I say it again….(unless it is a Quentin Tarantino film featuring colorful 2 dimensional characters with little depth to explore) it’s all about character people!!!!!
Take Lindsay Lohan’s character Cady, just returning from living in the wilds of Africa, only to arrive at a much more treacherous natural habitat, High School!!!! Cady quickly learns who belongs with what crowd but she is challenged to learn where she belongs or who she’s welcome to be with or how to respond or who to trust. Tina Fey’s brilliant (should have been Oscar nominated) screenplay makes it all so confusing for our protagonist, as well as the clique known as “The Plastics,” and even the teaching staff. Tina Fey conveys important lessons in identity while never forgetting to laugh at the story’s agenda.
“We will stay here all night.”
“We have to dismiss them at 4.”
“We will stay here until 4.”
Great portrayals abound from Lacey Chabert as an insecure Plastics follower, Amanda Seyfried hilariously emoting stupidity in the best way possible (she’s psychic because her boobs can tell when it is raining) and especially Rachel McAdams who never compromises the coldness of Regina George, the MEANEST GIRL at school.
McAdams is great at any range from showing screaming fits with ease to completely owning the duplicity of Regina. She makes this mean girl dangerously intelligent and all together deceitful.
I recall declaring this film being one of the best pictures of 2004. I haven’t changed my mind on that observation. It’s hard to find a script thinking three steps ahead of itself. Cady makes a choice and the consequences won’t translate for another 30 minutes or so. Everything circles back on itself. No thread is left hanging and thus you are treated to a character arc – the spine of the best stories in any medium.
Bravo Tina Fey.