The Screening Room
mean girls
Before Lindsay Lohan became a check out stand tabloid idol, she was an entertaining young actress. Not the best actress around, she relied on her sweet personality that made one look past her limited acting range. "Mean Girls" was the perfect project for her to be herself.

“Mean Girls” is now available on Blu-ray.

Before Tina Fey became America's comic sweetheart, she was a writer on "Saturday Night Live." Witty and smart, Fey took her writing talent to the big screen in "Mean Girls." The result is a funny take on high school snobbery, fakery, and overall meaness.

Lohan is the child of two anthropologists, having spent most of her life in Africa. Once she enters an American high school, she finds that life in the locker room jungle is every bit as wild as the plains of Africa. Trying to fit in, she falls into the "it" crowd called "The Plastics," led by the callous Regina (Rachel McAdams).

The film is a coy reminder of how shallow high school can be. The subject of mean kids and trying to fit in has been popular in film for years. "Heathers" (1989) was a clever take on cliques, and "Mean Girls" runs along those lines. The earlier film was far more scathing and didn't pull its punches. Yet the latter film is still pretty accurate on the absurdity of high school life. Fey's dialogue is pretty funny, while McAdams plays the mean girl with joy.

Lohan is pretty much herself as she's been in most of her films. Her voice is low key and her mannerisms aren't very dynamic. But there is a charm that goes along with her. There's a sparkle in her eyes and she's likable.

In 2004, Lohan starred in the roughly made, yet somewhat charming "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen." She was very much a teenage girl who had a crush on a rock star and she was effective. In "Mean Girls," she's a bit more grown up and mature. She's the calm in a storm of high school madness.

The Blu-ray reflects the film's muted and somewhat soft appearence. I don't believe the filmmakers were out to make this comedy super sharp and ready for a high definition television appearence. Many comedies, even those made in the last few years, don't appear hypersharp to begin with. The picture quality is fine here.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is nothing amazing, but again, this is in part of the film being a low key comedy. It's not meant to blast you out of your chair. The film is mostly dialogue driven with a few music cues. Everything sounds fine, as it should.

The film isn't quite as funny as the first time seeing it. Some of the jokes have lost their edge, but there are some that are still funny. The gag of McAdams eating "diet" bars still works. "Mean Girls" is a worthy long lost cousin of "Heathers," even if its bite isn't as deep. It's also a good vehicle for Lohan, showing that she could command our attention on the big screen, rather than at the check out stand.   

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photos: © Paramount. All rights reserved.
Blu-ray Quick Glimpse



Wickedly funny

Director: Mark Waters  

Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Tiny Fey

Featurettes, commentary and more


Picture: Very Good
Sound: Good

When Lindsay wasn't a tabloid princess

Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)

Dolby True HD 5.1

April 14, 2009
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