The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004)
Imdb

Date Watched: 02/22/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: Because Omnizoa seems to think this is a much better movie than Being John Malkovich
Rewatch: No


Like pretty much every high school movie ever made, Mean Girls deals with stereotypes, specifically those involving the power plays, backstabbing, and cruelty surrounding cliques and the ridiculous things people will do to fit in. The trouble is that it doesn't do a very good job of it.

The characters are universally one dimensional (though I suppose one could argue that there's not a whole lot of dimension to most high school girls anyway) and never gain any depth as the movie progresses. The "Plastics" stay plastic. The nerds stay nerdy. The token gay guy stays the token gay guy. The artsy goth chick that people think is a lesbian stays the artsy goth chick that people think is a lesbian. None of them become anything more and yet the viewer is expected to buy the film's heavy handed and overly sentimental finale anyway.

It doesn't work for me. Which is not to say that I hated the movie. It was okay. I even chuckled a time or two. It just treads the same ground as countless other movies before it and in doing so offers nothing fresh, original, or particularly memorable.


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Welcome to the human race...
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



Welcome to the human race...
In fairness, I didn't like it the first couple of times that I saw it but it eventually grew on me like The Big Lebowski or even Anchorman did.



I rate "Mean Girls"
. Plastics had to change and the many interesting characters that stay the same a very clearly, ironically and cleverly defined.



Master of My Domain
Cliche after cliche after cliche is not what I'd call a recipe for a great comedy. I guess Mean Girls is a cult film because it has a handful of exaggerated off-beat moments, but they fail to generate laughter, or even appreciate the effort put in.



Welcome to the human race...
The Plastics became less bitchy, but didn't gain any depth that I could see.
Who said anything about gaining depth? Not every character has to get a generic redemptive arc, especially when it wouldn't make sense for the character. Out of the three Plastics, Regina is the only one to get such an arc as she eventually makes the shift from inexplicably popular queen bitch to a star athlete who actually earns the admiration and respect of other students rather than arbitrarily gain it. In short, it's about her using the same sense of, well, meanness that originally defined her and involves her putting it to good use. Gretchen and Karen are a bit more limited, but they aren't seen as out-and-out antagonistic like Regina and so they have less of a change to make. Given Gretchen's primary characterisation as an insecure toady, it ultimately makes sense for her to latch onto another clique after the dissolution of the Plastics (and to have it be the all-Asian clique just lends it extra absurdity). Karen, meanwhile, is supposed to be too much of a ditz to be truly malicious and so her conclusion is just a left-field brick joke that sees her completely absurd ability to predict the weather using her breasts and allows her to become a weather reporter because of it.

Cliche after cliche after cliche is not what I'd call a recipe for a great comedy. I guess Mean Girls is a cult film because it has a handful of exaggerated off-beat moments, but they fail to generate laughter, or even appreciate the effort put in.
Might I ask what you would consider a recipe for a great comedy? Your criticism of Mean Girls does feed into my comments about it being an acquired taste on par with Anchorman or The Big Lebowski.

"Mean Girls" isn't necessarily funny, because it is an ironic movie.
You're going to have to elaborate further on this.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Ok, you sold me Quills, going to check it out!
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Cliche after cliche after cliche is not what I'd call a recipe for a great comedy.
Yes, "Mean Girls" uses clichés, but in a creative way and rather mockingly. Also, it doesn't get stuck on few clichés that get repeated over and over so they don't seem overbearing.


My increased appreciation for the movie is due to lack of crude drugs, sex, fart and toilet jokes. And if they are used, they are only a side note to main point instead of being the point.

You're going to have to elaborate further on this.
For me, comedy in "Mean Girls" doesn't come from especially clever punch lines, but from fast paced delivery of absurd and ironic scenes that manage to reveal many aspects of school society and individual characters. I said it was an ironic movie because of how trivial the concerns of all characters are. Neither does it stop to show viewers some pointless tragedy and for good. It would be more cliché if it tried to be any deeper than it is. Even the ending is rather light hearted.


That's my take on it.



Originally Posted by Iroquois
Who said anything about gaining depth? Not every character has to get a generic redemptive arc, especially when it wouldn't make sense for the character. Out of the three Plastics, Regina is the only one to get such an arc as she eventually makes the shift from inexplicably popular queen bitch to a star athlete who actually earns the admiration and respect of other students rather than arbitrarily gain it. In short, it's about her using the same sense of, well, meanness that originally defined her and involves her putting it to good use. Gretchen and Karen are a bit more limited, but they aren't seen as out-and-out antagonistic like Regina and so they have less of a change to make. Given Gretchen's primary characterisation as an insecure toady, it ultimately makes sense for her to latch onto another clique after the dissolution of the Plastics (and to have it be the all-Asian clique just lends it extra absurdity). Karen, meanwhile, is supposed to be too much of a ditz to be truly malicious and so her conclusion is just a left-field brick joke that sees her completely absurd ability to predict the weather using her breasts and allows her to become a weather reporter because of it.
This.

Originally Posted by Tugg
My increased appreciation for the movie is due to lack of crude drugs, sex, fart and toilet jokes.
There's one fart joke.

Originally Posted by Tugg
And if they are used, they are only a side note to main point instead of being the point.
True enough. Drugs and sex bother me in teen/school movies too.
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Originally Posted by Miss Vicky
Reason For Watching: Because Omnizoa seems to think this is a much better movie than Being John Malkovich


In my defense, I didn't spend the entirety of Mean Girls waiting for a payoff that never came.



Who said anything about gaining depth? Not every character has to get a generic redemptive arc, especially when it wouldn't make sense for the character.
Not every character needs it, no, but I'm not necessarily looking for redemption, just something to make these people seem more human and less caricature.



How would you compare Mean Girls to Heathers?
Oh I love Heathers. It's one of my all time favorite movies.

But Heathers doesn't present the audience with one dimensional characters and then slap them with some overly sentimental moral to the story. It's got dark humor and sex appeal on its side.