Mean Girls

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

Read David Stanners's film review of Mean Girls
Mean Girls

This is a Special Collector's Edition of Mean Girls, but don't worry, the only version you can get is the Collector's Edition, so if you have one you are special too.

The commentary is predominantly a discussion between the director and the writer, with the producer chirping in now and then with a humorous remark. It includes an unfortunate amount of silence and too much stating the obvious and giving opinions. More time should have been spent with anecdotes, but because of the pace of the film there is not much opportunity for this.

Copy picture

The featurettes are very different from each other and are satisfyingly long. Only The Strong Survive is a Making Of and well deserving of the title. You have the necessary plot talk, such as why the girls are mean to each other and how the actors have experienced this in real life, but the focus is most definitely on the cast. There is in depth analysis of the minor characters as well, which is a charming and welcome addition and sets this Making Of apart from most. There is not much focus on the craft, but then this is not a film that strives to be technically superior to others. The influence of screenwriter and star, Tina Rey, prevails and the chemistry between cast and crew becomes clear. At 25 minutes, this is a solid Making Of.

Politics Of A Girl World is the second featurette and focuses on the book, Queen Bees And Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman, upon which the film was based. This 10-minute extra goes into detail about the psychology of the girls and discusses the micro politics of high school. Whilst the interview segments with the author are interesting, there are also clips from the film to keep up the pace, as well as showing how the elements from the novel are translated onto the screen. This was so involving that it convinced my mother (who was in the room at the time) to ask for the book for Christmas. So take note: Queen Bees And Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

Plastic Fashion is a brief look at the wardrobe department, taking us into the designer's studio and providing details that you would not get in an average Making Of. Interesting for the fashion fanatic and short enough for those who don't care so much, but there is no denying the amount of thought, time and effort that goes into setting the scene.

Word Vomit is five minutes of outtakes that are the usual fare of fluffed lines with the odd funny moment - nothing wonderful, but easy going nevertheless.

There are quite a few deleted scenes, with optional director and writer commentary, which mainly features the director talking about the set ups of scenes, with the occasional silent gap. More explanation of why scenes were cut would not have gone amiss. Shoe Shopping is the best of the bunch, using the subtitle technique seen in Wayne's World, continuing the theme of pop culture references throughout the film (see also: Final Destination).

The Interstitials/TV Spots feature the characters talking to camera. These three spots are short but sweet and different from the trailer in that they have footage that is not in the film.

Mean Girls Special Collector's Edition is a grown up set of extras, not in the usual teen comedy style. The featurettes are its best feature, looking at the film maturely from every angle, as well as giving an intelligent analysis of Wiseman's book. They are not perfect and a few more comic clips would have been a bonus, but you are getting your money's worth.

An admirable effort and not mean in the least.

Reviewed on: 17 Dec 2004
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Mean Girls packshot
Teen comedy, where the new girl on the block tries to fit into an image-obsessed high school.
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Product Code: PHE8537

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.78 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Commentary by director Mark Waters, producer Lorne Michaels and screenwriter/actor Tina Fey; 3 featurettes; blooper reel; deleted scenes; Word Vomit; 3 Interstitials; trailer.

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