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Humor shines in scheming high school antics

Emily Iarocci | Monday, October 4, 2004

The Saturday Night Live cast members and alums have done it again – “Mean Girls” is hysterical. When the previews first came out for the movie, it appeared to be another typical teenage movie full of mindless humor, but upon actually watching it, one comes to find that the humor is more carefully crafted in this film. Tina Fey, a current member of the SNL cast and the show’s head writer, takes full writing credits for the screenplay. Those who have watched her on SNL are familiar with her witty, sarcastic humor. She employs her particular breed of humor in the screenplay, and manages to turn a possible dud of a movie, into a very enjoyable film. Fey did have some help, however, from her fellow cast members, such as Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams (new, young it girls of Hollywood), Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler (two SNL alums and a current cast member), and Lacey Chabert (of “Party of Five” fame). “Mean Girls” is about the stereotypical “popular girls” in high school. Cady Heron (Lohan) is a junior who has spent most of her life in Africa with her zoologist parents. She has been home-schooled up until this point in her life, when she is finally thrust into a public high school. Cady has no idea what she is up against. In the simplest of terms, high school girls, are mean. Boys have no idea what it is like to be a girl in middle school and high school. Everything is a competition, and for some reason, the cool girls, are generally the meanest girls in school. Cady is clueless because she has never had to interact with kids her own age in social situations. On her second day of school she has an encounter with the “Plastics,” the cool girls at North Shore High. They decide that she is pretty enough to hang out with them and invites her to be their friend. The other kids Cady has already befriended, Janis and Damian, the art freaks, convince her to hang out with the “Plastics” just so they can hear about all the awful things the girls say and do. Eventually, Regina (McAdams), the head of the “Plastics” crosses Cady by stealing the boy she has a crush on. Then Cady, Janis, and Damian decide to try and ruin Regina’s popularity, which in high school is life. The rest of the film depicts all the scheming Cady, Janis and Damian do to bring Regina to her demise. Watch the movie if you want to know the rest, it is well worth it.The DVD from Paramount Pictures is fully loaded with special features. There is a large section of commentary from the cast and crewmembers, which includes scenes from the movie. Another part of the commentary presented is an interview with Rosalind Wiseman, the author of “Queen Bees & Wannabes,” the book on which the movie is based. Wiseman’s book is actually more psychologically driven and was written in order to advise parents and girls how to survive adolescence. The DVD also includes an interview with the costume designer, who describes how she put together the outfits for the characters, and explains how vision and grasp of characterization is necessary to do a good job costuming the cast. The standard DVD special features such as outtakes, deleted scenes, and trailers are included. The outtakes and deleted scenes are hilarious, as they should be, since the movie is so funny. All in all, this DVD is fantastic and well worth the purchase, or rental.