The Rage: Carrie II

In Carrie (1976) and The Rage Carrie II (1999), high school students pick on a girl whose revenge comes when she unleashes telekenetic powers. The current Mean Girls, directed by Mark S. Waters, is based on an opposite premise, a “queen bee” girl who picks on others and controls her friends who gets her comeuppance. Regina (played by Rachel McAdams) is the nasty girl. The location is North Shore High School in Evanston, Illinois. Voiceovers are by Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan), who at the age of sixteen enters her first public school, having been homeschooled in Africa by zoologist parents, who now teach at Northwestern University. On her first day of school, Cady discovers that students are so egocentric, misanthropic, nasty, petty, and unfriendly that she takes her lunch to a toilet stall, but afterward she is befriended by Janis (played by Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (played by Daniel Franzese), respectively a gay and a Lesbian, who on the second day identify the various cliques of students dining together, including three egocentric girls, Regina and her skanky puppets Gretchen (played by Lacey Chabert) and Karen (played by Amanda Seyfried); Janis calls them The Plastics. On the third day, Regina invites Cady to lunch with them, though Janis and Damian await her presence at their lunchtable. Later, Janis urges Cady to continue dining with The Plastics so that she can report gossip. One item of gossip is that Regina has a Burn Book, a scrapbook in which she letters nasty epithets underneath photographs of various high school students and teachers. Meanwhile, Cady develops a crush on handsome Aaron (played by Jonathan Bennett). To get his attention, she pretends that she needs a tutor. Regina and Jonathan previously broke up, but she tries to rekindle the flame at a Hallowe’en party to frustrate Cady. Upset, Cady reports Regina’s antics to Janis and Damian. Janis proposes an all-out war on Regina, with a three-point plan: (1) Get Jonathan to hate her, (2) Make her fat, (3) And have her lose her “skanks.” When the plan works, however, Regina gets even by turning in the Burn Book as Cady’s project and releasing photocopies of pages from the book in the school hallway. Soon, the girls are fighting one another, a chaos that even Mr. Duvall, the principal (played by Tim Meadows), cannot stop. Mean Girls ends up as a morality story about teenage egocentrism, resolved by Mrs. Norbury (played by Tina Fey), a math teacher who uses a clever strategy to bring order and peace as well as a prestigious award to North Shore High School within a week. As a shocking introduction to current teenage concerns and teenage slang, Mean Girls, based on the nonfiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes (2002) by Rosalind Wiseman, is indeed “fetch.” MH

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