Raised in the African bush country by her zoologist parents, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) thinks she knows about “survival of the fittest.” But the law of the jungle takes on a whole new meaning when the home-schooled 15-year-old enters public high school for the first time and falls prey to the psychological warfare and unwritten social rules that teenage girls face today.
Being a huge Tina Fey fan, I had heard references to this movie constantly, but I’d never had the chance to check it out. With the new Blu-ray release it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
The film puts Lindsay Lohan in a rather unfamiliar role of Cady, a home-schooled mathematics genius, who spent her youth in the African bush country. Her zoologist parents relocate back to the States just in time for 15 year-old Cady to test out her social skills at the public high school. Which clique to join, where to sit at lunch, and all the nerves about fitting in come back in a rush that is eerily familiar. Cady seems to have a better time with it than most though, and she soon finds friends with the grunge girl and the gay guy. Both of whom encourage her to hang out with “the Plastics”, a group of completely fake popular girls who take interest in Cady on day 1.
The Plastics are just as mean (hence the film name) as the popular girls we all knew in high school. Encouraged to get to know Regina (head plastic played by the usually adorable and never mean Rachel McAdams) in order to expose her as the horrible person she really is, Cady doesn’t really find the motivation until she falls for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron (played by hottie Jonathan Bennett). Regina decides that it’s necessary to ruin any chances that Cady may have with Aaron. It soon turns into a war that some don’t even know they’re fighting, as Cady finds herself turning into one of the girls she thought she could never be.
Perhaps the film exaggerates some stereotypes, but it does it in away that can be appreciated. It doesn’t overcoat the story with sugary sweetness like so many films of this genre. Tina Fey did an incredible job writing a screenplay that was entertaining, witty, and memorable. It’s exactly what I expected it to be. Though I can’t say that Lindsay Lohan was the perfect casting for Cady, I will say that no one can play a mean girl better. Yet, I just can’t buy Lindsay Lohan as the nerd who is really good at heart.
Casting Amy Poehler as Regina’s mother who is trying to live vicariously through Regina was a nice touch in addition to Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury, the math teacher who’s personality and overall character seems very reminiscent of her 30 Rock character – Liz Lemon. Tim Meadows also does a wonderful job as the principal, and lastly I have to mention Neil Flynn, the janitor from Scrubs, who plays Cady’s father.
But the real question is what does this Blu-ray release offer to make you re-buy or even buy it for the first time. Special features include commentary by director Mark Waters and writer/actress Tina Fey, three featurettes, blooper real, deleted scenes with more commentary, and three interstitials.
My final thoughts – Tina Fey should write more screenplays. This was fantastic.
Review by Emma Loggins