Mean Girls

Mean Girls (2004)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Daniel Franzese, Lizzy Chaplan, Lacey Chabert
Extras: : Commentary Track, Featurettes, Bloopers, Deleted Scenes, TV Spots, Trailer, Previews

Rated PG-13 for Sexual Content, Language & Some Teen Partying. Funny as I didn’t realize that ’Teen Partying’ was something the MPAA concerned itself with. Strange how the first laugh in ’Mean Girls’ takes place even before the film begins.

’Mean Girls’ is one of the few intelligent and funny teen films to come out in a long time. Thankfully the typical clichés that plague most dumb teenager films luckily show up only in a few instances during the movie. When a majority of today’s teen films depend on the stereotypical gross-out bit or constant use of harsh language, ’Mean Girls’ is a breath of fresh air.

Lindsay Lohan stars as Cady Heron, a young teenage girl raised in Africa that has never experienced life in America. When her Father is offered a job at Northwestern, Cady is left to enroll in Evanston Township High School. She quickly makes two friends right away, played by Daniel Franzese & Lizzy Chaplan. After they quickly break down the different status roles of all the different groups spread throughout the school, one particular group stands out more than the others. The Plastics. Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) & Karen (Amanda Seyfried) are not only the most popular girls in school, but are also quoted as being the girls from hell. Cady is sent in by Janis (Chaplan) to spy on the girls and figure out ways to ruin their reputation. Unfortunately things don’t always work out the way they’re suppose too.

’Mean Girls’ is available in a separate 1.78:1 Wide screen edition and a separate 1.33:1 Full Frame edition. The Anamorphically enhanced edition exhibits a nice natural clean look. Mpeg noise is reduced to a near minimal and any sort of edge enhancement or haloing isn’t visible. Flesh tones are accurate and colors maintain proper saturation. Image detail is lacking though. The entire image looks soft without looking out of focus. Areas like facial details, hair and other areas look smoothed out. This is a bright film mainly shot during the daytime so black level really isn’t that important. It’s a decent effort but far from reference.

The Dolby Digital soundtrack is nothing special. Most films of this genre don’t really use audio to their advantage. Dialog is clear and practically all the audio comes from the front stage. Low frequencies and surround use are inexistent.

A commentary by Director Mark Waters, Screenplay writer and actress Tina Fey, and Producer Lorne Michaels is the first special feature on the disc. Next up are three Featurettes called ’Only The Strong Survive’, ’The Politics of Girl World’, and ’Plastic Fashion’. The first is a documentary on the making of the film. Tina Fey and cast talk about why they cast certain actors/actresses and what comments the young cast had about their roles in the film. The second is an interview with Rosalind Wiseman. She’s the author of ’Queen Bees & Wannabees’, the book that influenced the film. And last is a feature on the costume design of the film.
The rest of the extras consist of 9 deleted scenes with optional commentary, bloopers, trailers and some really funny TV spots called ’Interstitials’.

No matter how good ’Mean Girls’ is; it unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to what I consider the best teen film based on social acceptance in high school, ’Heathers’. ’Heathers’ had a greater sick sense of humor than this film that worked better with the context of the story. The moral implications of teen suicide that the film focused made a stronger impression with this viewer. ’Mean Girls’ is more light hearted and a very humorous film with a good script and some very good acting from its stars. You won’t be disappointed one way or the other. And actress Lacey Chabert in short shorts and a low cut top definitely brings a smile to this reviewers face that is worth every penny spent.