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:: Mean Girls

We all remember the “mean girls” at high school. Either you were with ‘em or against ‘em. Working out where you stood in the high school hierarchy was the single most morally challenging conundrum that one could ever be faced with. This is exactly what is explored in director Mark Waters' Mean Girls.

I can’t say I haven’t seen this film before; in fact, I’m sure we all have. You know the drill: US teen comedy, set at “High School Anywhere” with all of the necessary teen movie cliches: you’ve got the “jocks” – (or 2004 translation – the “JV Jocks”), the “cheerleaders” (still cheerleaders), the “popular” crowd (the most feared group now known as the “plastics”), the “stoners” (burn-outs) and lets not forget - the most entertaining group of all - the “geeks” (replaced by the Asian nerds). We are also amusingly introduced to a few new cliques: the “girls who eat their feelings” and the “unfriendly black hotties”.

We meet protagonist Cady Heron (played by the cute and charismatic teen superstar Lindsay Lohan) who has been home-schooled in Africa all her life by her zoologist parents. The time comes however for the family to pack up their safari suits and head to the USA where Cady is thrown into a new kind of jungle…public high school!

It is here that Cady is faced with the dilemma of being true to herself and sticking by her new, loyal, yet somewhat “uncool” friends or turn herself into a “plastic” just like the feared, yet beautiful Regina (Rachel McAdams). Life as a plastic though means life as a “mean girl”. Throw in a romance with the hottest guy in maths class, some dirty double crossing and some very funny-yet taboo-scenes with a mother who really wants to be sixteen again and you have a thoroughly entertaining film.

This is a teen flick with a difference though. It’s surprisingly hilarious, thoughtful and is more of a satire of the teen genre rather than just another predictable reincarnation. It’s the killer screenplay that really gives the film its sting. Written by Saturday Night Live writer/comedienne Tina Fey (who also stars as quirky maths teacher Miss Norbury) and based on the ultimate teen manual survival guide: “Queen Bees and Wannabees”, this film has such a true-to-life feel that one can only cringe at what teens these days have to deal with.

What’s more important during those high school years: popularity or respect? Who really cares? Come the 10-year high school reunion, we all just look back and laugh anyway. What was all the fuss really about? This is a “fetch” film that scored on all levels with me. I laughed, I cringed, and I even had a little tear in my eye – “like, oh my god, what was I thinking?” Check it out “bi-arch”.