Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!
So, I get lots of feedback from people about my reviews. One of the most common responses I receive is having more range with what I review. I looked back on my posts and decided it was time to review something different. Enough of the superhero movies and the violent guy films. For this weeks review, I found two girly films, White Chicks and Mean Girls, and pitted them against each other. Mean Girls won the vote, with 67% of the vote, making it this weeks review.
From director Mark Waters (also known for Freaky Friday and The Spiderwick Chronicles) is Mean Girls, the 2004 hit largely based off the book ‘Queen Bee and the Wannabes’ by Rosalind Wiseman. Mean Girls tells the story of Cady Heron, a teenager starting high school in America after having lived in Africa for her whole life. She eventually gets sucked into ‘The Plastics’, a small group of girls who are all ‘good friends’. Clichés and backstabbings inevitably ensue, causing divides and disputes within the group in this comedic classic.
Ok, admittedly that was a pretty boring summary of the film. It was an actually good film. It’s fair to say that Mean Girls took me by surprise. One thing I quite liked in Mean Girls was the use of cuts of flashbacks. It’s something that most films use and do, but I think the way that Mean Girls did it was better than most, and the way it was used depending on the mood was great. Cady Heron was played by Lindsay Lohan, and honestly, I didn’t really like her character. She was a bit dull and monotonous and there was nothing really special about her. I thought as the main character in a film full of clichés she should have stood out more, but it was the other Plastics that were far more interesting characters than her. That’s partially down to the character, but I think Lindsay Lohan could’ve done something a bit more with her character too. The head of the Plastics, Regina George, was played by Rachel McAdams. McAdams’ performance was so fantastic and memorable performance, and it made Regina George a favourite character for quite a few people, myself included. It’s good fun watching how Regina’s evil character unfolds, and the way that McAdams delivers the role is awesome. Amanda Seyfried plays Karen Smith, a ditsy member of the Plastics. She was such a funny and great character, and the way that Seyfried executed the role was fantastic. The last member of the Plastics is Gretchen Weiners, played by Lacey Chabert. If Gretchen was made to be an unlikable character, then Chabert did a good job in doing so. I didn’t like Gretchen, so Chabert succeeded in her mission there. Against Regina and the Plastics was Janis Ian and Damien. Janis was played by Lizzy Caplan and was a hilarious character, but was made even funnier by Daniel Franzese’s Damien. Damien is arguably the best character in the film, as he was just so funny and awesome. Mean Girls wouldn’t be complete without Ms Norbury (played by Tina Fey) and Mr Duvall (played by Tim Meadows). Both characters are played well, but I loved how Meadows made Mr Duvall a funny and interesting character. It’s also worth mentioning Kevin Gnapoor who was played by Rajiv Surendra. I loved Kevin’s character as he was part stereotypical nerd and part playboy. He was hilarious and I’d love to have seen more from his character. The film tried to slot him in places but there still should have been more from him. I feel that some of the character chemistry, like Janis and Damien, was very well done on the actors part, but others like Cady and Gretchen or Cady and Karen were quite sloppy and could have been better. My favourite characters were Regina George, Karen, Damien, Mr Duvall and Kevin G.
The music in Mean Girls was good but forgettable. For me, music is a key part of a film as it tells a story and sets the tone for the film. For Mean Girls, the music was just used to emphasise what was happening. Like Blondie’s ‘One Way or Another’, only used to tell us that one way or another, Regina will be caught. There were good songs in the film, but some of it was used for the wrong reasons and was just mismatched to the movie.
The storyline was simple and the way it was executed was good. The thing that irritated me was the references back to Africa. I get that Cady’s been brought up there her whole life and it’s important to her character, but the whole thing in the mall with the watering hole, for example, was just unnecessary.
Now, for my favourite scenes. The scene where we first meet Damien and Janis and Mr Duvall was great, as it set the tone and brought in a comedic element that would be met throughout the film. I think the introduction to the Plastics through Janis explaining in the back building and the first lunchtime meeting was actually really well done, as it showed their popularity in a fun way and showed just how easily Cady got sucked into the Plastics. The whole Halloween scene was good, but the Christmas talent show with Kevin G rapping and Damien was hilarious. The film got a little boring and cliché from there, but overall it was a good, fun film.
Mean Girls gets a 7.1/10 from me. It lacked in some areas and was a little dull in places, but is nonetheless a great and hilarious movie that you will have fun watching.
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Once again, thanks for reading. Join me next week when I review a classic sci-fi movie. See you then!