I LOVE MEAN GIRLS. I find it to be the defining teenage comedy of the 2000s, and one that’s immensely funny (thanks Tina Fey). So when I met all the other screenwriters in my program, it was no surprise that they too loved this film.
I love everything about the film. Its cutaway humor, the way each joke is set up and knocked down with precise efficiency and rhythm, and even Lindsay Lohan, who manages to make herself lovable even as a total bitch. Most of all, however, I love the music and its positioning by director Mark Waters.
That is, until the other day. Something usurped that.
SPOILER ALERT: This is a personal story. Sorry in advance.
I had a college scene that I wrote that never seemed to fit in a movie I’d written. It’s comedic in nature. A guy hooks up with a girl (totally sober, both) at a party. The next morning, he calls her up. This is the conversation that ensues:
GUY: Hey Keely! This is Matt!
GIRL: Who the fuck are you?
GUY: Matt! From the party last night? We made out?
GIRL: …who the fuck are you?
*GIRL hangs up.*
Well, a similar thing happened to me just the other day.
You know that moment when you meet a cute musician and your eyes light up? Yeah, happened to me. She was super cool. Liked (and had heard of) Guillemots, Patrick Wolf, Jarvis Cocker. The good shit.
So I invited her to join me and my screenwriter friends at a friend’s apartment for a living room screening of–you guessed it–Mean Girls. She sat next to me in a teeny tiny chair when there were other seats open. Whoa. This is new territory for the socially awkward kid. So what else do I do but something stupid. Make a move. I slid my hand underneath hers and intertwined fingers. It stayed that way for the remainder of the film.
Anyway, as you can probably guess from the scene analogy, I don’t think she’s too interested. But that’s not the point. The point is that the soundtrack to Mean Girls is supremely underrated, for it adds an extra dimension of emotion and feeling to the film.
Samantha Ronson’s “Built This Way” (click the link for download), used as a triptych in the film (much like “Hand Covers Bruise” was used in The Social Network) exemplifies this. The song reflects the emotional and thematic undercurrent of the film. Love and being loved, not just by cute boys, but by peers, and Regina George. The song’s 80s-esque chorus guitar tone, smart lyrics and imperfect vocal lines reflect the anxiety, insecurity, and eternal wonder of being a teenager. It was the soundtrack to our teenage hand games as much as it was to the Mean Girls Spring Fling.
So I wondered what happened to Samantha Ronson, the sister of famed producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran). Turns out she ended up in a lesbian relationship with Lindsay Lohan (or not). And her career hasn’t gone so well either, being dropped from her label. But I hope that what she does next is good; she’s focusing on DJing. Because as Vincent said, there are far too few female MCs in the universe.