Monday, August 06, 2007

"Mean Girls" May Very Well Hold Our Chance for Salvation

Everyone reading this (all two of you) need to know that I am drinking single-barrel bourbon while writing it. Which probably explains a lot. But it's also a caveat in case this comes off as total bullshit. Oh, wait. Most of my posts do. Never mind.

Why bother with that kind of detail? Well, duh. Look at the fucking title of the post. I mean...really. I just pinned the hopes and dreams of Humanity on a Lindsay Lohan vehicle.

Why would I do that? Why would a man possessed of such terrible learning as I do such a thing? Perhaps because I am possessed of such terrible learning? It's easy to dismiss a film like Mean Girls as popcorn fodder. As a shoddy attempt by Tina Fey to move beyond the realm of SNL. The fact of the matter is...we can't. Dismiss it, I mean. Frankly, because it's a very well-written, well-made film. And well-acted, I might add. Anyone who thinks Lindsay Lohan is (dare I say it?!!?) a no-talent drunken ass-clown is simply incorrect. Plus, she's awfully hot, drugs and alcohol and all. But all of this is secondary to the message the film carries.

Being a man who lives in the world that Mean Girls conveys--I can speak to it. And it's spot-on. Sure it's a bit exaggerated and stylized..but it's there. And all the BS "hit-you-over-the-head" messaging is there too. The lessons Cady learns are very real.

Nay--before you mock me, hear me out. The wife and I talked about this, albeit briefly; she was close to sleep mode. We saw some (that shall remain nameless--public blog!) students of mine in the characters in that film. The high school "culture" that is satirized in this film is VERY real. And as I watched it I also saw kids of mine that have been shaped by it. Not the satirized culture, but the message the film conveys. It was nifty watching Cady come to the same realization some of my kids have come to this year. It was nifty watching some of my kids vicariously through Cady. Watching this film now I realize that the character Cady has shaped more than one of the students I had this year--and it made me happy.

Cady's a good person. Well, she would be if she were real, but you get my drift. If you don't--why on God's green Earth are you reading an English teacher's blog? She's engineered as a character who had no concept/understanding of modern high school. As such, she's a perfect vehicle to explore it. She's tabula rosa. We come to understand the system as she does--and we rebel against it as she does.

And so do my kids. They don't always realize they do--but more power to 'em when they see it.

So, yes. In Mean Girls may be the key to our salvation.

If only the rest of us old fuckers had the sensitivity of teenagers.


mineIsay said...

I saw you were watching it from your away message the other day. I noticed that you had doubts about the movie, and stayed silent, waiting to see what opinion you walked away with, and I'm glad you saw the movie for what it was, which is a very well written, intelligent script. I liked that movie, and I applaud Fey for writing an honest portrayal of how cruel girls can be. girl power!

mineIsay said...

Sorry, it's K's fault, blame her. You've been tagged. See my blog to find out what the F i'm talking about.

Scott said...

1) bourbon; You are my kinda guy!

2) lindsey is just a drunken-ass clown(change in hyphen placement intentional)

3) i love the goth-friend in that movie, she reminds me of my friend Rachel from school. . . Wait, so I guess I was "almost too gay to function"

Deatoni said...

I think Tina Fey relied HEAVILY on this
book quite heavily as source material if youre interested in reading. Surprisingly fun movie too.