Mean Girls (2004)
Although Lohan is not particularly known for her commitment to the set or her stringent dogma of method acting, she has been preparing her entire life for the role of Cady Heron. A previously cute young girl get a little fame and notoriety, rises to great heights by playing her cards right and then falls hard. Trade Cady’s calculus acumen for Lindsay’s acting chops, and you have yourself a perfect parable for Lohan’s life. Unfortunately, Lohan is stuck in the part of the movie where she and everyone around her are still running around like “homeschooled jungle freaks” and lying about who’s pushing drugs on whom. Lohan has been bit by a snake and she hasn’t yet figured out how to “suck the poison out.” If only real life could have a moment as cathartic as when Cady discovered that “the limit does not exist!”
Besides the questionability of how much Lohan actually acted in this movie, it was wildly entertaining mostly due to Tina Fey’s script and the deadpan line delivery of the SNL alumni. Still, this movie did catapult Lohan out of the virginal Disney quagmire and into her first adult film. She handled the comic timing perfectly and played both the good girl and the bad girl with ease.
I guess the reason why I love Mean Girls so much is that it is so damn quotable. It is this generation’s Heathers, but instead of “What’s your damage?” we get “That’s so fetch.” The Heathers undo each other while Veronica enjoys her partial outsider status and gains the upper hand. Same goes for the Plastics and Cady. Even in real life, Winona Ryder was slated to be the next big thing, worked with a few prolific directors like Scorcese, had a high profile scandal, fell from grace and then reappeared as Spock’s mother in Star Trek this year. Lohan, also destined for great things, worked with Robert Altman, went to rehab countless number of times, but refuses to go away so she cannot resurface as anything. At this point, Lohan looks so haggard that she could have gotten the role of Spock’s grandmother.
Apart from Lohan, Mean Girls was an accurate yet scathing review of life in American high schools. Fey managed to capture the cliquey nature of high school. The one thing she has exaggerated though, is the ubiquity of the Plastics. In normal high school, if you don’t live in girl world, you are not even aware that the Plastics exist. All the cliques overlap and they all share the same basic structure. People often make their own group of friends that they share something in common with and this gets miscategorized as a clique. Every clique has its own queen bee and it is quite possible for there to be no top clique. Too much emphasis was placed on making the Plastics special, but as the movie ended, it became evident that every group had their own mean girls and their own niche of drama.
This concludes my survey of Lindsay Lohan’s filmography. There was her childhood cheesy phase, her young adult phase of interesting choices and her current phase of just plain disaster. Since the time this project started, Labor Pains came out and it was the nonsensical train wreck we were all hoping for. A review will be coming shortly, but until then I hope Lohan can lay low and whip herself back into form.