Mary is this whiny brat who dreams of becoming an actress; she wants to so badly that she speaks in Shakespearean droning dialogue but never really says much, and is smart enough to know the works of George Bernard Shaw, but isn’t smart enough to know that Jersey isn’t that far from New York. Regardless, she gets into a tizzy when she is forced to move from New York to New Jersey with her family (reasons unexplained) and thus her chances of becoming an actress are ruined… well, she really is a drama queen, ever hear of something called the LIRR? It’s this huge train station with trains that takes people wherever they want, and, big surprise, you can go from Jersey to New York in only three hours. How can the writers omit such a logical detail such as that?
Regardless, we’re supposed to be dumb enough to believe Jersey and New York are thousands of miles away and she then moves to Jersey which the set designers make a point of dressing as a basic wasteland, and then this is where it gets a little hazy for me. Gail Parent’s script is very incoherent and the movie, well, it’s very messy and doesn’t really have a plot. Seriously, it has zero plot structure, it’s just a lot of unrelated events cut and pasted into this twisted film which gallops from incoherent gag to incoherent gag without any real sense to it. But much of it is compiled of under developed segments including Mary’s rivalry with the resident school bitch, Mary trying to get into a play, and then making a play, and then trying to get to New York, and then trying to get her favorite band together, and then it goes on and on like that for a really painful one hour and forty five minutes, but while there’s no thought to the script, there are the clichés, and boy do they shoot rapid fire!
Mary’s parents are inept and prude, and oblivious to her antics, her best friend is not as attractive as her (so she wont upstage Lohan), and is so geeky she even has these librarian glasses, her teachers are eccentric, and then there’s the school’s resident snobby bitches led by the really hot Megan Fox. Lets not forget the bland love interest courtesy of Eli Marienthal. These clichés are tiring and so damn predictable, so why couldn’t a film adapted from a hyped book come up with something more original? Lindsay Lohan is really, really bad in here. We don’t buy that she’s a drama queen, we don’t buy the dramatic lines she delivers, we don’t buy she’s a New Yorker/debutante/bohemian, and we don’t buy the rivalry between her and Carla (Fox) because the two are so hateful and obnoxious, we ask “why aren’t they friends, instead?” Clearly both of the girls are completely obnoxious and utterly hateful, but halfway through the film I could understand why Carla had it in for Mary, because eventually I was rooting for her, and even I wanted to stuff her in a trash compactor and pull the lever.
Mary is completely despicable and it’s hard to imagine why someone so self-centered and vain would have any redeeming qualities. There’s no atmosphere, no chemistry, no build-up, no sub plot involving them and Eli Marianthal’s character is barely in the film to begin with. The friendship between Mary and Ella is far-fetched, because why would Ella become friends with Mary in the first place? And why does everyone treat Mary like a foreigner? She’s from New York, that’s not that far from Jersey! It’s not like it’s another continent. There’s a lot of unnecessary camp for a movie that tries to take itself seriously, and this just reminded me of “I Love Lucy” sans the entertainment. This is the type of movie that has that influence on girls whether they intend to or not, and within the story and morals they give us, they only help to advocate and condone girls to become spoiled obnoxious brats who whine, scheme and lie to get whatever they want and then hope to get rewarded for it. Though Lohan and Fox are fun to look at, and Allison Pill is adorable, the film is pure mindless, ridiculous fluff.