Rewind Reviews: Mean Girls
Literally everyone likes this movie to at least some degree. I was trying to think of a movie to write a Rewind Review for, and this is invariably the most popular movie in my high school, rivaled only by 500 Days of Summer, which I also considered, but this was on TV last night, so here we are.
I urge you to suppress your cries of blasphemy, but to me, Mean Girls isn’t a laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s a movie you appreciate more when you think back on it several days after viewing it, when you realize and appreciate how hilarious/outrageous some of the quotes are. Trust me, it’ll be better on your second or third, or fiftieth viewing. The film unearths the largest source of repeatable quotes in recent cinematic memory, thanks to the screenplay written by Tina Fey (who also plays Ms. Norbury) and of course the delivery of the film’s in-their-prime actors.
No one was more in their prime than Lindsay Lohan as Cady “Catty” Heron, the main character. I’m pretty sure this movie marked the final time Lohan appeared on movie screens sane before she shaved her head bald and attacked people with umbrellas in a whirl of inexplicable, unsurmountable rage for no seeable reason. Oh wait, wrong childhood celebrity. I don’t know. Something happened to her a few years ago and she was only recently permitted back to the world of television, appearing on Saturday Night Live. No, wait, it turns out that she caught a slight breeze that carried her all the way to the studio by accident. Oh wait again, that’s Mary-Kate Olsen.
The many shades of Sane Lindsay
The movie follows 16 or 17 year old Cady as she plunges into the cold unforgiving world of high school for the first time in her life, having spent the previous 16 or 17 years playing with apes in Africa with her zoologist parents (The Middle’s Neil Flynn and Suburgatory’s Ana Gasteyer, both underused in this movie but hysterical in their own shows). Cady befriends two school rejects, the sawtooth-edged Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and “too gay to function” Damian (Daniel Franzese).
An incident in the cafeteria brings Cady close to the school’s ‘Plastics’, the self-proclaimed most popular trio in the school. Regina George (Rachel McAdams) is the true queen bee, while Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) and dopey Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) mindlessly obey her every whim as her workers. Janis urges Cady to pretend to be friends with the Plastics, who have adopted her into their hive, so she can spy on them, report every embarrassing thing they do, and sabotage their lives. Believe it or not, Janis isn’t even the mean girl of the movie.
Getting to know the Plastics and their strict regulations (“On Wednesdays we wear pink”), Cady begins to actually become friends with them.
Cady: You’re not stupid, Karen.
Karen: No, I am actually. I’m failing almost everything!
Cady: Well… there must be something you’re good at.
Karen: I can stick my whole fist in my mouth! Wanna see?
Cady: No no no… Anything else?
Karen: Well… I’m kinda psychic. I have a fifth sense.
Cady: What do you mean?
Karen: It’s like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can always tell when it’s going to rain.
Cady: Really? That’s amazing.
Karen: Well… they can tell when it’s raining.
But when Regina purposefully steals Cady’s math class crush Aaron (Johnathon Bennet) right from between her enclosing fingers, Cady reverts back to her African animal instincts, setting off a chain of events that turns the high school into the most dangerous jungle she’s ever been in. In the end, it turns out the mean girl, is every single one.
What’s beautiful about Mean Girls is anyone who’s ever been to high school can appreciate how spot-on some of the jokes are. It’s like every joke about high school combined with every perception of high school, combined and condensed down to an hour and a half. Obviously most of it is exaggerated, but in some strange way I wish my school was that insane.
Personally, my favorite part of the film is the jokes that extended from it on the internet. I tried to include a few in this post, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. The best pick-me-up I can think of is searching ‘Mean Girls’ on Tumblr or google images and wasting a few hours ogling at the pictures and cross-references people made from the movie. Most likely people with too much time on their hands, but still. Go search them, I’ll wait.
And of course, no Mean Girls post would be complete without a compilation of the best quotes. There are tons:
Regina: She’s so pathetic. Let me tell you something about Janis Ian. We were best friends in middle school. I know, right? It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even… Whatever. So then in eighth grade, I started going out with my first boyfriend Kyle who was totally gorgeous but then he moved to Indiana, and Janis was like, weirdly jealous of him. Like, if I would blow her off to hang out with Kyle, she’d be like, “Why didn’t you call me back?” And I’d be like, “Why are you so obsessed with me?” So then, for my birthday party, which was an all-girls pool party, I was like, “Janis, I can’t invite you, because I think you’re lesbian.” I mean I couldn’t have a lesbian at my party. There were gonna be girls there in their *bathing suits*. I mean, right? She was a LESBIAN. So then her mom called my mom and started yelling at her, it was so retarded. And then she dropped out of school because no one would talk to her, and she came back in the fall for high school, all of her hair was cut off and she was totally weird, and now I guess she’s on crack.
Damian: [delivering candy canes] Taylor Zimmermann, two for you. Glenn Coco? FOUR for you, Glenn Coco! You go, Glenn Coco. And uh… “Caddy” Heron. Do we have a “Catty” Heron here?
Cady: It’s Cady.
Damian: Oh Cady, here you go, one for you…
Gretchen: Oh –
Damian: And none for Gretchen Weiners, bye.
Janis: [reading list the major cliques in high school] You got your freshmen, ROTC guys, preps, J.V. jocks, Asian nerds, Cool Asians, Varsity jocks Unfriendly black hotties, Girls who eat their feelings, Girls who don’t eat anything, Desperate wannabes, Burnouts, Sexually active band geeks,
[a picture of herself and Damian come on screen]
Janis: the greatest people you will ever meet, and the worst. Beware of plastics.
Karen: Gretchen, I’m sorry I laughed at you that time you got diarrhea at Barnes & Nobles.
Karen: And I’m sorry for telling everyone about it.
Karen: And I’m sorry for repeating it now.
Regina: But you’re, like, really pretty.
Cady: Thank you.
Regina: So you agree?
Regina: You think you’re really pretty?
[Damien in the girl’s Bathroom]
Short girl: Hey, get out of here.
Damian: Oh my God – Danny DeVito! I love your work!
Karen: There’s a 30% chance that it’s already raining!
Karen: If you’re from Africa, why are you white?
Gretchen: Oh my God, Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white.
Karen: You wanna do something fun? You wanna go to Taco Bell?
Regina: I can’t go to Taco Bell, I’m on an all-carb diet! God Karen, you’re so stupid!
Damian: [reading Cady’s class schedule] Health, Spanish… you’re taking 12th Grade Calculus?
Cady: Yeah, I like math.
Damian: Eww. Why?
Cady: Because it’s the same in every country.
Damian: That’s beautiful. This girl is deep.
Coach Carr: Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant… and die!
Karen: I can’t go out.
[faux coughs softly]
Karen: I’m sick.
Regina: Boo, you whore!
Janis: She’s a life ruiner. She ruins people’s lives.
Gretchen: That was so fetch!
Karen: You know who’s looking fine tonight? Seth Mosakowski.
Gretchen: Okay, you did not just say that.
Karen: What? He’s a good kisser.
Gretchen: He’s your cousin.
Karen: Yeah, but he’s my first cousin.
Karen: So, you have your cousins, and then you have your first cousins, and then you have your second cousins…
Gretchen: No, honey, uh-uh.
Karen: That’s not right, is it?
Gretchen: That is so not right.
Mr. Duvall: So, uh… how was your summer?
Ms. Norbury: I got divorced.
Mr. Duvall: Oh. My carpal tunnel came back.
Ms. Norbury: I win.
Random Student: [reading the Burn Book] Made out with a hot dog… THAT WAS ONE TIME!!
Jessica Lopez: I don’t hate you cuz you’re fat. You’re fat cuz I hate you.
[dives backwards in her wheelchair into the crowd of girls]
Ms. Norbury: Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina George.
Crying Girl: [reading from paper] I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy…
Damian: [shouting from back] She doesn’t even go here!
Ms. Norbury: Do you even go to this school?
Crying Girl: No. I just have a lot of feelings…
Ms. Norbury: Okay go home.
And my absolute favorite:
Gretchen: [in her English class, after being humiliated by Regina] Why should Caesar get to stomp around like a giant, while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What’s so great about Caesar?! Hm? Brutus is just as cute as Caesar. Brutus is just as smart as Caesar. People totally like Brutus just as much as they like Caesar! And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh?! Because that’s not what Rome is about!! WE SHOULD TOTALLY JUST STAB CAESAR!
As usual, I’d like to thank everyone who supports my blog. Total Recall’s publication date set a new record of a staggering 194 views in one day, and it has already become the most popular of my movie reviews with over 100 hits in, what, three days? I’m not sure when my next review will be up or what movie it will be, because I’m really unmotivated to see anything coming out. Maybe The Campaign. But it’s Will Ferrell, bleh. I dunno. As always you can find my reviews in Blue Valley Times if you live locally, so make sure to pick up a copy! Thanks again for reading.