There are very few movies that capture what it's like to be in high school. "Donnie Darko," "American Beauty" and "Ghost World" admittedly come close. But they aren't funny. When in search for a comedy about teen life that doesn't completely rely on ridiculous stereotypes and circumstances, look no further than "Mean Girls."
"Mean Girls" appears to be a clichˇ teen movie. I assure you it is not. While the stereotypes we see in all teen movies are present, they are part of the movie only to poke fun at them. And while you and I know these people do exist, they have been taken to a ridiculous extreme in recent teen movies.
The way that writer Tina Fey approaches these groups of people (cheerleaders, jocks, cool Asians, nerdy Asians, artsy kids, attractive black people who won't talk to anyone, etc.) is that she tries to make them more relatable to us, and makes fun of cliques in general. She does that without resorting to the "spoofing" genre, also seen in recent years. Thank you, Fey. Thank you.
Lindsay Lohan is really great as Cady Heron. Much better than her role in "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen." Egads. Anyway, the story is that Cady was home- schooled until her junior year because her parents traveled around Africa. But her parents finally became stabilized in America, so she finally gets to (has to) attend an American high school.
Her experiences in high school are often referenced to her experiences in the animal world in Africa, through mating rituals, fighting, etc. Quite entertaining.
Regardless, when she first gets to high school, she is a loner. In time, she becomes friends with the artsy kids, Damian and Janis. One day, in the cafeteria, she walks past a group known as the "plastics." They are the popular dumb girls who are only popular because they are pretty and rich. (Don't act like that wasn't true in your high school. Or college for that matter.) They invite her to sit with them, and soon to be a part of their group.
Janis insists that Cady become a part of the plastics, so that she can find things out about them so their lives can be manipulated and messed with. Is Janis seeking revenge for something? Could be. I wouldn't want to give anything away.
Well, Cady becomes a plastic. Pretty soon it's not just for revenge. She actually becomes one. But you never think to switch sides. You always want to be on her side, no matter what she does.
Cady eventually falls for a guy who used to date another one of the plastics, and things get complicated between the different groups around the school.
I'm not going to lie to you. The guy that she is in love with, Aaron, is really hot. I wish my age standards were a little lower. So, we'll just pretend that he is 20. OK, great.
Tina Fey wrote a great screenplay. It shows how horrible girls are to each other and encourages us, as girls, to be nicer to one another. Treat men however you want, but us girls have to stick together. And guys, this may sound like a teen movie, but there is girl-on-girl fighting, so what do you care?