DIRECTED BY MARK S. WATERS
STARRING: LINDSEY LOHAN, RACHEL McADAMS, LIZZY CAPLAN, AMANDA SEYFRIED, LACEY CHABERT, JONATHAN BENNETT, DANIEL FRANZESE with TIM MEADOWS and TINA FEY
I’m waiting for a sensible writer to touch this concept, which in itself could be a futile wait for no ‘sensible’ writer would. Neither ‘Mean Girls’ nor its writer, comedienne Tina Fey needs to flatter itself/herself that the film comes anywhere close to substantiating its claims as much as trying to cash in on them. It’s something that’s more about what it supposedly is against than what it’s supposed to stand for in a dreadful compromise. Tina Fey, in the overcoat of Ms. Norbury, the Math Teacher calls herself a ‘pusher’ because she pushes people to do things – well, the writer Tina Fey rates up as one as well because she’s so keen on pushing us into liking this film, which is nothing more than a geek revenge on showgirl stardom that’s definitely not going to happen in the millennia to come.
We know that. Tina Fey knows that. Even her characters do. So what purpose does ‘Mean Girls’ serve?
Nothing. It made me remember an even more delusional, misdirected teen-creation by the name of ‘Thirteen’, about how all that urban girls get off on is shoplifting, drugs and parties that they’re too young for, with the film eventually ending up patronizing the very concept it intended to stand up against. ‘Havoc’ isn’t a bad example either. Call me sexist, but these sort of things need to get out of women-writers’ hands! I mean, with all due respect, all that Tina Fey manages to do in this film is tread a Samaritan path where everyone gets out (emotionally) unscathed? Maybe I’m missing the whole point about a ‘comedy’, where you laugh it off and let it go, but it’s one thing to blow up a ‘situation’ to the 'end of the world’. It’s another to pretend that everything’s fine in the end, especially when you’ve done the first thing as well. ‘Mean Girls’ does both. And in that, it’s as retarded as it tries not to be.
I stick to my theory that you simply can’t like a film in bits and pieces and grade it like it’s a ten-problem Math assignment. Neither are we grading on a relative basis, where the best attempt gets a full-score. Nevertheless, I did pick a few things intact out of the trash-can. Like I said, a schoolroom film is only as much about the kids as it’s about the adults, which, I believe, would be a welcome diversion from the otherwise distorted centre of attraction. It’s not a spotlight that shines on top of a Kid’s head. It’s an onus. Laurent Cantet captured the essence brilliantly in his Palme D’Or winning ‘Entre Les Murs’. We saw glimpses of an Afro-American high-school in ‘Half Nelson’. Even ‘Rocket Science’ managed to deliver a better picture of schoolroom bitterness, though it seldom strayed away from brain to brainlessness. Mainstream Hollywood would never learn.
The best scene in the film is when an unnamed girl goes to the podium in a moment of truth and asks why they (as in her peers) can’t get along with each other like in middle school, why she can’t bake a cake anymore that’s all rainbows and happiness. Her cameo is reduced to a feeble joke; perhaps Tina Fey has a little bit of ‘Plastic’ in her as well. Makes sense, for otherwise she wouldn’t have written such a ‘fugly’ film.