Mean Girls (2004)

I know that the racial and social politics of “Mean Girls” have aged poorly, but at the risk of sounding insensitive, it doesn’t impede my ability to enjoy this uber-entertaining comedy over and over. Lindsay Lohan’s performance here is impressively dexterous, able to go from light comedy to surprisingly compelling drama (however adolescent it is within the movie’s context), and she’s surrounded by a winning supporting cast that knows how to extract all the comedic potential out of every scene. The finished product is the type of comedy where every scene feels necessary, where every line is delivered perfectly by the entire cast, and the fluid editing makes the whole thing an easy, undemanding delight to sit through. There are various references to adolescent angst-apalooza entertainment throughout (most obviously is 1989’s “Heathers,” which feels like a darker, edgier older sibling to this modern classic in retrospect), grounding the movie in a relatable reality for the audience even as its visual presentation is glossy and its cast impossibly attractive. It’s one of those movies that’s rife with already-classic lines that are still uber-effective even though they’ve been subsumed into pop culture via countless memes (think “stop trying to make fetch happen” and “too gay to function,” among many, many others), and it never fails to entertain me or cheer me up, depending on the situation.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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