Mean Girls 2 (2011)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mean Girls 2
Some nights call for a silly chick flick, with or without substance. If they happen to have “more” to their plot, great. If not... well it’s never a bad thing to enjoy a good laugh. Stories that revolve around the angst of high school life are a dime a dozen. This film poses the time-old question nearly all “teen” films do: who is the most popular? That is the running idea behind this movie.

Leaving a string of schools in her wake – thanks to her dad’s profession, high school senior, Jo Mitchell (Meaghan Martin) is now ready to stay in one place for the duration of her senior year. This will lead up to her attending her dream school Carnegie Mellon. Something of a tomboy, Jo isn’t looking to make friends or be involved in any girl drama and she certainly isn’t looking for a boyfriend. But on the first day of school, Jo is witness to the “The Plastics” playing mean-spirited tricks on Abby (Jennifer Stone), a loner. Led by Mandi (Maiara Walsh), the majority of the student body is impressed with Jo’s fearless attitude standing-up to The Plastics. Following a series of events, Abby’s father offers to pay Jo to be Abby’s friend and from there, things get more complicated than Jo bargained for.  

Studios trying to capitalize on popular films take to producing many a sequel. This particular one follows the cult classic big-screen movie Mean Girls. It aired on ABC Family and then went directly to DVD. In most respects this isn’t a direct or indirect continuation to the 2004 Lindsay Lohan film (from what I understand). The story follows the exact same idea of its predecessor, boasts the same Principal (Tim Meadows) character and shares the title, but that is where the common similarities stop (the primary cast is missing). Not only is the storyline cute, but the whole premise of the movie upholds a more wholesome way of telling its story – or from reading and the conversations I’ve had with those who have (I’ve never watched the former).

Mean Girls 2

Putting aside its similar formula to that of Tina Fey’s original, this “sequel” somehow manages to be funny and most importantly impart a lesson Jo desperately needed to learn. Most of Jo’s irresponsible mistakes are met with disappointment and for a period of time, consequences. Her father shows disappointment but believes in her to make things right; her friends don’t immediately forgive her yet they support her (when she's set up). What this film does with its messages, it does well. In life, our mistakes might not immediately catch up to us, but chances are at some point that past blunder will find you. There is a lot of good to be said in this film about the meaning of true friendship and that’s worth something. Jo didn’t want to get caught up in a bullying scheme with her peers, but she did and in the end came out a better person for the experience.  

While the film has some good things to say, it lacks some style. The production itself isn’t the greatest with its “dreamy” cues and the sometimes overacting. That being said, I think some of it was intentional because though it has a good heart, boil this down and really, it’s a chick flick. A cute script and bubbly cast make this a cute alternative to some of the films out there. Plus the ending is delightfully sweet.  

(Content: Jokes arise about a girl who’s never been kissed and is presumably a virgin still, and one of the Plastics is constantly being “used” to get the information Mandi wants. [I.E., jokes are made about her “doing” anyone and several times she’s caught making out at school.] There may be a few slaps of sexual innuendo, but nothing terrible [all the guys think Jo is hot]. Mainly, lies and pranks - some mean, others over-the-top silly - are the basis of the film. There is some minor profanity. The film is rated PG13.)

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