First-Person Voice-Over Narration
The Voice in Her Head…
Cady's position as not just the new kid at North Shore High School, but totally new to school, period, makes her a unique narrator. Her voice-over confessions and observations are those of an interested outsider.
They're half science and half journalism. Fresh off the African savanna, she studies her new classmates like a pack of hyenas. Their customs are foreign to her, and she's ready to learn; all that's missing is the field notebook.
Cady's voice-overs let us inside her head. She tells us directly what she's thinking and feeling. We know where she stands about everything—and everyone. To that end, the narration is used as a tool of direct characterization. For example, we don't have to infer that Cady's upset at Regina when Regina kisses Aaron at the Halloween party; we have Cady's screaming voice-over where she calls her a b**** to make things crystal clear.
…Is A Narrative Thread
The film's use of voice-over narration isn't just used to characterize Cady, her friends, and her enemies. It's also a thread that helps hold Mean Girls together. Structurally speaking, Mean Girls plays like a series of comedy sketches—which makes sense given writer Tina Fey's background as the first female head writer of the granddaddy of all sketch comedy shows, Saturday Night Live.
While Mean Girls' scenes all share the same themes, like social class and femininity, they're all self-contained. The three-way calling attack. The Halloween party. Candy cane-grams. "Jingle Bell Rock." Another three-way calling attack. Rarely do the scenes bleed into one another or overlap. Mean Girls' narrative breezes through Cady's entire junior year of high school in a tight ninety-seven minutes, and Cady's inner monologue is what holds it all together.