Mean GirlsMean Girls
Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Length: 97 minutes / 1.61 hours

With the theaters opening back up again, I took advantage of a few “comeback classics” showings to see a movie that I had missed the first time it came around: Mean Girls (2004). I’m familiar with the numerous memes that this movie spawned, so it was a little weird seeing these little references in their original context. Of course, I’m also not necessarily the target demographic for this movie, as I am not (and have not been) a high school girl. Sure, it gave me an appreciation of the cutthroat and somewhat petty social hierarchy involved with female relationships in high school—in the sense that I didn’t have to put up with it.

I can appreciate the ability of Mean Girls to create a situation where the audience learns about this “wild” world of high school by introducing a homeschooled student into the jungle that is the teenage learning environment. The fact that Lindsay Lohan’s character goes through an ugly transformation (both internally and externally) a la All About Eve (1950) was quite fascinating in how slowly it happened—to the point that it almost went unnoticed until it had gone too far.

Interestingly enough, two things stood out for me in this film, and neither had to do with the main thrust of the movie. First, Tim Meadows’ character was fantastic. I’d watch a movie just about that principal—since he was incredibly humorous in his performance. Second, there’s a superb bit of foreshadowing that I could see coming to fruition just moments before it happened. It is quite sudden, but I also laughed out loud for how telegraphed it had been from the start of the film. Overall, though, I can see the appeal of Mean Girls, and I only hope that I can use it as a cautionary tale for my daughter when she’s old enough to encounter these things in the real world.

The corruption and redemption of a high school girl, I give Mean Girls 4.0 stars out of 5.

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