***½ Mean Girls (2004)
Directed by Mark S. Waters
A young young goes under cover deep in enemy territory to spy on
and and sabotage the leader of the enemy forces. But as she delves
deeper and deeper into her role as an enemy agent, she finds the
line between herself and her cover blurring. Can she stay undercover
and still remain true to herself? Or will she compromise her principles
in order to keep her cover?
The classic story of an undercover agent who becomes
the cover and loses sense of her own identity. We've seen these
war movies and cop movies before.
But this isn't a cop movie. Or a war movie. It's
a high school comedy. But it's still an undercover agent movie,
and follows the plotlines of those movies closely. As such it's
really fascinating to watch.
Lindsay Lohan plays Cady (pronounced "Katie"),
a young woman who has just returned to the states from a life spent
home-schooling in "Africa." I put Africa in quotes because
at no time does the movie specify what part of Africa she grew up
in; it talks about Africa as if it is just one place. "Africa."
Anyway, she goes to high school and meets up with
a couple of outcasts who get picked on by the badguys. But soon
the badguys notice her and ask her to join them. Cady's outcast
friends encourage her to do so; this way they'll have an agent on
the inside and can wreak havok. Cady goes along, reluctantly at
first, but then with full force once the leader of the badguys snags
the boy on whom Cady had a crush.
Then Cady goes all out and tries to out-bitch the
bitches at their own game. Will she lose herself in the game?
Well, since this is a comedy we can be reasonably
certain that everything will work out more or less for the better
in the end. But there are some good surprises along the way in this
film. It may be formulaic in structure, but the individual happenings
are not always what you'd expect. The characters in the film aren't
as one-dimensional archetypes as they'd be in most movies. You can
actually sympathise with the villains at various points throughout
the movie, and sometimes the goodguys act like total asses as well.
The script is smart and doesn't ever take easy ways out or make
easy, dumb jokes.
The supporting cast of Saturnday Night Live players,
Tim Meadows and Tina Fey (who also wrote the danged movie), both
do an excellent job by completely underplaying their characters.
They come off as real people as a consequence, and whenever things
get a little outlandish they help it go down a little easier. Lindsay
Lohan is belivable as the niave outsider as well as her undercover
character of the "Plastic" bitch.
But besides all of that, the movie is just plain
funny and fun. It works on every level it aims for, and so what
if it doesn't aim to be more than a good teen comedy? It is a very
good teen comedy, easily the best since Bring it On.
Best line of the movie: "Danny DeVito! I love