What an excellent debate we saw trending on Friday here in the United States.
A battle between two modern comedy movie titans.
In one corner, Cady Heron, Regina George, Gretchen Wieners, and Karen Smith in “Mean Girls”.
In the other corner, Seth, Evan, and *bleeping* Mclovin in “Superbad”.
Which is the better movie? And which is the funnier movie?
Really, there is no wrong answer here. But if you force me to choose..
Mean Girls. And yes, Mean Girls.
I don’t make the decision too easily. Both of these films get the highest of funny movie recommendations I can offer, but “The Plastics” get the nod.
Tina Fey takes the tough way to longer lasting laughs: Mean Girls is more complicated and thought out humor. There are so many quotes here. Take your pick, they’re all funny and when you say them in a crowd people pick up on them even though the film is 16 years old. Superbad is still hilarious but period blood, liquor store beatdowns, and pictures of genitalia takes a little less thinking out. I enjoyed them both but Tina still has us laughing harder years later.
Superbad is brilliant, but it’s still a party movie. Mean Girls is a life phase: There are a lot of party movies out there. “Booksmart” another great movie, is a party film. “Can’t Hardly Wait”, “Project X”, and many more draw from that kind of energy. Mean Girls has a longer and ultimately more satisfying story arc. Almost everyone in the film has changed by the time the credits roll. There is development with Evan and Seth but nowhere near as deep.
Everyone gets a chance to shine in Mean Girls: There is one academy award among the two casts. It belongs to Emma Stone who plays Jonah Hill’s love interest in “Superbad”, but the story doesn’t have enough room for her to move because it’s so concentrated on the guys. Mean Girls gives time to everyone, including the wonderful Lizzy Kaplan, who plays Janis Ian, as well as Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows.
Mean Girls does some teaching: Superbad offers a surprisingly sweet lesson on friendship. Mean Girls goes further with a demonstration of the dangers of a fake and toxic environment from beginning to end. In real life this stuff isn’t very funny, but the movie knows this and there are moments where it’s pointed out and everyone effected is literally locked up and forced to find a way to coexist.
Listen, I adore both films. But it’s such a great match up with no really easy angles. But in the end it was pretty evident.
“The limit does not exist.”