I Was Personally Victimized by Mean Girls
As is the case with most of you, I’m sure, there are certain movies I can watch anytime, anywhere, and quote at the drop of a hat. The Big Lebowksi. Smokey and the Bandit. To Kill a Mockingbird. Any of the Star Wars films. The Godfather. The Italian Job (the original one with Michael Caine, thank you very much!).
Yes, Mean Girls. My hand on Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, if you’ve never seen this Lindsay Lohan cult classic, you’re missing out on one of this century’s best satires. It’s brilliantly written, smartly directed, with a Tarantino level of quotability matched by the sort of comedic timing we haven’t seen nearly enough of since Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor last graced the screen together. And I make no apologies for any of the above.
So when my local art-house cinema held a screening of the film on—what else?—October 3, I was so there, despite having last streamed it on Netflix like three weeks ago. And the preshow buzz was everything I could have hoped for. My Karen Smith shirt was a huge hit. The feeling of community reached levels I haven’t experienced since opening night for The Force Awakens. A few early arrivers even gave up their seats so my girlfriends and I could hog an entire row near the back of the theater. When the lights dimmed, the energy in the room was positively plastic.
And then it all went straight to hell in a Fendi handbag. The crowd I fell in love with before the curtains opened quickly became my bane. Chattering was incessant, and not in a Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of way. That I could have embraced. A few hundred of my closest strangers shouting, “You go, Glen Coco!” or the ever popular, “You smell like a baby prostitute,” would have been the highlight of my entire life.
But no. It was all Chatty Cathys gossiping about Lohan’s rap sheet or talking about the weather or griping about Café Louisa moving to a new location because, “Giiiirrrrl, I used to love being able to get my highlights did at Seville Salon and then grab me a iced chai latte without even crankin’ my car!”
Normally, I would have been a shushing machine, but the crowd could have been pin-drop silent and the sound still would have sucked. The fidelity from my phone is seriously better, even sans headphones.
So, yeah. I’m pretty much done. Barring must-see-right-this-very-now films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I think I’ve viewed my last movie with the unwashed masses. Why bother when the picture and sound are so undeniably superior at home, where I can control who walks in the front door? The simple fact is that if commercial cinemas—even independent ones—want to survive in this age of instantly accessible media, they need to offer an experience I can’t get at home. And no—a bigger, fuzzier picture and unpoliced throngs of motormouthed humanity don’t count.
So, if you’re looking for me next October 3, you’ll find me in my media room, Blu-ray player at the ready, with couches stuffed to capacity and beanbag chairs strewn around the floor for the latecomers. And it’ll be a Wednesday, so you can rest assured we’ll be wearing pink, bitches.
Dennis Burger is an avid Star Wars scholar, Tolkien fanatic, and Corvette enthusiast
who somehow also manages to find time for technological passions including
high-end audio, home automation, and video gaming. He lives in the armpit of
Alabama with his wife Bethany and their four-legged child Bruno, a 75-pound
American Staffordshire Terrier who thinks he’s a Pomeranian.