor," a hyper-active math addict who makes eyes at half the female population of the school. Lacey Chabert, playing Alpha-Clone "Gretchen" and Amanda Seyfried, playing the nearly brain-dead "Karen," both characters second banana to Rachel McAdams' Queen Regina (is that like saying, "the soup of the day is the soup du jour?) round out the cast with enthusiastic and zealous performances.

It takes creativity and zeal to create an entertaining film set in the often portrayed pubescent arena of high school and with the great talent displayed in front of the camera and behind it, viewers will be in for a colorful and articulate display of teen intrigues. Most of the time, the film's just flat-out funny, never mind that Fey has taken the unique approach of comparing the cutthroat high school arena to the equally as dangerous African animal kingdom. All the elements seem to fit just right in this film allowing it to be an enjoyable and almost memorable theatrical experience. It's not a film you'll be so quick to forget once you're out of the theater since it's not nearly as cookie-cutter a product as movies in this genre tend to be.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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