by Marco Marabello

Marco, a resident FreeP blogger on exchange from Italy, has spent his semester experiencing life in America. In this series, Marco discusses all his first experiences of different aspects of American life.

This week, I opted to watch “Mean Girls,” the ultimate motion picture about American high school life.


Given that I am trying to plunge myself into American culture to make the most of my study abroad, I thought that “Mean Girls” would give me some insights on what American high schools are like. The IMDb rating for the movie is a solid 7 out of 10, and compared to “Sharkboy and Lavagirl,” I was going to watch a masterpiece of the seventh art. As a plus, the screenplay was written by Tina Fey, a famous SNL writer and performer. Moreover, I didn’t know why, but “Mean Girls” was — and still is — a cultural phenomenon in the United States, and as I understand it, it is likely that every American has seen it at least once.

But what do I think about this movie?


First of all, it showed me the environment of an American high school, which is consistently different from that of an Italian high school. It seems that American high school is divided by social class, as exemplified by the tables in the lunchroom. There is a table for the nerds, a table for the football team, a table for the hot girls, etc… All groups are pretty isolated from the others, thus making it strange when the Plastics ask Cady to join them.

I wonder if American high school is really like this. All the American TV shows I watched back home tend to represent American school as socially divided. Sincerely I don’t know if it is something to laugh at or something to be worried about.


On the other side, I must acknowledge that the presence of different social groups at North Shore High entails a rich cultural diversity which I have never experienced in Italy. Not only are students from different economic and social backgrounds, but also differ ethnically and culturally. The American melting pot of cultures and nationalities is far more advanced than Italy’s, and maybe even Europe’s. This is probably because of the massive immigration to America over the past century, because since its foundation, the United States has been seen as a nation of countless possibilities. Personally, I would have probably learned a lot from classmates of different cultures and nationalities, but I wasn’t lucky enough to have one.

Overall, I think it is a movie worth seeing, as it is funny and faces problems such as bullying. The Burn Book is a Facebook wall ante litteram. The problem now is that everyone sees the mean thing that one is thinking about someone else. At least in 2004, nasty comments were kept in a secret book.