A lazy rainy Sunday brought two movies into my view. The first was pay-per-view on cable called Mean Girls. This teen movie turned out to be very funny. Lindsay Lohan plays the part of Cady Heron, previously home-schooled and brought up in the wilds of Africa. She arrives at a US high school and is bewildered by the new environment. Regina George rules the roost as Queen Bee of the popular girls — known as “the Plastics” and Cady enters the clique with a secret agenda to bring them down.
A very funny plot twists its way along from there, with Cady, finally, of course, growing up.
Rachel McAdams played the part of Regina, with a startling resemblance to Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager). That was very disconcerting.
Most of the teens portrayed in the movie seemed to be somewhat lacking in the brains department, setting up the moment I found funniest: in order to lure Regina’s current boyfriend into the projection room where Regina was cheating on him Cady pinned a notice on the board: Swim team practice tonight in the Projection Room. Boyfriend dutifully heads upstairs. (Yeah, well, maybe you had to see the movie … )
And then, at the other end of the scale was Ladies in Lavender, which I watched with good friends at the lovely Lighthouse Cinema in Petone. It’s a cosy cinema with very comfy couches and an excellent sound system which was perfect for the beautiful music in the film. It’s the 1930’s and two elderly women find a young foreign man washed up on the beach. They take him in and lives are changed. The lead women in the film, Ursula and Janet, are played by Judi Dench and Maggie Smith — two superb actresses — with Miriam Margolyes matching their skill in the role of the housekeeper Dorcas.
Again, with the actors who resemble other actors: Olga was played by Natascha McElhone, who seemed to me to be the spitting image of Meryl Streep.
I found the movie delightful and inspiring. The gorgeous music reminded me that I love good music and made me realize that I only ever listen to “small” music — the music itself may be stunning but heard on a car radio or small bathroom radio or even on my iPod with Apple earbuds it just doesn’t have the scope to soar and be free.
The story worked on many levels, filled with nuance and subtlety as complex relationships developed and played out. Beautifully done, memorable, satisfying.