To me, Mean Girls (2004), which is ten years old this year, contains too much plot, but that’s not much of a fault. What’s more, the third time I saw it I thought the jokes were inadequately paced, but with a fourth viewing I realized they actually aren’t. So Tina Fey’s farce is delightfully watchable, an effective Hollywood comedy for once. Fey knows how to write one-liners—edgy, politically incorrect ones—and Mark Waters’s direction never drags them down. Plus the actors’ delivery of them is flawless.
A certain cognitive dissonance is created because Lindsay Lohan, the movie’s star, is likable, rather sweet, and we never would have expected the moral meltdown we later got from her. Her acting is spot-on, bearing the kind of pull that makes us miss her when she’s not on screen.