Long before she became a tabloid punchline, Lindsay Lohan executed a flawless performance as Cady Heron, a home-schooled kid turned Queen Bee in 2004’s Mean Girls. Produced by Lorne Michaels, the cast boasted an SNL-heavy lineup, including Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, and screenwriter and co-star Tina Fey. A blonde Rachel McAdams perfectly conjures the quintessential mean girl as Regina George, ringleader of the most popular girls in school, The Plastics (a pre-stardom Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert).
The storyline, based upon Rosalind Wiseman’s excellent book Queen Bees and Wannabees, is rather light, filled with backstabbing, boyfriend stealing, Mathlete jabs and nasty tricks like switching someone’s face cream with foot cream. That’s not to say that Mean Girls is fluffy, though, as the plot covers evergreen adolescent issues like bullying and body image. It depicts the high school food chain as literal Darwinism, with surrealistic imagery that evokes mortal combat among African wildlife spilling into the hallways.
But unlike Heathers, a movie that Mean Girls is often compared to — possibly because Mean Girls director Mark Waters and Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters are brothers — this comedy doesn’t have much of a dark side, save for a bus accident and an extremely creepy coach. Fey packs an impressive amount of quotable lines — including the standout “You smell like a baby prostitute” — into an hour and a half.
Mean Girls runs as The Belcourt’s midnight movie this Friday and Saturday, so even though it’s not Wednesday, throw on something pink and don’t even think of wearing your hair in a ponytail.