Mean Girls, mixed reviews

Last year, families found Freaky Friday to be an above-average comedy for teens and their parents. Now, director Mark S. Waters is back with Mean Girls, another comedy about an adolescent facing a crisis. Looks like he's got another hit on his hands—the movie was the #1 at the box office this week, and it was the best-reviewed new release as well. Written by Saturday Night Live "news anchorwoman" Tina Fey, Mean Girls is based on a work of non-fiction, a study of adolescent behavior called Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

The film stars Freaky Friday's Lindsay Lohan as a "wannabe" who is kept out of the popular circle by a particularly cruel group of peers known as The Plastics. SNL alum Tim Meadows is earning some compliments for his portrayal of the school principal.

Mainstream critics are fairly impressed, finding far more intelligence in the script than they expect from a film of this genre. Religious press critics also note the script's keen insights about contemporary adolescence. But some of them have a few reservations about its lack of substantial suggestions for how to avoid the superficiality and cruelty exhibited by these mean teens.

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says, "Fey's screenplay is blistering in its depiction of the social and political maneuvering that takes place in the 'girl world' of high school cliques. The insights and observations of high school life … will strike a chord with anyone who remembers the days of acne and lunchroom protocol. There is also a decent message being communicated to us. Spreading rumors, gossip, or even truth with the intent to hurt or belittle another human being bears a cost."

Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) says, "I found ...

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