waynepygram.com: Mean Girls Movie Reviewed

waynepygram.com: Mean Girls Movie Reviewed

On October 3, he asked me what day it was.

What is it? Theatrical movie, um, yeah. I mean I guess it's kinda self-explanatory. It's based on a book but...more on that later.
Where did it air? Well, it was in theaters...back in 2004.... I actually first saw it on DVD just a few years ago, back in summer 2013 basically when the genesis of this blog started and although I've been meaning to rewatch it since that was also the last time I saw it, so I'm going strictly off memory here. I'm sure there was probably some networks, like Freeform that aired it on Mean Girls Day which was yesterday. And being that it's not only a really old movie at this point (well, relatively speaking) but a very famous one it's probably super-easy to find, somewhere.
Who stars in it? I'm pretty sure people who haven't even seen the movie know who's in it, LiLo for one. It wasn't her star-making role (she'd already starred in a number of major theatrical releases years prior to this) but it's definitely probably her most well-known movie by a country mile, and probably the one movie when people remember LiLo before she went  all cray-cray, went to jail and ended up being jailmates with the very same girls who robbed her while she was away in jail.  Also, Rachel McAdams before she went all True Detective.

Also Amanda Seyfried for whom this was her big star-making role, and Lacey Chabert who...well she stopped being Meg Griffin and ended up in stuff like this

(which we may end up reviewing one of these days)

And this

...which I may have set to record when it airs Friday....

Oh, and Tina Fey is in it (she also wrote the script and is executive producer), and of course Amy Pohler's going to be in it too because they're like joined at the hip or something.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Tim Motherfucking Meadows.

Why are we reviewing this? Because it's Mean Girls Day! ...yesterday. Oops. Also, because it's legitimately a great movie, a cultural touchstone for my generation (granted I'm on the tail end of that generation, since I had just started college when this premiered) and given that it's aiming at the same high school demo as its characters are aged in (and a little older, into college) it's absolutely on-topic here!

But anyway, yeah. Now that I'm actually sitting down to write this, it's kinda hard to describe just why people went so nuts over this movie, especially years after the fact, especially to people who haven't seen it and quite frankly when most people at least in this country (the goold ole' US of A) under 40 at this point probably have seen it anyway, or are at least familiar enough with it (and most people over 40 who won't get this movie probably won't because they're too busy talking to their TVs permanently stuck on FOX News and complaining about Seth MacFarlane's "new" show, "Family Man".) It wasn't exactly the first movie to really examine the "mean girl" phenomenon -  Heathers (which I've also seen, around the same time, and maybe we'll also review) did it before I was even born I think, although that wasn't even necessarily the main goal or message of the movie (we'll delve into that in more detail when we review that movie). Heck even around the same time Mean Girls premiered there was a light remake of Heathers called Jawbreaker, which I haven't seen and been meaning (heh, pun!) to see one of these days, maybe I'll do that soon and do a review of that at the same time. And I'm sure there were "mean girl" movies before Heathers, even. Or for that matter the endless hours of TV directed to the tween demo throughout the 80s and especially 90s that featured regular ole' high school girls having to put up with mean girls like Saved by the Bell and what not. 

And sure, you can look at those shows and conclude that they handled their plotlines with about as much subtlety and freshness as Girl Meets World Season 3 (which, at this point you should know me well enough to know that by that I mean "not at all") and that what made Mean Girls so special was that it didn't come off as yet another after school special - except Heathers has even Mean Girls' darker tone beat by a wide margin, about as much as the disconnect between Bethesda thinking Creators' Club is a good idea and the actual fan reaction. In fact if anything I think the secret to Mean Girls' success is that it was lighter hearted than Heathers. That, combined with the sheer comedic and cultural genius of Tina Fey who really knows her material. There's a reason why she's been on SNL for so long, and all that. But I really do feel that Mean Girls is her magnum opus, where for that particular period of time she demonstrated a commanding knowledge of the pop culture scene - especially and rather shockingly for a demo that's decades younger than herself - and translated that into something that's been able to stand the test of time a good dozen years plus since.

In that regard, it's rather classic Dan Schneider-ish.

And then there's the part where Tim Motherfucking Meadows comes in and all of a sudden the movie takes a really serious tone (like, seriously enough that just the fact that this is Tiny Fey and Tim Meadows here, it's actually a tonal whiplash) and actually gets really serious about anti-bullying, which I think is another thing that's helped this movie stay relevant all these years later, but I'm not going to spoil it any further and instead insist you see for yourself because for all the potential for this scene to just put the brakes on the entire movie and sink it, again Fey's writing really pulls it off here. It transforms the movie from a light parody to actually exactly the thing Girl Meets World's trying to do, except unlike Girl Meets World it actually pulls it off.

I mean...you know, instead of going into specific plot points, and given how it is after all going on close to a whole half-decade since I last saw the movie, I think I'll just leave it there and insist that you just go see it for yourself and that, yes, the hype is real here, folks. It's probably the best writing Fey's ever done and maybe will ever do, it's LiLo's best role far and away (and trust me, I've seen a lot of LiLo movies, natch) and Tim Motherfucking Meadows. What more can you ask for?

Movie Grade: A+. Yes, I'm fangirling here. So sue me.
Movie MVP: Well...I really want to give to Lacey Chabert because yeah I really have a thing for her, even after all these years (there's a reason why I record Lifetime Movie Network movies starring her) but yeah, it has to go to Tina Fey. Not even necessarily for her on-screen talent - I would even go so far as to give that to Tim Meadows, strictly speaking - but the snappy dialogue and writing of the script shines through so strongly that she really earns that MVP award for that. As is the whole point of this review, that's the big reason why people still love talking about this movie in 2017 going into 2018 and why there's finally a proper book being written over a dozen years after the fact and why there's even a Mean Girls Day.

Extra Thoughts:

 - yeah, about that whole book situation, because one of my most favorite YA authors ever, Micol Ostow, has officially novelized this movie and it launched just in the past few weeks or so (no doubt to roughly coincide with Mean Girls Day in as closest a proximity as the publishing industry practically allows) again about a dozen or so years after the fact. "But Ray," you're no doubt saying, "Mean Girls already is based off a book!" Yes, the opening credits proudly proclaim "inspired by the book Queen Bees and Wannabes" by whoever wrote it, I forgot. But the thing is, yeah, about Queen Bees and Wannabes...it's a freakin' self-help book. Yeah, like the kind Oprah and Dr. Phil pitch all the time. Trust me, I know, I actually read it, cover-to-cover no less. Seriously. And while I learned lots about how the seat your daughter sits in your SUV carpool says a lot about her social standing at school, it's not exactly, um, narrative-y at all. In fact one probably would be surprised that Tina Fey could write Mean Girls from a self-help book but I think on TVTropes they say that, yeah, she pretty much didn't read beyond the freakin' title itself. But hey, I guess the very title "Queen Bees and Wannabes" fired up her imagination enough to write this entire movie, and for that I'm thankful.

 - of course I also ordered the new Mean Girls novel as soon as I could. It's in shipping, I've been told. I'll probably do a review of the book here too.

 - So it just also occurred to me, and given all the hoopla I've made about it last year, that the two year anniversary of this very blog was...more than two weeks ago, back on September 20, on that whole equinox thing (yeah I was on vacation at the time, so sue me). And since I hate how a lot of other blogs do their anniversary posts (basically just piling up a lot of statistics about their blog over the past year, which 1.) I always do at the end of the year anyway, during the deep dark days of December, so I think it's more than kinda lame to have two statistics-piling posts in such close proximity and 2.) I think statistics-piling posts are self-congratulatory wank and kinda lame in general, yes even when I do it in said December, and 3.) they tend to be a lot of work I really don't feel like doing, so yeah, no) so...yeah, let's consider this review to be this blog's official 2 year anniversary post, why not? I think celebrating Means Girls is a pretty great way to also celebrate this blog.

And so I want to thank all of my readers - yes, the five of you or so - who regularly bother to read the half-coherent ramblings about a bunch of kiddie shows and teen movies from a guy who's way, way too old to really be watching this stuff. I know I can sometimes be a little acerbic with my interactions and definitely in love with my own strong opinions, but I always greatly appreciate your feedback and comments and yes I read every single one.

Which is super-easy to do because, again, there's like five of you who even bother.

And of course I also want to thank Mike for making this blog great. Not great again, but definitely great in the first place. Also I really hate making references to Trump even though clearly I still do it. 

- Also Spongey just reminded me that yes, they made a direct-to-DVD sequel (a little bit before streaming services were popular enough that they made movies specifically for them). In fact I was just reading about how a lot of people were shitting on it on Jezebel (yes as in the Gawker/Gizmodo one). I actually saw that one too (hey if I'm willing to read the self-help book...) and...it's actually not bad. Really, to more or less paraphrase what someone wrote on TVTropes, if it wasn't called Mean Girls 2 people wouldn't be shitting on it. It stars Meaghan Martin who herself was most famous for being the mean girl in the Camp Rock movies (see, there you go) and some other people, including Claire Holt who apparently has no relation to Olivia Holt (being British and all) but I guess was on some CW stuff? Maybe one of those H2O shows? Anyway she's pretty hot too, so yeah...?
Baca Juga
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