Lohan finds plastic

Every high school has them. They are overly Mystic-tanned in the dead of winter and wear tight clothes that expose their thongs and excess skin. They have superiority complexes. They are the A-list chick clique, high school royalty. In “Mean Girls,” the new teen comedy from Paramount, they’re known as “the Plastics.”

When Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) and her parents move from Africa to the United States, Cady’s life changes dramatically. After being home-schooled and having minimal social interaction, the leap to high school is a big one. But the Plastics quickly take a liking to her.

Cady’s artsy friend, Janis (relative newcomer Lizzy Caplan), who has a personal vendetta against the Plastics’ monarch, Regina (Rachel McAdams, “The Hot Chick”), urges her to infiltrate the group to garner gossip. However, the plan goes awry and claws come out when Cady falls for Regina’s ex, Aaron (Jonathan Bennett, TV’s “All My Children”). Talk about survival of the fittest.

At first glance, “Mean Girls” appears to be another uninspired teen comedy. But while it’s no instant classic, it’s still an enjoyable film. Only because I found her slightly tolerable in comparison, I sided with Lohan in her feud with Hilary Duff. But Lohan’s performance was still less than breathtaking. I guess expectations can’t be that high for an actress whose last big film was titled “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.”

McAdams is quite believable as a conniving bitch and Lacey Chabert (TV’s “Party of Five”) and Amanda Seyfried (also of “All My Children”) are also amusing as McAdams’ army of skanks, dim-witted rich girl Gretchen and dim-witted tramp Karen, respectively. The return of a handful of recent “Saturday Night Live” alums (Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Tim Meadows and Amy Poehler) to the big screen is delightful. Writer Fey serves up a clever script based on Rosalind Wiseman’s 2003 novel “Queen Bees and Wannabes.” But while the script had potential, it would have been better utilized by a different director, as Mark S. Waters relies on too many clich?s in his final cut.

Most of the film is scarily plausible, and the parts that aren’t are pretty tacky. With humor primarily aimed at females, I’d suggest passing on this one if you carry a Y-chromosome. Despite its many funny moments, the film isn’t really a must-see.

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