High school is a jungle in Mean Girls (2004).
That’s certainly what Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), a grounded teenager who has been raised in the wilds of Africa by zoologist parents (Ana Gasteyer and Neil Flynn), discovers when the family returns stateside. Back in suburbia, Cady enters high school and finds the social jungle of hormonally charged teenagers and ruthlessly enforced social classes are far trickier to navigate. Or to resist.
This is Lindsay Lohan from her Disney features Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004) and the remake of Freaky Friday (2003) with Jamie Lee Curtis, when she was rising star with a squeaky clean image. In other words, before her diva days led to a career meltdown. That image is central to her character, an open, welcoming young woman who treats everyone with the same acceptance.
The breakout star of the film, however, was Rachel McAdams, who practically steals the film as Regina, the head of the snotty “Plastics” clique of reigning beautiful girls. Cady is appalled at her casual cruelty so she decides to infiltrate the group (Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried are Cady’s much-abused sidekicks) and take down the queen bitch of the school. Yet can’t seem to resist the allure of popularity. Think of Cady as a test subject in is a study of learned behavior as she transforms in all of those things she hates in her ruthless rival.
Tina Fey wrote the comedy based on the nonfiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, adapting the analyses of teenage girl behavior and the roles they play into a teen social satire, and she has a supporting role as an earnest teacher. Lizzy Caplan costars with Fey and her fellow SNL alumnus Tim Meadows and Mark Waters directs.
Though not what you call an awards bait movie, Lohan and McAdams both took home trophies at the MTV Movie Awards.
The Blu-ray and DVD special editions feature commentary by director Mark Waters, screenwriter and actress Tina Fey, and producer Lorne Michaels, three featurettes, deleted scenes with optional commentary by Mark Waters and Tina Fey, and a blooper reel.