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WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2004
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Reel View
By Nicole Shelton and Laurie Davis

A biting teen flick; a fun love story

"Mean Girls" stars Lindsay Lohan as Cady, a 10th-grader who moves to Chicago after being home-schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents.

Cady is clueless as she enters her first day of high school, but is quickly enlightened and befriended by a rejected Goth, Janis, and Janis' gay best friend, Damian. They point out the three most popular girls — Regina, the queen bee, and her sidekicks, Gretchen and Karen — who represent the evil Plastics, the top of the high school food chain.

When the girls invite Cady to sit at their table, Janis persuades her to spy and participate in the downfall of the impregnable Plastics. All goes as planned until the Plastics' secret "Book of Slander" gets in the wrong hands, and chaos breaks loose.

"Mean Girls," written by Tina Fey of "Saturday Night Live," is based on the book "Queen Bees and Wannabes." It's a satire on the angst teenage girls feel as they try to fit in and find a friendly place amongst the jungle of social cliques, biting gossip and hormonal boys. Overall, I found the movie fresh, funny and biting with a few awkward scenes here and there that didn't seem to fit.

Tiny Fey plays Cady's math teacher and a smart and sympathetic group therapist to the girls. Tim Meadows and Amy Poehler of "SNL" add adult comic relief as the school principal and Regina's desperate-to-be-cool mother. Lohan excels in balancing the vulnerability of a teenager with her head on her shoulders. The Plastics are a sheer joy to watch as they strut through high school all coifed and empty.

"Mean Girls" is rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some teen partying. This includes references to homosexuality and sexual slang words.

Reel View: A biting and funny commentary on mean girls and the scratches they inflict as they claw their way through high school.

— Laurie Davis

"Laws of Attraction," starring Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan, is a romantic comedy about two high-profile, New York City divorce attorneys. Moore plays Audrey Woods, a successful, uptight, neurotic lawyer who plays by the rules, though her mother (Frances Fisher) does her best to persuade her otherwise. Brosnan is the disheveled, unprofessional Daniel, who infuriates Moore partly with his appearance and partly because he plays by his own rules.

Daniel is enamored with Audrey from their first meeting, though she doesn't notice how attractive he is until her man-crazy mother points it out. Audrey has sworn off dating because it leads to marriage, which she declares she has no faith in because of her occupation. Sounds like they were destined to be together, doesn't it?

Almost every critic I've read has panned this movie, but I enjoyed it. It wasn't that bad, and I went into it with fairly high expectations because I really like Moore and Brosnan.

They're fun to watch, though "Laws of Attraction" does not showcase these actors' best skills. Moore uses only two facial expressions throughout the hour and a half, but she looks especially great doing them. And Pierce Brosnan, ladies, need I say more?

Reel View: "Laws of Attraction" will certainly not go down as the best movie of the year, but it is entertaining and would be a fun date movie for the grown-up set. It's rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.

— Nicole Shelton

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