May 2, 2004|Mark S. Waters looks a little like Colin Firth and hails from the banal horrors of South Bend, IN. As we chatted politely in his suite at Denver's Hotel Teatro, I noticed that his speech is halted by a little stammering now and again, which I interpreted as nerves or excitement or, perhaps, both. Mr. Waters's laughter, though, when it comes, is booming and infectious. Mainly there to ask him about his interesting debut film The House of Yes, about his treatment of Asians in his two Lindsay Lohan vehicles, and about how it was that he found himself directing a parade of 'tween flicks after so auspicious a beginning, I have to say, after a time it dawned on me that Mr. Waters was in fact desirous of a mainstream career. Call it hopelessly Pollyannaish, but it had literally never occurred to me that people who make debuts as cunning as The House of Yes would consciously move on to safe and popular films. That being said, Mr. Waters has expressed that Mean Girls will be the last flick of this sort for him, and as swan songs go, one could do worse: it's not very good, but in a culture of lowered expectations, sometimes you take what you can get.