Gender expectations strike again!
As a guy, I’m typically expected to favour something like The Expendables over something like Mean Girls. And don’t get me wrong, explosions are awesome. But there’s a time and a place for bloodbaths. There’s only so much dick-waving I can take before it starts to get a bit tedious. That’s why I try to enjoy a bit of variety with my films.
Mean Girls is a bitingly funny teen comedy that came right as that genre was starting to peter out – after the likes of Cruel Intentions and 10 Things I Hate About You and the American Pies, the genre was starting to outstay its welcome. And then Mean Girls came in like a refreshing breeze.
Starring Lindsay Lohan at the peak of her rising career, Mean Girls is a film about cliques and self-acceptance and fighting monsters while looking to it that you yourself do not become a monster. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Popularity in high school is a deadly minefield; one wrong move and you’re relegated to Loserville for life. When Lohan’s formerly-home-schooled character finds herself taken under the Queen Bitch’s wing, she initially thinks she’s fighting the system – but can you fight the system without succumbing to the system? Will she end up just another mean girl?
It’s immensely quotable, thanks to Tina Fey’s excellent script – you’ll often hear people scream ‘YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US’ apropos of nothing. Tonks watched it and suddenly understood half of the memes on Tumblr. It still resonates with the yoofs ten years on, is what I’m saying. It’s one of those films that will be considered a timeless classic in another ten years time, mark my words. Also, Amanda Seyfried should do more comedy, she has brilliant comic timing.
It makes an excellent double bill with…
That’s right, I’m cheating again! Easy A is a great spiritual successor to Mean Girls and if you stick them both on one after the other and pile up the popcorn then you’re in for an excellent evening. Easy A follows similar themes of popularity and status, this time wrapped up in promiscuity and the mores of teenage love lives. Emma Stone’s character finds herself inventing love affairs and liaisons and her peers go from suddenly noticing she exists to DRIVE THE HARLOT FROM OUR MIDST POSTHASTE.
Again, the script is witty and quotable and a hell of a lot of fun – but a huge amount of the appeal lies in Emma Stone’s performance, which is just pitch perfect. Her character is incredibly likeable, and you really do feel for her as she gets into the mess she has to somehow find her way out of. It also has the coolest parents of any teen film so far. I will fight you on this.
It’s very silly to limit yourself to only watching a certain type of film because that’s what’s expected of you. Why cut yourself off from a world of experiences and perspectives that you’ve never considered? Let’s broaden our horizons and live a little.
But stop trying to make fetch happen. Fetch is never going to happen.