Mean Girls

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Mean Girls
Mean Girls movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark Waters
Produced by Lorne Michaels
Screenplay by Tina Fey
Based on Queen Bees and Wannabes 
by Rosalind Wiseman
Starring Lindsay Lohan
Rachel McAdams
Lizzy Caplan
Lacey Chabert
Amanda Seyfried
Tina Fey
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Daryn Okada
Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 30, 2004 (2004-04-30)
Running time 97 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million[2]
Box office $129,042,871[2]

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 Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which describes how female high school social cliques operate and the sometimes damaging effects they can have on girls.

The film stars Lindsay Lohan and features a supporting cast of Fey, 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 long-term cast member and writer for SNL. Also featuring appearances from SNL cast members Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy Poehler, the film marks Lohan's second collaboration with director Waters, the first one being Freaky Friday (2003), released a year earlier.

The film received generally positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $129,042,871 worldwide. The film has since developed a cult following.[3][not in citation given][4]

Plot[edit]

Cady Heron is a 16-year-old homeschooled daughter of zoologist parents. They have returned to the United States after a 12-year research trip in Africa, settling in Evanston, Illinois and having Cady attend public school for the first time. New classmates Janis and Damian warn Cady to avoid the school's most exclusive clique, the Plastics, who are led by queen bee Regina George. The Plastics take an interest in Cady, however, and start to invite her to sit with them at lunch. Seeing that Cady is slowly becoming one of The Plastics, Janis hatches a plan of revenge against Regina, using Cady as the infiltrator.

Cady soon learns about Regina's "Burn Book", a notebook filled with rumors, secrets, and gossip about the other girls and some teachers. Cady also falls in love with Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels, whom a jealous Regina steals back at a Halloween party. Cady continues with Janis' plan to cut off Regina's "resources", which involve separating her from Aaron; tricking her into eating nutrition bars that make her gain weight; and turning Regina's fellow Plastics – insecure rich girl Gretchen Wieners and sweet but ditzy Karen Smith – against her. In the process, Cady unwittingly remakes herself in Regina's image, becoming spiteful, superficial, and abandons Janis and Damian.

Cady hosts a party at her own house one weekend while her parents are away. While intended to be a small get-together, a large number of people show up. While waiting for Aaron to show up, Cady drinks too much punch before finally finding him. She explains to him how she was purposefully failing math just so she could have an excuse just to talk to him, but this only angers Aaron, saying that Cady's no better than Regina. Cady vomits on Aaron due to the excessive amount of punch she had earlier. While chasing after an infuriated Aaron, Janis and Damian show up, who are upset that Cady lied to them about not being able to attend Janis' art show that day. Cady tries to explain her motives, but Janis states that Cady has become worse than the Plastics by hiding a spiteful personality behind her cute and innocent facade.

When Regina is finally made aware of Cady's treachery, she responds by spreading around the contents of her Burn Book, quickly inciting a riot. To avoid suspicion, Regina inserts a fake libel of herself in the book in order to blame the only female students not mentioned in the book, The Plastics. Principal Ron Duvall soon quells the riot, and ends up sending all the girls in the school to gather in the gymnasium. Math teacher Sharon Norbury, whom the Burn Book slandered as a drug dealer, makes the girls mentioned in the book fess up to the rumors and apologize to the other students and teachers. When Janis' turn comes, she confesses her plan to destroy Regina with Cady's help and openly mocks Regina with the support of the entire school. Pursued by an apologetic Cady, Regina storms out and gets hit by a school bus, breaking her spine.

Without any friends, shunned by Aaron, and distrusted by everyone, Cady takes full blame for the Burn Book. Her guilt soon dissolves and she returns to her old personality. As part of her punishment for lying and failing Norbury's class, she joins the Mathletes in their competition. There, while competing against an unattractive girl, Cady realizes that mocking the girl's appearance would not stop the girl from beating her. She then realizes that the best thing to do is just solve the problem in front of you and ends up winning the competition after her opponent answers incorrectly. At the Spring Fling dance, Cady is elected Queen, but declares that all her classmates are wonderful in their own way, whereupon she breaks her plastic tiara and distributes the pieces. Cady makes amends with Janis and Damian, reconciles with Aaron, and reaches a truce with the Plastics.

By the start of the new school year, the Plastics have disbanded. Regina joins the lacrosse team, Karen becomes the school weather reporter, and Gretchen joins the "Cool Asians". Aaron graduates from high school and attends Northwestern University, Janis and Kevin Gnapoor begin dating, and Cady declares that she is now herself. Regina walks past Cady and smiles, showing that they made peace with each other. Damian witnesses the new "Junior Plastics" walking by, but they are immediately hit by a bus. It turns out, however, that this was only a humorous figment of Cady's imagination.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Tina Fey read Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes and called Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels to suggest it could be turned into a film. Michaels contacted Paramount Pictures, who purchased the rights to the book. As the book is nonfiction, Fey wrote the plot from scratch, borrowing elements from her own high school experience. 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 film; the real Janis Ian is an out lesbian.[5]

Casting[edit]

Lindsay Lohan first read for Regina George, but the casting team felt she was closer to what they were looking for in the actress who played Cady, and since Lohan feared the "mean girl" role 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 able to portray raw emotion. 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.[5]

Filming[edit]

Although set in Evanston, Illinois, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute and Malvern Collegiate Institute as well as Montclair, New Jersey at Montclair High School.[6] Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $24,432,195 in 2,839 theaters in the United States, ranking #1 at the box office and averaging $8,606 per venue.[7] By the end of its run, Mean Girls grossed $86,058,055 and $42,984,816 internationally, totaling $129,042,871 worldwide.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 83% based on 167 reviews,[8] and a rating of 66% on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 39 reviews.[9]

Accolades[edit]

The film won and was nominated for a number of awards throughout 2004-05.[10]

Year Ceremony Category Recipients Result
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 and 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
Writers Guild of America Award Best Adapted Screenplay Tina Fey Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released September 21, 2004 (2004-09-21)
Genre Rock, pop
Length 49:17
Label Rykodisc
Virgin
Soundtrack
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars Link

Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture was released on September 21, 2004, the same day as the DVD release.

  1. "Dancing with Myself" by The Donnas (Generation X cover)
  2. "God Is a DJ" by Pink
  3. "Milkshake" by Kelis
  4. "Sorry (Don't Ask Me)" by All Too Much
  5. "Built This Way" by Samantha Ronson
  6. "Rip Her to Shreds" by Boomkat (Blondie cover)
  7. "Overdrive" by Katy Rose
  8. "One Way or Another" by Blondie
  9. "Operate" by Peaches
  10. "Misty Canyon" by Anjali Bhatia
  11. "Mean Gurl" by Gina Rene and Gabriel Rene
  12. "Hated" by Nikki Cleary
  13. "Psyché Rock", by Pierre Henry (Fatboy Slim Malpaso mix)
  14. "The Mathlete Rap" by Rajiv Surendra
  15. "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.

The film's orchestral score was written by Rolfe Kent and orchestrated by Tony Blondal. It featured taiko drums and a full orchestra.

Home media[edit]

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.[11] A Blu-ray version of the film was released on April 14, 2009.

Legacy and cultural impact[edit]

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.[12] She then referenced the film again in 2013 during an episode of American Idol.

In an interview about the film, 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."[13] 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!"[14] In 2006, Entertainment Weekly also named it the twelfth best high school film of all time, explaining: "There was a time when Lindsay Lohan was best known for her acting rather than her party-hopping. Showcasing Lindsay 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."

At the 2013 People's Choice Awards, Jennifer Lawrence mentioned the film in her speech when she won "Favorite Movie Actress" [15]

Video game[edit]

Main article: Mean Girls DS

A game for PC and Nintendo DS was released in 2009.[16] The video game features characters specifically created for the game.

Sequel[edit]

Main article: Mean Girls 2

A direct-to-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 first 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.

Mean Moms[edit]

In early 2014, Warner Bros. and New Line announced a planned release date of May 8, 2015 for a proposed spin-off of Mean Girls[17] with Jennifer Aniston in talks to lead.[18]

Adapted from another book penned by Rosalind Wiseman, Mean Moms would be written by Sean Anders and John Morris, directed by television veteran Beth McCarthy-Miller, and would star Jennifer Aniston as a mom facing the cut-throat life of modern suburbia. However, in May 2014, New Line Cinema pulled the film from its proposed release date of May 2015; even though the film is still slated for development, there is not currently a release date for the spin-off. [19]

Stage musical[edit]

On January 28, 2013, 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 Fey's husband Jeff Richmond, will work on the music. Paramount will be also involved.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MEAN GIRLS (12A)". United International Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. April 28, 2004. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mean Girls (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ "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" 
  4. ^ "'Mean Girls' is still 'fetch'". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  5. ^ a b "Only the Strong Survive", Mean Girls (DVD Featurette) 
  6. ^ Wilmot, Shannon (July 11, 2008). "Made in Toronto". Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ "'Mean Girls' Topples 'Man'". E!. May 2, 2004. 
  8. ^ Mean Girls at Rotten Tomatoes; Retrieved on September 24, 2009.
  9. ^ Mean Girls at Metacritic; Retrieved on September 24, 2009.
  10. ^ "Mean Girls Awards - List of awards won by Mean Girls, including award nominations". Whosdatedwho.com. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ Michaels, Lorne. Mean Girls (DVD video). Widescreen DVD collection (in English). screenplay by Tina Fey; directed by Mark Waters; et al. Hollywood, California: Paramount Pictures Corporation ©2004. ISBN 9781415700136. OCLC 55850835. Retrieved March 28, 2013. Lay summaryInternet Movie Database. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "CANOE - JAM! - Weekend warrior". Jam.canoe.ca. 2004-04-28. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "50 Best High School Movies". Filmsite.org. September 15, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Mean Girls Game Capitalizes on Film's Popularity, Lohan's Career - games for girls". Kotaku. April 12, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Warner Bros Scheduling Spree Continues With ‘The Conjuring 2′, ‘Mean Moms’, 2 Others". deadline.com. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (25 February 2014). "Jennifer Aniston's 'Mean Moms' set for May 8, 2015". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (8 May 2014). "Jennifer Aniston's 'Mean Moms' Delayed, New Line Foregoes $6.7 Million Tax Credit". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "So Fetch! Tina Fey Confirms Mean Girls Musical In Early Development | Broadway Buzz". Broadway.com. January 28, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]