What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Mean Girls has some mature material for a PG-13, including crude humor, sexual references, underage drinking, and comic violence. There is a prank involving a pregnancy test. Cady allows her home to be taken over by partying teens, gets drunk, and throws up. A child watches "Girls Gone Wild" and imitates it. A girl refers to herself as "half a virgin" and there is a joke about girl-girl kissing. A strength of the movie is its positive portrayal of diverse characters, including disabled, gay, and minority students.
What's the story?
MEAN GIRLS is about a girl who takes on a ruling clique. It's based on Queen Bees and Wannabes, a non-fiction book by Rosalind Wiseman about alpha girls and the impact they have on everyone else, adapted by Saturday Night Live head writer (and Weekend Update anchor) Tina Fey. Previously homeschooled by her zoologist parents while living in Africa, Cady (Lindsay Lohan) moves to Evanston, Illinois and attends high school. Cady finds herself having a hard time understanding the social norms in the school, and is drawn to the "the Plastics," the most popular clique in the school.
Is it any good?
There is much that is fresh and sharp in this movie. But Mean Girls has an uncertain hold on its plot and ends up pulling some of its punches and throwing in teen comedy clichés we have seen endlessly in dozens of movies that all blur together.
Screenwriter Tina Fey, who appears as a sympathetic teacher, has a good sense of how girls like Regina operate to establish their domination, appearing to be sweet and supportive but in reality being competitive, duplicitous and manipulative, and always surrounding themselves with people who will add to their power and not challenge them. And Fey's superb sense of comedy gives the script has some biting humor. Her Saturday Night Live colleagues lend support to the cast, with Tim Meadows as the school principal, Ana Gasteyer as Cady's mother, and Amy Poehler superb as Regina's mother, who insists, "I'm not like a regular mom; I'm a cool mom!"
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the elements that determine status for teenagers -- like those Cady must learn to navigate in Mean Girls -- are different from those that determine status in the adult world, at work, and with friends and family.
Use this movie to begin a discussion about the way that the girls they know treat each other, and what they can do to encourage them to be kinder and more supportive.
Ask kids if they know any "mean girls." How do they deal with them?
|Theatrical release date:||April 30, 2004|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||September 21, 2004|
|Cast:||Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey|
|Character strengths:||Empathy, Integrity|
|Run time:||95 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||Sexual content, language and some teen partying|