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Thread: Chelsea's "Mean Girls" Review

  1. #1
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    Chelsea's "Mean Girls" Review

    Last weekend I went to see this movie with my best friend and my brother. We loved it. But, we could also all agree that it's not an ingenious work of art (like Majid Majidi's "The Color Of Paradise").
    In the movie Cady (pronounced like Katie) is told by her parents that they are going to move from Africa and go live in the U.S. She has been homeschooled her entire life and doesn't know what high school is like. So, she goes to school and she is completely isolated. On her second day she meets Janice (a cool, independent artist) and Damian (as Janice puts it "Almost too gay to function"). They become her friends and show her around the school. They introduce her to the school's different groups (the mathletes, the girls who eat their emotions out, the girls who don't eat anything, the sexually active band geeks, the burnouts, the wannabees, the jocks, the cool asians, the plastics and so on). Cady is asked to sit at "the plastics" table by the queen-bee Regina George (pure evil) and her followers Grechen Weiners (a rich, gossipy girl whos father invented Toaster Strudel hahaha) and Karen Smith (Blonde, Air Head, anything that means dumb). They want her to join their crew and become "one of them". Janice thinks this is a great way to get Regina back for starting all these rumors about people (like saying that Janice is a dyke). So, their plan for ruining Regina's life has begun. Cady goes shopping with them after school and learns that they have rules for dressing. (never wear the same thing twice, pink on Wednesdays, colored shoes on Monday, no patterns or designs with jeans, jeans on Fridays only, no boots or strappy shoes with mini skirts, no all solids or clashing patterns, Tuesdays shirts with slogans, designs on tops must color match skirts, shoes (not boots must color match skirts, no black shirts Mondays or Tuesdays Talk about a pain in the butt). One night at a party Regina kisses the guy that Cady likes (who just happens to be her ex-boyfriend). That is when their plot after Regina begins (you enjoy a funny, semi-emotional story the rest of the time). In the end everything turns out great and everyone gets what they deserved.
    I think this movie is WAY more realistic than any other movie that has tried to show the public the life of a teenager. All the rumors and gossip. The way that people have their own little groups to hang out with, it's all true (minus that everyone carries a Louis Vuitton purse). It's also the best of the 3 "blockbusters" that Lindsey Lohan has put out recently (even though I liked her character in Freaky Friday better).
    I'd definitely reccomend it for a teenage girl and if you want a good laugh.

  2. #2
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    I think you hit on many of the reasons why I put this one on the forums. The movie, while clearly part of the highschool-teenager-learns-valuable-lessons genre, is so well written that it's appeal goes beyond that of a simple highschool movie.

    Tina Fey's screenplay is fantastic and leaves no sector of the student population untouched by its sharp whiticisms: the Plastics, the Matheletes and everyone in between (herself, a teacher, included).

    Fey has penned a real teenage classic, which is nice to see. She has worked Saturday Night Live back to a level that it hasn't seen in a while, while still maintaing the networks insistance on broad audience appeal, and the movie does the same. Highly recomended.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the compliment! I like those (since I'm new here). I think it is great movie. Tina Fey is awesome! (I LOVE SNL!) I think everyone about to enter high school should watch it just so they know what they're getting into. Hahaha!

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    .Have you seen Heathers, Chelsea? Mean Girls is said to be a kind of Heathers knockoff. I've been wanting to see Mean Girls -- I love Heathers -- and will try to do so now.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-16-2004 at 03:10 PM.

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    The short happy life of Christian Slater: It ain't over till it's over

    Christian Slater. Star of "Heathers."

    He's in a lot of movies. He's acted in 40 or 50 films. He's in no less than five new ones coming out soon. But his great period was 1985-1995. Youth stuff. After all he was basically a child actor who graduated very successfully into youth pictures, and then has faded from the limelight.

    '85 His childhood classic: Legend of Billie Jean(with his sister, Helen)

    '86 Name of the Rose. Nude scene. Good for the Tiger Beat hearthrob rating.

    '88 Tucker. As Junior Tucker. Jeff Bridges son. Directed by Coppola. Not a big role, but still good company. Big stuff.

    '89 Gleaming the Cube (skateboard movie with spy plot--fun).

    '89 Heathers. Teenage revolt, dark social comedy. Cultish youth flick. In this he hones his amphetimine Jack Nicholson voice.

    '90 Young Guns II. Yeeahh, well. . . .For those who like such stuff, this fills the bill.

    '90 Pump Up the Volume. High school revolt leader, companion piece to Heathers. With very cool River Phoenix girlfriend Samantha Mathis.

    '93 True Romance. Tarantino flick directed by Tony Scott. The ultimate. QT's most entertaining screenplay.

    '94 Interview with the Vampire. With Brad, Tom, Kirsten, Antonio. Not too shabby.

    '95 Murder in the First. Interesting Thirties coutroom drama. Somewhat misfired, but costarring with Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy. Nice crew.

    Since then, some trouble with the law and alcohol, a lot of movies, many of them like the title of one of them, Very Bad Things. . . or maybe just mediocre.

    Can Slater ever become a hot item again? Well, that's kind of doubtful at this point, but the good thing is he's working.

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    P.s.

    Christian Slater turns 35 this August 18th. Yes, Chelsea, he's over the hill.

  7. #7
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    Re: P.s.

    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    Christian Slater turns 35 this August 18th. Yes, Chelsea, he's over the hill.
    Wow, you just made me feel old. I turn 30 in July, guess I'm over the hill too.

    We grew up on Christian Slater movies. I thought Heathers was awesome, but I was 16 or 17 when I saw it. You might want to wait a couple more years, Chelsea. The ending is pretty disturbing, particularly in light of Columbine.

    Untamed Heart was one of my favorites; somehow he gets Marisa Tomei to fall head over heals in love with him. That's what did it for me, I was hoping the same thing would happen to me, LOL.

    Thanks for the review Chelsea. I'll be sure to go see Mean Girls.

  8. #8
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    Christian Slater's best performance, in my opinion, was in The Name of the Rose. That whole flick was just so beautiful, and I'm surprised it never came to great acclaim.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
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  9. #9
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    Perhaps a fine film, but surely not Slater's best work, a minor part for him. It would be a huge put-down to say that was the best thing he ever did.

    And yeah, JustaFied, you're over the hill, like the guys in Queer As Folk. Get a life. Later you'll learn that even forty is young.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-17-2004 at 03:16 AM.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by JustaFied
    I thought Heathers was awesome, but I was 16 or 17 when I saw it. You might want to wait a couple more years, Chelsea. The ending is pretty disturbing.

    Chelsea went to Orlando with her choir to sing at Downtown Disney, and the end of the school year is keeping her busy. She always liked to write and loves to post here. Credit goes to the makers of Eternal Sunshine and Children of Heaven, movies she loves so much she has to tell the whole world. Thanks for your kindness guys. She'll be posting soon.

    My reason for posting is that I thought of renting Heathers for her but decided against it exactly because of the violent ending. She's always avoided violent images, even the PG-13 kind. It's a shame because I think she'd otherwise enjoy this excellent movie. Does anyone remember just how graphic and pervasive the violence is? I seem to remember a gun fight and some type of explosive, but vaguely. It's her decision but "waiting a couple more years" makes sense to dad.

  11. #11
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    Well, it's not my job to approve or restrict viewing for teenage girls. From Roger Ebert's review of Heathers:


    'Teenagers don't have any trouble with it," the film's director, Michael Lehmann, has said of the movie. "It's always adults that are shocked."
    JustaFied was right: this movie is awesome. It's an extremely funny and witty high school satire that's way cleverer than you'd ever expect from the genre, but there are no two ways about it: it's a comedy about killing -- killing off people who are mean and deserve to die. The humor is black -- but it all grows out of the same bright, cheerily imagined school social scene Chelsea described in reviewing Mean Girls. It introduces madeup slang, which adults at the time thought was real and tried to master. If you take the plot very seriously you've probably missed the point completely. The main character, Veronica, plots with Slater's character, J.D., to kill off her ultra snobbish friends ( who're all named Heather). Don't look too hard for a positive, upbeat message, but this is, in a sense, the revenge of the Nerds. The snobbish alpha females are shown up for the vacuous little monsters they are. You don't see anybody die -- well, maybe one or two. It's all black humor, and you never feel sorry for the victims. There's no gunfight. It's kind of like Oscar Wilde, with a vicious edge, and set in an American High School. The unworthy and pretentious are demolished with withering repartee. At the end, Christian Slater's nihilistic, cool outsider character, a rebel as he is in Pump Up the Volume, tries to blow up the school. There's a big explosion, but I don't think anybody gets hurt. Both J.D. and Slater's ultimately tiresome Jack Nicolson schtick wear thin and are rejected, but the ultimately decent Veronica, played by Winona Ryder in one of her most notable roles, triumphs and grows wise, like a perverse version of a Jane Austen heroine. As Lehman said, Chelsea would understand better than you. I haven't seen Mean Girls yet, but as a fan of Heathers, from which it seems to be derived, I want to. Heathers is almost certainly far superior to Mean Girls and somewhat in the same vein, certainly in the same territory, but bolder and wittier. If Chelsea isn't ready to see it now, she will be in a year or two, since she likes this subject matter and is into movies, but JustaFied may be right to say she ought to wait a couple years to see it. Though overjealous parents may misunderstand the movie and see it as more lethal than it really is, on the other hand youth is wasted on the young and so are really witty youth movies. I doubt very much that my 15-year-old goddaughter Leila would really appreicate it; but I suspect she might before long. Right now, she likes Zoolander. Not a perfect movie (Heathers, that is), but a funny one with lots of quotable dialogue, and a must-see for all fans of the Eighties youth genre of which this has to be considered one of the triumphs.

    I've gone on at excessive length, but I really like the movie. Talking about it makes me want to see it again. The ending is a bit weak, even though it ends with a bang, but the meat of it is in the center somewhere. The opening croquet match ("It's your turn, Heather." "No, Heather; it's Heather's turn") cracks me up. Deliciously absurd and over the top at times. I was just so glad that it got made.


  12. #12
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    Heathers - spoilers!

    It certainly is a black comedy, so best not to take it too seriously. That said, some of the violence is still a bit disturbing.

    At the end of the film, Christian Slater's character is setting a bomb in the basement underneath the school gymnasium, which he plans to detonate during a pep rally. Winona Ryder catches him, she's got a gun, he "gives her the bird", and she shoots off his middle finger. It's a pretty gruesome image. Then, he goes outside, straps large amounts of explosives to his body, and detonates himself. Such images could potentially be disturbing to a 12-13 year old viewer, particularly the idea of a gym being blown up during a pep rally. I mention Columbine because it shows that large acts of violence in a school setting can indeed occur. I think I have the same opinion of someone at that age seeing Elephant, a beautiful but haunting film which may not be appropriate viewing for some people. Maybe it's an age-appropriate thing, maybe an issue of determining maturity level of the viewer, I don't know for sure, and it's certainly not my decision to make.

    I disagree with Chris in his statement that there's not much of a positive message in the film. I think Winona Ryder's character, in a way, is very much a positive role model for teenage girls. Her parents are a bit clueless and naive, but they're sweet and lovable people, she appreciates the relationship she has with them, and she doesn't appear to be rebelling against them. That's nice to see. Also, throughout the film, she seems determined to avoid the conformist, nihilistic, and cynical elements of the school setting. She stops Christian Slater's character in the end before he can do more damage, and she ends up befriending the outcast girl in the school. She very much stands for something positive in the end.

  13. #13
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    I think we basically agree.

    Given my description, "This is a comedy about killing," parents and children can decide whether they want to watch Heathers. The issue isn't so much the level of violence or how "disturbing" a movie is (a decision hard to make till they've watched it and seen how "disturbed" they are, by which time it's too late) but that an unsophisticated person of any age may be unable to perceive clearly the context in which Heathers presents its violence.

    Thanks for the corrections on the explosion at the end and also for the addition about Veronica being a positive image, which is quite true and which I should have mentioned.

    I want to quibble with you a bit on the issue of positivity. I didn't really say "there's not much of a positive message in the film." I said:
    Don't look too hard for a positive, upbeat message. . .
    That doesn't mean such a positive message ain't there. I meant that if you spend your time looking for the positive message, you might fail to tune in to the movie's mindset.

    This is where the need for sophistication comes in. But whether a teenager is less sophisticated than an adult in judging a teenager comedy is a serious question. That's why Lehman the director said
    Teenagers don't have any trouble with it. . .It's always adults that are shocked.
    I also said (and this is meant as positive)
    but this is, in a sense, the revenge of the Nerds. The snobbish alpha females are shown up for the vacuous little monsters they are.
    What I'm trying to get across is that this movie has a positive message, but that's not the primary way to look at it, because it's a sardonic, dark comedy. Such comedies come at their positivity crabwise, laced with ironies. We should also consider (in terms of positivity) that Veronica's romance with J.D. shows revolt against authority is a viable option to be considered, but one that has to be tempered with kindness. Mass murder is dis-recommended. But look at the sardonic context which such a statement establishes -- one in which we laugh at the idea of even having to say such a thing, but at the same time take note that, indeed, mass murder is a huge no-no. If you focus too much on seeking positivity in a comedy that's mostly a demolition of teenage snobbery, you will be disappointed. You won't find enough of the upbeat to suit, and you'll miss out on the wicked fun. Veronica indeed is a nice girl at heart whose outlook is recommended, but look at the very nasty business she goes along with at J.D.'s instigation. It's only when he wants to blow up the whole school that she draws the line.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Chris Knipp
    Perhaps a fine film, but surely not Slater's best work, a minor part for him. It would be a huge put-down to say that was the best thing he ever did.
    Sadly, I think it is his best work. I never really liked Slater. His appearances on the screen always seem to make me cringe.

    And last time I checked, Interview with the Vampire, for most, was a truly cheesy and dumb film.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
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  15. #15
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    Then that leaves us with your huge put-down. You may be right but he has had much better roles in good movies. Have you seen True Romance and Pump Up the Volume? Don't you like Heathers? I thought you did. How could you enjoy it if his presence on the screen makes you cringe?

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