Mean Girls

by Angel Cohn April 24, 2008 12:38 pm
Mean Girls

Since the wonderful awesomeness that is Tina Fey has her second foray into the motion picture world in theaters this weekend, it seemed like a good time to reflect back on her first big-screen venture. Let's just hope that she's learned one or two things about making a DVD when it comes time for the Baby Mama special edition, because the extras on Mean Girls ain't so special. In fact, while Fey and the movie are pretty damn funny, the bonus stuff is downright boring. Such a shame. The only real laugh out loud moment that I had was about something that was unintentionally funny, and only amusing because of Lindsay's recent spiral into tabloid hell... but more on that later.

If you haven't seen the flick before, Lindsay Lohan (before the meltdown) plays a sweet teenager who has lived her whole life in Africa and been homeschooled, and now is entering the wild world of high school where she's introduced to cliques and the general awfulness that is the normal part of matriculating. Because Cady (Catie, but everyone calls her Caddy) is remotely attractive, she suddenly falls in with the most popular cult in school. The Plastics are hot chicks who know that it is better to keep the other hot chicks close in order to damage their self-esteem and make them less attractive. Cady tries to be all subversive with her cool art freak friends and take down the leader of The Plastics, the supreme being Regina George. Oh, and Cady discovers that boys are hot. She's a little emotionally stunted, but catches on really quick with the help of some lipgloss and stilettos. Then there's this burn book (a precursor to the Gossip Girl blog) that gets out and turns the school and chick cliques upside down. It's totally better than the She's All That knock-off that I'm making it out to be, but my bitterness from watching the extras is starting to taint my adoration of the movie.

First up on the Mean Girls "Special Collector's Edition" is a commentary track with director Mark "Hey, I remade Freaky Friday with Lindsay too" Waters, the brilliant writer Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels who produced the flick. Well, it sort of has commentary by Lorne -- who I imagine sitting there petting a hairless cat, closing his eyes and getting a massage or something -- because he only says maybe ten things in the hour and a half. To his credit, his few quips are kind of funny, but usually involve how he's going to make big bucks (like $1 million dollars?) from the hotness that is Lindsay Lohan (he grouses that they didn't let her get hot fast enough) and using Tina Fey's brain.

Lots of the rambling comes from Mark Waters who gives lots of tedious and unfunny details about the actual process of making the movie. "Look at the pretty colors," "Amy Poehler isn't really that old," "Hey, these chicks are hot and the camera crew was happy to work late when we dressed them as whores." There's a random conversation between him and Tina about vag odor, apparently a line that was cut or added to the movie (hard to tell). And apparently Mark's obsessed with filming scenes in bathrooms. Really? Can the three people who saw Head Over Heels verify this fact? Most of Tina's comments are, "There's me! I'm in the movie again." I wish I could say I was just paraphrasing, but that's a direct quote. Then she laments in her self-deprecating way that her future is in Lifetime movies. Well, that was clearly before 30 Rock took off.

Then there are featurettes:
Only the Strong Survive: Interviews with the cast and crew about what high school is really like, and talking about how mean girls really are. Well, duh. Bitches, man. Amy Poehler spends some time touching/flaunting her fake breasts. And then the highlight of the whole shebang is Lindsay Lohan talk about how she originally auditioned for Regina (the most popular bitch in school) but then decided that maybe people would think she was evil in real life. She decided to stick with her good girl image (remember this was right after The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday so she was still a bit of a Disney princess). The kicker is that her big reason for swapping parts was so that her sister would think she was still a nice person, she wanted to be a good role model. Um, have you seen Lindsay's little mini-me Ali? She's got Lindsay's bright orange tint, dressing in slutty hand-me-downs and doomed to wander down the same rehab ridden road as her big sister, as soon as her reality show crashes and burns. Wait, I should be saving this stuff for my own burn book.
Politics of Girl World: Rosalind Wiseman, the woman who wrote the non-fiction self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes about cliques and teenagers. While her book was interesting, this segment is not.
Plastic Fashion: Totally misleading. I thought we were going to get some sort of spinning closet scene like Cher has in Clueless. Instead, there's a frightening, badly dressed woman talking about how the clothes have meaning and a lot of designing went into them. I'm so sure she just went to the nearest Forever 21 and bought out the place.
Word Vomit: Another freakin' misleading title. It's just a overly clever name for the blooper reel.

Lastly, the deleted scenes (what, no cutesy name for this?). I'm so over it at this point, but there's a remotely entertaining little nugget hiding among the interstitials (aka commercials) which ran for the movie. The hot chicks did a faux PSA where Claudia from Party of Five is talking to Rachel McAdams and the dead chick from Veronica Mars about how seven out of 10 girls in America have a negative body image. McAdams, in her full-on Regina mode, says, "Who cares? Six of those girls are right." Genius. Love it. Love her. Sadly, the rest of the axed segments are pretty forgettable and were right to be nixed from the flick. I did, however, learn that "knobby" is not the new fetch.




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