Age restriction: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Raised in the African bush country by her zoologist parents, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) thinks she knows about "survival of the fittest." But the law of the jungle takes on a whole new meaning when the home-schooled 15-year-old enters public high school for the first time and falls prey to the psychological warfare and unwritten social rules that teenage girls face today. The cutting wit of Tina Fey (the first female head writer for Saturday Night Live) brilliantly fuses pop culture and smart satire. Fey wrote Mean Girls, in which a formerly home-schooled girl named Cady (Lindsay Lohan) gets dropped into the sneaky, vicious world of the Plastics, three adolescent glamour-girls who dominate their public high school's social hierarchy. Cady first befriends a couple of art-punk outsiders who persuade her to infiltrate the Plastics and destroy them from within--but power corrupts, and Cady soon finds the glory of being a Plastic to be seductive. Mean Girls joins the ranks of Clueless, Bring It On, and Heathers, cunning movies that use the hormone-pressurized high school milieu to put the dark impulses of human nature--ambition, envy, lust, revenge--under a comic microscope. Fey manages to skewer everyone without forgetting the characters' hapless humanity; it's a dazzling and delightful balancing act. --Bret Fetzer