Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie review

Mean, yet spirited

Published May 3, 2004

[Paramount Pictures]
From left are Mean Girls actors Lindsay Lohan (Cady), Amanda Seyfried (Karen), Rachel McAdams (Regina) and Lacey Chabert (Gretchen).

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Mean Girls

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) has just moved to the United States after having spent her first 16 years growing up in the African Serengeti with her zoologist parents. During her first day of high school, she experiences some of the harsher aspects of teenage life in America - the cliques, the fads and the subculture's often brutal and sarcastic nature. After a rough, eye-opening first day, she finds a niche in a clique that calls itself "The Plastics." They are simultaneously the most loved and the most hated girls in the school - Karen (Amanda Seyfried), Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) and Regina (Rachel McAdams), the leader. Cady falls for Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), which sets Regina on a mission to ruin Cady's life, love and quickly growing popularity.

My View: This film playfully displays the conniving side of a teenage girl's mind. Though the story mainly is based on horribly stereotypical views of high school and high schoolers, it is immensely funny. The film is co-produced by Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of Saturday Night Live, and he definitely brings some of that influence to the table here. This film reminded me of a giant, really funny SNL skit (even including some SNL cast members and alums Tim Meadows and Ana Gasteyer). Lohan's acting is far more mature than it was in her recent release, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. As she matures, her acting is obviously getting better. Although this film grossly exaggerates what goes on in the daily life of a high school student, it is an extremely entertaining and fun outing for moviegoers.

Recommendations: The rating here is well-deserved. The language is surprisingly racy, even bordering on disgusting at times. There is a fair share of sexual content and partying/drinking. This one is aimed at the same age range the film deals with - high school teenagers. It surely won't disappoint.

Grade: B+

Billy Norris, 16, is in 10th grade at Seminole High and is a former member of the X-Team.

[Last modified April 30, 2004, 15:25:42]

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