'The setting - a mall in Illonois, when the animals are in heat. They gather around the watering hole, showing signs of affection and signs of aggresion to their counterparts. The different species stay apart from one another. The animals are watched over consistently by their leaders, pampered and preened.'
Fine, so you may be forgiven for thinking this is a review of Wildlife on One. But this is one of the many subtle messages sent across during Mean Girls. This film has been dismissed by many as a 'chick flick.' Those narrow-minded people are wrong.
Tina Fey took this idea from the book, Queenbees and Wannabees, a factual look at high school cliques. Fey wrote, and starred in, this comedic,fictional look at today's youth.
It could almost be my high school she is reviewing. Every school has a clique problem. Cady is a New Girl. Home-schooled in Africa from the age of four, she takes her fist steps into high school at sixteen.
Northshore is divided into groups, as shown on Janice's map of the cafeteria. There are "the J. V. Jocks, Asian Nerds, Cool Asians, Girls who Eat their Feelings, Girls who eat Nothing at All ..." and the list goes on. Every school has them. I had the displeasure of watching this film with my extremely schocked mother, who recognised her three children in the characters. Alright, so the ideas are over the top, and the supporting cast are occasionally over-played, but the idea is spot-on. All teenagers are the same, they all do act like animals, everybody gets grounded, evrybody has house parties, everybody has a crush on her best friends boyfriend.
But the most obvious things about this film are the relationships between characters. The way Cady and Gretchen both wish to be in the Plastics, because being out of them would be hell, even with Regina George sniping and trying desperately to ruin them. Janice's relationships with her friends were tarnished when Regina sent messages around about her sexuality. Regina herself is greatly envious of Cady, whom she sees as prettier than her, more intelligent than her, and much more worthy of her ex-boyfriend's attention. Watch carefully, as Regina, who supposedly hates Cady, takes her advice on what to eat, and what to use on her face. Similarly, watch as Cady throws Regina's rumours at Janice, calling her a lesbian.
This film touches the heartstrings. But not just because, in places, it is sad. Also, because you are well aware you are either similar to one of the characters, or you know one of them. The situations are handled in a sometimes over the top comedic way (hence the low star rating), which helps to buffer the blow. Over all, this film teaches people about the dangers of high school.
Sometimes being outside the group is better than being in ...