Also at verveslag.
I have to admit that, when it opened in Chicago last night, I thought this was going to be another "so bad it's good" teen movie (which is the only type of movie I seem to be seeing lately). But, nearly ten years after the release of Clueless comes its heir apparent Mean Girls (also, here). The high art of the teen movie world, Mean Girls, like Clueless, is smart, funny (actually funny), and wise in a genre populated by vapid, unfunny imitations of imitations.
Writer/Director Amy Heckerling made Clueless great through the deft selection and use of pop culture references, which have not only stood the test of time, but make the movie play more like a satire of nineties teen culture than a relic of it. Sadly, most of her work since has been unilaterally awful. But I think we can expect more good things from SNL giant Tina Fey now that she's made her screenwriting debut (and has accomplished the feat of adapting a parenting book Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes into an entertaining movie).
Mean Girls tells the story of Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), who, upon returning for a prolonged research trip to Africa with her academic parents, is forced to leave home schooling to enter the real world of high school for the very first time. She gets picked up by a band of rich, popular girls called "the plastics" who attempt to mold her in their image (shades of Cher, Dionne, and Tai, anyone?). But Cady isn't in it just for kicks. It's all part of a complicated scheme that you'll have to see to believe. In any case, hilarity ensues. No, not hilarity MEAN.