The Screening Room
THE STUDIO GATE
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
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.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Paramount. All
Blu-ray Quick Glimpse
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Tiny Fey
Featurettes, commentary and more
Picture: Very Good
When Lindsay wasn't a tabloid princess
Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)
Dolby True HD 5.1
BLU-RAY RELEASE DATE
April 14, 2009