One day last month I had an impromptu double feature with Mean Girls and Easy A. It’s not a stretch to figure out why these two go well together. They’re both comedies about female protagonists dissecting and disrupting the hierarchy of high school life. They’re a natural fit. Which one is better, though? Read on to find out.
The days before the craziness and the drugs took hold of Lindsay Lohan were very good to the young actress. Mean Girls is her best work (of what I’ve seen, of course). She plays Cady, a girl entering public school for the first time after only being home schooled in South Africa. She struggles to adjust to high school’s soul crushing ways before becoming friends with Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese. Soon enough, they hatch a plan to take down the queen bitch of the school, Rachel McAdams.
Interestingly enough, Tina Fey’s script was based on a self-help book geared to help parents understand high school life. The movie is smart and very funny. The humor is so densely packed that every facet of the movie has premium jokes. From Tina Fey’s well-meaning teacher, Tim Meadows as the principal and Amy Poehler as the cringe inducing “cool mom”, no supporting character goes to waste. Enough time is divided between the “plastics” and Lizzy Caplan’s group that the movie never drags.
I’ve seen Mean Girls a few times over the years and I always have a great time watching it. It’s a great sendup of high school life and a perfect example of why Tina Fey is a force to be reckoned with. Now that 30 Rock is finished, I really hope Fey writes more movies. The big screen deserves her.
Easy A came out of nowhere to me. I was skeptical going into it the first time I saw it. Emma Stone charmed me in Superbad but, other than that, I didn’t really have much to go on. As of now, I’ve probably watched Easy A twice as many times as I’ve seen Mean Girls. Easy A follows the trials and tribulations of Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) as she turns her school’s rumor mill to her advantage.
Easy A serves as a tribute to 80s teen movies while also managing to forge its own path paved with originality and wit. Emma Stone is incredible. Amanda Bynes, Stanley Tucci and Aly Michalka are scene-stealers. Cam Gigandet even plays against type and delivers a memorable performance.
The movie plays out as Olive is broadcasting a webcam show/confessional where she tells the internet the story of her misjudgment in an effort to clear her reputation. This gives the audience act breaks that make it hard not to love Emma Stone. The actress and the script make watching a teenage girl in her bedroom engaging and not illegal. The movie is paced very well with a story that takes some unexpected and very welcome turns. It’s a movie you can watch repeatedly with no fear of boredom.
Both movies are great teen comedies that aren’t designed strictly for teens. They’re smart and lend themselves very well to many a repeat viewing. Having said that, I have to give the edge to Easy A. The movie’s ode to 80s movies spoke to me more than anything in Mean Girls. And I felt like the story was just a little better. You really can’t go wrong with either movie.