Mean Girls is the latest in my catch-up program for films released earlier this year that I missed in the theater. Tina Fey, of Saturday Night Live, wrote the screenplay and acts in the film as a math teacher.
I have to admit at the outset that my benchmark for entertaining flicks about teen life is Amy Heckerling’s 1995 film Clueless, that is an updated version of Jane Austin’s Emma. Mean Girls is not as funny as Clueless and bears similarities to many teen flicks without actually repeating any of them. Though I think the film struggles for its identity (genre?), it has some sequences that reveal much truth about high school agony, and problems that plague teens such as eating disorders and consequences of alcohol.
What Mean Girls and Clueless have in common is that they are both about character and the consequences of gossip – Mean Girls in a much more blunt and serious fashion.
I didn’t find Mean Girls as entertaining as I anticipated, but I think it’s thoughtful and would provide teens and parents with much to talk about. (Certainly the parents in the film are insignificant as is common in movies aimed at teens.)
Good for Tina Fey – but I liked 13 Going on 30 better, too.