After spending a couple of hours in bed re-watching Yahtzee reviewing various games on Zero Punctuation, I guess it stoked the critic in myself somewhat. That and being semi-irritable anyway due to feeling like crap. Since there now appears to be a group of chavs outside my window (I’m assuming drunk from the sounds of coughing and aggressive conversation however you can never quite tell with chavs), and I have no desire to get up from my bed to yell at them and fear that if I did so it would cause me to vomit, I shall instead direct my vitriol at something else that annoys me. Tough decision as it’d be pretty awesome if I managed to projectile vomit on them from my window, but having just seen my Facebook feed I couldn’t resist this one.
Now, many of you know that I have quite a diverse taste in films. From your herpderp comedies to obscure Asian films to slashy horror to psychological mindfuck to even, brace yourselves, the odd Disney film. Yeah, I liked The Fox and the Hound. It made me cry. At the age of 25. My top films are quite a mixed bag including the gritty realism of Trainspotting, the foolish yet charming Four Weddings and a Funeral, the behemoth of a saga that is Lord of the Rings (as anyone who knows me well remembers, it HAS to be the extended editions of all films watched back to back because the story is incomplete otherwise) and the saccharine wit of Mean Girls. What drew my attention to this particular subject at this point in time was this.
Now, before I jumped straight for the general rule of SEQUELS ARE BAD, MM’KAY?, I thought back to some occasions where I had been pleasantly surprised.
American Pie 2 – Most of the original cast, actually showed storyline progression and character development. Awesome soundtrack and the humour was just as fresh as the first film.
Spiderman 2 – While it had some flaws, it still wasn’t a dire sequel. Spidey was a tad emo for my tastes but hey, that goes with the general angst of his character at times. That’s Marvel’s fault there.
Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – As entertaining as the first and not just because of Miss Knightly’s chest although that should have been the alternative subtitle of the film in my personal opinion -coughs-
Toy Story 2 – Sure, Pixar could have just made the first film and not gone back, but this sequel actually worked.
Clerks II – “Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, it’s forgivable to go ass to mouth.” I love this film almost as much as the first ❤
I could list more but then I would be missing the point of my post and just reviewing films. So back to the task in hand.
My first thoughts on a sequel to Mean Girls was something like this:
“ZOMFG LINDSEY LOHAN IN SKIMPY CLOTHES AND MORE FAP MATERIAL!!!1!”
I will openly admit that I would quite happily watch the scene from Mean Girls with the Santa outfit dance routine over and over and over and over and over and over and over again until my hand glued itself to my vagina or was worn down to a nub. While Ms Lohan isn’t exactly the shining role model that she was back then or half, nay a quarter, as attractive, the memories still persist. Being able to visually replay them makes it all the sweeter. So yes, to say that I was actually excited was an understatement. For those curious, my underwear remained dry. Mostly.
So, I decided I was going to have a little look at exactly what was going on with this sequel, who was returning, what the premise of the plot was (not wanting to know too much of course as that would be the equivalent of walking in on the final scene in the cinema) and WHEN THE HELL WAS IT GETTING TO ENGLAND!
You know the saying that Google is your friend? You know how friends sometimes have to tell you really shitty things that you don’t want to hear, it upsets you and you feel betrayed by your friend because in the emotional maelstrom that has arisen you lose sight of the fact that your friend is simply relaying information for your own good or because you actually fucking asked for it? Yeah, that’s how I feel towards Google now. At this very moment I’m using Bing as I feel that I’ll take further bad news better from someone I know doesn’t really matter. I’ve not quite reached the depths of asking someone I never speak to anymore (Yahoo), someone who went missing (Lycos/Tripod) or someone who changed so much that they’re just not the same person anymore (Ask Jeeves).
Fact of the matter is that I found out that Mean Girls 2 is many things.
– Devoid of any of the original cast except the principal
– Set in the same high school with the same name with the same principal but IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION
– A “stand-alone sequel/spin-off” film
– Was released on 23rd Jan 2011 on ABC Family with DVD release being on 1st Feb 2011
Now, as much as I loathe to admit it, I have judged this film without seeing it the same way as I know from skimming the description of a website that involves the words “Twilight” and “fanfiction” that I would rather to gouge out my eyes with a rusty spoon and eat my own eyeballs with raspberry coolis than actually enter the site. It’s like being a diabetic and being told that there’s a golden syrup drinking contest that you’re guaranteed to win if only you sign this little entry form which no-one else has or will. You don’t need to go to sea in a boat full of holes to know that it will sink because it is obvious it is a FAILBOAT from just looking at the idea on paper. At least I did this the justice of at least checking it out before writing it off which just goes to show that I’m not entirely adverse to giving things a chance, even when it’s something that could bastardise something that I love and adore.
If you’ve never watched Mean Girls, DO SO NOW AND COME BACK TO ME IN 97 MINUTES WHEN YOU HAVE BASKED IN IT’S GREATNESS. Or if you’re too cheap to go out and buy what is now a nicely cheap film (what with it coming out in 2004 and all) or too lazy to torrent it (as much as I don’t advocate downloading films illegally), I’ll sum it up.
Mean Girls is a simple yet hilarious teen comedy penned by Tina Fey who was the head writer on Saturday Night Live for a good many years and still appears on to this very day. Don’t be put off by the mention of Ms. Lohan in the film, she actually looks damn attractive and acts in the best role she’s had in her entire career (I Know Who Killed Me basically involved her taking her clothes off a lot which puts it as her second best film of her career due to lack of depth of her role there). After all, this was the film that catapulted her from Disney Mouseketeer to actually hot actress.
Mean Girls was to some extent an updated version of Heathers, only without the explosions, mass murder and Christian Slater slurring like a retard. A sort of PG-13 version with less language, less sex and much less violence (although there’s a scene with a minibus although sadly nothing can actually be seen). However, what it lacked for in “explicit” content, it made up for in upbeat humour and that warm fuzzy feeling at the end of the film. Heathers is a damn good film, don’t get me wrong, but Mean Girls is more of a family film and makes you feel warm and floofy afterwards.
Set in a high school, you have the various cliqués, their interactions and adventures with Ms. Lohan playing the new kid from out of town who has the awkward job of fitting in. As someone who had to move schools many times, I could identify with her a lot. Much more so than the same role in Heathers played by Christian Slater who you know isn’t quite right in the head quite early on and you can tell from the outset is a bit of a wanker.
While Heathers is not without it’s many charms, it just doesn’t hit the same spot as Mean Girls. Part of this is probably because Heathers hasn’t aged too well at all. For a film made in 1988, it’s still enjoyable but you get the obvious feeling of when it was made. Understandable as it’s clearly a film of the period and I imagine in 2024 we’ll be saying the same about Mean Girls along with “Where the fuck is my hoverboard? It’s 9 years overdue now!”. Mean Girls contained so many quoteable phrases that most likely die with age, however. Saying “That’s SO fetch!” was something that only came around with Gretchen trying to make fetch ‘happen’ in the film which in turn caused it TO happen. Mostly only by people who watched the film and found it hilarious to use the quote without realising the irony in what they were doing though. The best Heathers could aspire to was “What’s your damage?” which probably worked back in the 80s (I was 3 when the film came out, cut me some slack here) but certainly hasn’t dated as well as “It’s not my fault that I have a heavy flow and a wideset vagina”, “She doesn’t even go to this school!”, “I have a fifth sense… it’s like I have ESPN or something”, “Boo, you whore”, “Too gay to function” or many of the other great lines from this film which I swear will never get old.
Anyway, Ms. Lohan meets the kids at the school, has difficulty to adjusting to Western life after growing up in Africa and being homeschooled (though not in a Tarzan-esque way), makes friends with a couple of the “rejects”, decides to infiltrate the Plastics to fuck their shit up, becomes one of them, realises who her true friends are and in doing so teaches the Plastics a lesson as well as herself and the whole film has a huge awwwwww ending. In a nutshell.
You know that the film is taking the piss out of itself at times, out of certain characters and that at the end of the day, it’s a truly outstanding piece of cinematic excellence. While it won’t change the world like The Matrix, it doesn’t try to. It’s good at being what it is without needing to be pretentious or over hyped. If you feel it IS over hyped without having seen it, you’ve clearly not heard of a film called SEX AND THE CITY (unknown subtitle of the first film being: Because 6 Seasons Just Wasn’t Enough).
So, now I have finished sucking the cock of Mean Girls dry, I shall explain exactly why it irks me so that this “sequel” has been made:
Because it’s not a fucking sequel.
Mean Girls tied up the story nicely at the end and a sequel would have been taking the characters someplace else (like university, sorry ‘college’), making ocassional references to the first film without over doing it, thrown in a couple of old jokes with a load of fresh new humour, played with some gentle satire of teenage pregnancy and made us all smile again at the end with that floofy feeling. Mean Girls 2 is in no way a sequel unless you’re looking at it from the perspective of Principal (“Hell, no. I did NOT leave the South Side for this!”) Duvall who has lost his love interest of Ms. Norbury (played by Tina Fey) in this sloppily done “follow up”. Mean Girls was a film that should not have had a “sequel” made. Just like Donnie Darko did not need a number two and the resulting product was a huge pile of it. Same goes for The Butterfly Effect.
I guess the main morals of this story are that if it’s a straight to TV/DVD film, it’s generally going to be pants and if you’re going to make a “sequel” to a popular film, make it canon with at least the main characters recast in their roles, the screenwriter being in charge of the script or a clearcut sequel with new characters and some form of link to the first film. Not every romantic tragedy is called Romeo and Juliet (and thank fuck or we’d be into the 1000s), not every romantic comedy is called The Taming of the Shrew and by the same logic, not every teen comedy is called “Let’s rip off the most recent popular film of this genre that we can think of because we can’t do a better job at being original”.
If Tina Fey was dead, I’d say that she was turning in her grave. However she’s far from it and I sincerely hope that she’s at the very least facepalmed many times and made some calls to her lawyers for ABC/Paramount making people think that she’s in any way related to this giant turd.