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Saturday, 28 July 2018

Mean Girls vs Heathers


Mean Girls is one of the most witty, entertaining and awesome films ever in my opinion. Its a movie I never tire of. The other day I watched it and then watched it again two days later. I've seen it hundreds of times. Its quotable, the characters are ace, and the storyline is awesome. I get that it isn't a 'great' movie like The Godfather, but for its genre (teen comedy/drama) I think it's wonderful.
And then I watched Heathers. 

I know MG was inspired by Heathers, however I feel like the two are apples and oranges - similar genre, but taste very different. Its like comparing Game of Thrones with Lord of the Rings (which I did in a post I'll link at the bottom).

I had heard about Heathers and remember watching a trailer for it years ago and thought it looked a bit odd and random. I watched it earlier today and holy shit, I had to force myself to finish it in hope it would improve by the end. I wouldn't say I hated it, but I found it soooo boring, lame, uninteresting and totally weird. I get the surrealist elements of it, but they seemed randomly thrust in there. I also get that its supposed to be a deadpan satire of the absurdity of high school life, which in turn just turned it into an absurd, stupid and deadpan film.

I know lots of people love it and this is just my opinion. The only character that was interesting to me was Veronica. The movie is supposed to be about this bitchy clique, yet we hardly really see much of the Heathers. The first one seems like a promisingly rude and cruel character, but then she gets killed off. What makes MG so iconic is the evil Regina George, the villain we love to hate. She has depth and motivations. The Heathers just seem like cardboard cut-out cruel characters. The other two are one-dimensional; one is just a wannabe 'nasty leader' who tries to act like the first one who died, and the other is a nice but depressed girl on the verge of a mental breakdown.

And then there's JD. Oh God, this guy. At first he's this attractive cool guy who realizes that Veronica's friends are vindictive brats. But then it turns out he's this deranged sociopath who just wants to kill people and blow up the school because, oh horror, nobody loves him. The way the rest of the characters treat the deaths as well are so unbelievably ridiculous - I get that's the point of the movie but even so, its cringey to watch. As if people can be so ignorant to not suspect there to be a pattern of popular kids randomly 'committing suicide.'

But again I get that this movie is satirizing the absurdity of high school and the cliques. The only one who gets it at the end is Veronica, who befriends the fat outcast girl Martha. Things look hopeful as Veronica calls herself the 'new sheriff.' I liked her a lot, but I didn't like the way the movie was executed. I felt that there could have been more depth to the Heathers - why are they so popular? The Plastics are 'teen royalty' in the words of Damien and get given a perfectly sequenced introduction. But the Heathers aren't made much of. They're just glamorous, unkind and dress in a way that I'm guessing was considered fashionable in the 1980s. (And they play croquet. Really? Was that considered 'cool' back then?)

A lot of the movie seemed to me to be random with no real storyline. There's a few mean people at school; the nice girl meets the bad boy who decides hey, let's kill the mean people and make it look like they committed suicide; the nice girl realizes the bad boy is a crazy person and then backs away, and then she ends up saving the school from his Project Mayhem attempt of bringing us all 'back to the beginning.'

I enjoy many satires; American Psycho is a film I adore. It satirizes the absurdity of 1980s yuppie culture. But unlike Heathers, AP is actually very funny and has a consistent plot, not to mention is character driven by Patrick Bateman's psychopathic insanity. Heathers just seemed like a movie that went 'look here, high school is sooo stupid!' and threw in a bunch of random scenes. Besides the fact that its set in an American high school and mildly highlights the teen cliques, its not all that similar to MG.

Yeah, give me The Breakfast Club and Mean Girls over Heathers any day. I like movies that are fun and entertaining and have some element of logic to them, rather than just being crazy for the sake of craziness. Rick and Morty is rife with absurdist humour and satire, but it has an overarching point. Who knows, maybe with a re-watch I'll enjoy Heathers one day, but not today.

I'm going to post a full article about why I love Mean Girls probably later today or tomorrow. Have you seen Heathers? Do you like it? Do you think its similar to MG or not really? Let me know!

Related articles:

https://filmschoolrejects.com/mean-girls-takes-a-smarter-funnier-approach-to-snooty-high-school-bitches-than-heathers-ce1fce60dc7c/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/apr/30/fetch-happens-why-mean-girls-is-the-perfect-teen-movie

Related posts:

https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2018/06/the-genius-of-american-psycho.html

https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2018/03/game-of-thrones-vs-lord-of-rings.html

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