Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Produced by||Lorne Michaels
|Screenplay by||Tina Fey|
|Based on||Queen Bees and Wannabes
by Rosalind Wiseman
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Editing by||Wendy Greene Bricmont|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||April 30, 2004|
|Running time||96 minutes|
Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film directed by Mark Waters. The screenplay was written by Tina Fey and is based in part on the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman, which describes how female high school social cliques operate and the effect they can have on girls. The film stars Lindsay Lohan and features a supporting cast of Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried (in her film debut), and Lizzy Caplan. The film was produced by Saturday Night Live (SNL) creator Lorne Michaels. Screenwriter and co-star of the film, Tina Fey, was a longtime cast member and writer for SNL. The film also features appearances from SNL cast members Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy Poehler. This film marks Lohan's second collaboration with director Mark Waters, the first one being Freaky Friday (2003).
The film received generally positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $129,042,871 worldwide.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2012)|
Cady (Lindsay Lohan) is the 16-year-old homeschooled daughter of zoologist parents (Ana Gasteyer and Neil Flynn). They have returned to the United States after residing in Africa for 12 years for their research. Cady is unprepared for her first day of public high school. With the help of Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damien (Daniel Franzese), Cady learns about the various cliques. She is warned to avoid the school's most exclusive clique, the Plastics, the reigning trio of girls led by the queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams). The Plastics take an interest in Cady, inviting her to sit with them at lunch and go shopping with them after school. Upon realizing that Cady has been accepted into the Plastics, Janis hatches a plan to get revenge on Regina, using Cady to infiltrate the Plastics.
Having ingratiated herself with the Plastics per Janis's plan, Cady learns about a "Burn Book." This notebook is Regina's top secret notebook filled with vicious rumors, secrets, and gossip about all the other girls (and teachers) in their class. Cady soon falls in love with Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), whom Regina successfully steals back from Cady in a fit of jealousy at a halloween party. Hurt and frustrated, Cady continues with Janis's plan, which involves cutting off Regina's "resources," separating her from Aaron, destroying her beauty, and turning Regina's fellow Plastics, insecure rich girl Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and sweet but ditzy Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried), against her.
In her efforts to get revenge on Regina, Cady gradually loses her individual personality and remakes herself in the image of Regina. She soon becomes as spiteful as Regina, abandoning Janis and Damien and focusing more on her image.
Regina responds by spreading the entire contents of her Burn Book around the school, inciting a riot. To avoid suspicion, Regina also inserts a fake libel of herself in the book in order to focus blame on Cady, Gretchen, and Karen. The riot is eventually quelled by Principal Duvall (Tim Meadows). Math teacher Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey), who also appeared in the Burn Book in which Cady slandered her by saying that she sold drugs, makes the girls realize that all of them are guilty of hurting their peers. She has each girl confess and apologize to the rest of the girls. When Janis's turn comes, Regina makes an insulting joke about her sexuality, to which the crowd laughs. Janis retaliates by confessing her plan to destroy Regina with Cady's help and openly mocks Regina with the support of the entire school. Regina storms out, pursued by an apologetic Cady, and gets hit by a school bus in her haste. Rumors circulate that Cady intentionally pushed Regina in front of the bus.
Now without friends, shunned by Aaron, and distrusted by everyone at school, even being distrusted by her own parents, Cady decides to make amends by taking full blame for the Burn Book. Though severely punished by her confession, her guilt dissolves and she returns to her old personality. As part of her punishment and her reformation, she joins the Mathletes, which Damien and Regina both described earlier as "social suicide," in their competition. There, Cady has an epiphany while competing against a very unattractive girl, realizing that even if she made fun of the girl's appearance it would not stop the girl from beating her.
At the Spring Fling dance, Cady is elected Spring Fling Queen, but in her acceptance speech, she declares her victory is meaningless: they are all wonderful in their own way and thus the victory belongs to everyone. As a symbolic gesture, she breaks her tiara and distributes the pieces to her classmates. Cady makes up with Janis and Damien, reconciles with Aaron, and reaches a truce with the Plastics.
The film ends with the Plastics disbanding by the start of the new school year: Regina joins the lacrosse team, Karen becomes the school weather girl, Gretchen joins the "Cool Asians", and Cady hangs out with Damien and Janis. Cady reflects that the "Girl World" is drama-free.
- Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron
- Rachel McAdams as Regina George
- Lizzy Caplan as Janis Ian
- Lacey Chabert as Gretchen Wieners
- Amanda Seyfried as Karen Smith
- Tina Fey as Ms. Sharon Norbury
- Tim Meadows as Mr. Ron Duvall
- Jonathan Bennett as Aaron Samuels
- Daniel Franzese as Damian
- Amy Poehler as Mrs. George
- Ana Gasteyer as Betsy Heron
- Neil Flynn as Chip Heron
- Daniel DeSanto as Jason
- Rajiv Surendra as Kevin Gnapoor
- Diego Klattenhoff as Shane Oman
- Nicole Crimi as Kylie George
- Julia Chantrey as Amber D'Alessio
- David Reale as Glen Cocco
- Alexandra Stapley as Taylor Wedell
- Stefanie Drummond as Bethany Byrd
- Erin Thompson as Dawn Schweitzer
- Molly Shanahan as Kristen Hadley
- Ky Pham as Trang Pak
- Danielle Nguyen as Sun Jin Dinh
- Clare Preuss as Caroline Krafft
- Olympia Lukis as Jessica Lopez
- Jan Caruana as Emma Gerber
Once Tina Fey read Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes, she found it a funny book and called her Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels to say it would generate a good movie. Michaels contacted Paramount Pictures, who purchased the rights to the book. Once Fey agreed to write the script, she noticed the book lacked a plot and thus Fey needed to create an overarching plot, which brought much from her own high school experience - for instance, Janis is an amalgam of Fey herself and her "art freak" friends. The real Janis Ian was one of the first musical guests on the first Saturday Night Live episode, in which she sang the song At Seventeen, which can be heard playing in the background when the girls are fighting at Regina's house. Other characters bullying Caplan's character persistently call her a lesbian throughout the movie; the real Janis Ian is an out lesbian.
Lindsay Lohan first read for Regina George, but since both the casting team felt she was what they were looking for in the actress who played Cady, and Lohan considered the "mean girl" would harm her reputation, she agreed to play the lead. Rachel McAdams was cast as Regina because Fey felt McAdams being "kind and polite" made her perfect for such an evil-spirited character. Amanda Seyfried also read for Regina, and the producers instead suggested her for Karen due to Seyfried's "spacey and daffy sense of humor". Both Lacey Chabert and Daniel Franzese were the last actors tested for their roles. Lizzy Caplan was at first considered too pretty for the part of Janis, for which Fey felt a "Kelly Osbourne-like actress" was necessary, but Caplan was picked for being the "most energetic". Fey wrote two roles based on fellow SNL alumni, Amy Poehler (whom Fey thought the producers would not accept for being too young) and Tim Meadows, and the cast ended up with a fourth veteran of the show, Ana Gasteyer.
Although set in Evanston, Illinois, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute and Malvern Collegiate Institute. Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens.
Box office 
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $24,432,195 in 2,839 theaters in the United States, ranking #1 at the box office. It is the best Lohan film debut at number one. By the end of its run, Mean Girls grossed $86,058,055 and $42,984,816 internationally, totaling $129,042,871 worldwide.
Critical response 
The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 83% "Certified Fresh" based on 167 reviews, and a rating of 66% ("Generally favorable reviews") on Metacritic based on 39 reviews.
The film was declared an instant success after its opening weekend made $24,432,195 from 3,339 theaters becoming the #1 film in America and averaging $8,606 per venue. Mean Girls had a long life at the box office and finished its run with $86,058,055 in the United States making its worldwide total gross $129,042,871.
In an interview about the film, Tina Fey noted, "Adults find it funny. They are the ones who are laughing. Young people watch it like a reality show. It's much too close to their real experiences so they are not exactly guffawing." Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "'Fetch' may never happen, but 2004's eminently quotable movie is still one of the sharpest high school satires ever. Which is pretty grool, if you ask me!" In 2006, Entertainment Weekly also named it the 12th best high school movie of all time, explaining: "There was a time when Lindsay Lohan was best known for her acting rather than her party-hopping. Showcasing La Lohan in arguably her best role to date, this Tina Fey-scripted film also boasts a breakout turn by Rachel McAdams as evil queen bee Regina George (Gretchen, stop trying to make 'fetch' happen! It's not going to happen!). While Mean Girls is technically a comedy, its depiction of girl-on-girl cattiness stings incredibly true."
The film won and was nominated for a number of awards in 2004-05.
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Comedy Actress||Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|Choice Movie Breakout Actress||Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|Choice Movie Blush||Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|Choice Breakout Movie Star – Female||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male||Jonathan Bennett||Nominated|
|Choice Movie – Comedy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress – Comedy||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Blush||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Chemistry||Lindsay Lohan & Jonathan Bennett||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Fight/Action Sequence||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Hissy Fit||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Liar||Lindsay Lohan||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Sleazebag||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|Breakthrough Female Performance||Rachel McAdams||Won|
|Best On-Screen Team||Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried||Won|
|Best Villain||Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|Kids Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress||Lindsay Lohan||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Movie: Comedy||Nominated|
|WGA Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||Tina Fey||Nominated|
Influences on pop culture 
Mariah Carey expressed several times that she's a fan of the film, using some quotes from the film in several interviews. Carey released a single, "Obsessed", which begins with an interlude quote where she says, "And I was like, 'Why are you so obsessed with me?'", a line said by Regina in the film. Carey's husband, Nick Cannon revealed the song was inspired by the film itself. She then referenced the film again in 2013 during an episode of American Idol.
|Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||September 21, 2004|
Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture was released on September 21, 2004, the same day as the DVD release.
Track listing 
- "Dancing with Myself" by The Donnas (Generation X cover)
- "God Is a DJ" by Pink
- "Milkshake" by Kelis
- "Sorry (Don't Ask Me)" by All Too Much
- "Built This Way" by Samantha Ronson
- "Rip Her to Shreds" by Boomkat (Blondie cover)
- "Overdrive" by Katy Rose
- "One Way or Another" by Blondie
- "Operate" by Peaches
- "Misty Canyon" by Anjali Bhatia
- "Mean Gurl" by Gina Rene and Gabriel Rene
- "Hated" by Nikki Cleary
- "Psyché Rock" by Pierre Henry
- "The Mathlete Rap" by Rajiv Surendra
- "Jingle Bell Rock"
Though not included on the soundtrack, other songs heard in the film include the single "Pass That Dutch" by Missy Elliott, "Naughty Girl" by Beyoncé "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, "Fire" by Joe Budden featuring Busta Rhymes, "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, and "Halcyon + On + On" by Orbital and "Love's Theme" by The Love Unlimited Orchestra.
Home media 
Mean Girls was released on VHS and DVD in North America on September 21, 2004, five months after it opened in theaters. It was released in a widescreen special collector's edition and a fullscreen collector's edition, both including several deleted scenes, a blooper reel, three interstitials, the theatrical trailer, previews, and three featurettes. A Blu-ray version of the film was released on April 14, 2009.
Video game 
A direct-to-video (DVD) sequel, Mean Girls 2, was aired on ABC Family on January 23, 2011, and released on DVD on February 1. The film is a stand-alone sequel, and the plot does not continue the story of the original film nor does it have the same cast with the exception of Tim Meadows . The film is directed by Melanie Mayron and stars Meaghan Jette Martin and Jennifer Stone.
Stage musical 
On January 28, 2013, Tina Fey confirmed that a musical adaption of Mean Girls is in the works. Tina Fey will be the writer and possibly the director of the musical while 30 Rock composer and husband Jeff Richmond, will work on the music. Paramount will be also involved.
- "Mean Girls (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Lindsay Lohan - CelebSpin.com profile". CelebSpin.com. Retrieved July 18, 2007. "Lohan's breakout role as a leading actress came six years later with 2004's Mean Girls"
- "Only the Strong Survive", Mean Girls (DVD Featurette)
- Wilmot, Shannon (11 July 2008). "Made in Toronto". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Mean Girls at Rotten Tomatoes; Retrieved on September 24, 2009.
- Mean Girls at Metacritic; Retrieved on September 24, 2009.
- "'Mean Girls' Topples 'Man'". E!. 2 May 2004.
- Weekend warrior
- Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84.
- "50 Best High School Movies". Filmsite.org. 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Vena, Jocelyn; Kash, Tim (July 1, 2009). "Nick Cannon: Mariah Carey's Not Dissing Eminem In 'Obsessed'". MTV News (MTV). Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- Michaels, Lorne (in English). Mean Girls (visual material). Widescreen DVD collection. screenplay by Tina Fey; directed by Mark Waters; et al. Hollywood, California: Paramount Pictures Corporation ©2004. ISBN 9781415700136. OCLC 55850835. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/55850835. Retrieved March 28, 2013. Lay summary – Internet Movie Database.
- "Mean Girls Game Capitalizes on Film's Popularity, Lohan's Career - games for girls". Kotaku. 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
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- Official website
- Mean Girls at the Internet Movie Database
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- Mean Girls at Box Office Mojo
- Mean Girls at Rotten Tomatoes
- Mean Girls at Metacritic