Mean Girls

I felt distress over my class, and tried to hold everything together through one last lecture for the week. I returned home and browsed through the record store. I bought CDs of John Lennon and Alabama Shakes. I saw Super Dave Osborne on the Tonight Show before I walked over to the theatre to see the night’s Flashback Feature, which was “Mean Girls.” It was best movie I’d ever seen with Lindsay Lohan in it. She was a girl named Cady who had been homeschooled in Africa until her mother got tenure at Northwestern University. Her face still looked young and pretty, and her hair didn’t have that unnatural blonde color to it. It was difficult to believe that she could be any good at math. Cady was a fool for being attracted to her classmate who could have been James Franco. He could barely tell one idea from another. Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried were two of the mean girls. One other of the key girls was named Janis Ian, presumably named after the singer of “At Seventeen.” Amy Poehler is Rachel’s mother, while Tina Fey is Cady’s math teacher. Cady’s first day at her high school is rather bad, but not as bad as what we saw in “Inside Out.” This was supposed to be a good high school, but I hardly saw anybody doing any work. They talked about the popular girls, spread rumors, went to parties, and generally acted stupid. Cady was supposed to infiltrate this group of girls and report on their foolish ways, but she gets sucked into the situation. The movie reminded me of parts of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” plus “Clueless.” It was made ten years after “Clueless.” Regina really must have been dumb if she couldn’t deduce the reason for her weight gain. Cady made some horrible mistakes. I found the massive fight towards the end too much. I could not believe in the business of healing through opening up, which seemed like an adult’s concept of a solution. How did Cady get out to be in the math competition? I didn’t really want to know the answer to that. The ending with the tiara and the speech was so contrived that it made me groan. It was as bad as those Academy Award nomination comments for the acting Oscars a few years back. The ending that we see for all the characters is too tidy. Everybody gets an amusing or peaceful resolution, which is not believable when you stop to think about it. We don’t take is seriously, though, because the whole thing is a silly comedy. I didn’t see much of cell phones or pop music, although the girls did perform “Jingle Bell Rock.” I got tired of seeing this adolescent story. A man looks for a woman who is reliable. All these teenagers are missing the point in all their self-absorption. The cast was not of my generation. They were young and far removed from anything I experienced at that age. Watching this movie, I wondered what went wrong with Lindsay Lohan. She was in Robert Altman’s last movie, and then she took some really terrible parts. The audience responded positively to the movie, although there was no big ovation at the end of it. The time was about 10:53 when it was over, and I walked back home to catch a bit of the news and Jimmy Kimmel. I fell asleep. I caught the replay of the sports highlights, seeing that the Warriors won their game in Orlando. Stephen Curry kept scoring those points, and on this night it was 51. I saw James Corden in front of a green screen doing some bit that didn’t seem very funny. I wanted the work week to be over because I was tired and discouraged. These students are so thoroughly mediocre, and only a few are going anywhere. My computer decided to install Windows 10 updates, locking me out for quite some time and adding to my frustration. I watched the end of “Reds.” It was still a good movie to me, although I hated to see the end credits speeded up to ruin the impact of those last moments. Diane Keaton turned in one of her best performances. I had listened to the Scriptnotes podcast about “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” which got a lot of praise. “Reds” was released at the end of the same year, 1981, and it also had an excellent script. These days you don’t see characters written or portrayed as well as John Reed, Louise Bryant, and Eugene O’Neill were in this film. It took a while for me to settle down to get ready for sleep again. I just wanted a quiet day and a good afternoon at the movies before going to work again. I had some chapters of my novel to read before I had to work on my income tax forms. Some of the people who died on February 26 include Roy Eldridge (1989), David Doyle (1997), and Lawrence Tierney (2002). Today is a birthday for Fats Domino (88). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment, the Rolling Stones released their single “19th Nervous Breakdown” in 1966. In 1970, the Beatles album “Hey Jude” was released. In 1977, the Eagles’ “New Kid in Town” was the Number One single. In 1988, “Hairspray,” starring Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, and Jerry Stiller, was released. Brooks noted that it was Fats Domino’s birthday, playing a snippet of “Blueberry Hill.”

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