Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Produced by||Lorne Michaels|
|Screenplay by||Tina Fey|
|Based on||Queen Bees and Wannabes
by Rosalind Wiseman
|Narrated by||Lindsay Lohan|
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Edited by||Wendy Greene Bricmont|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$129 million|
Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film directed by Mark Waters and written by Tina Fey. The film is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which describes female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls.
The film stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett and Amanda Seyfried (in her film debut). Saturday Night Live (SNL) creator Lorne Michaels produced the film. 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 being Freaky Friday (2003), released a year earlier. Although set in Illinois, the film was mostly shot in Toronto, Canada.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Reception
- 5 Accolades
- 6 Soundtrack
- 7 Home media
- 8 Legacy and cultural impact
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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 wealthiest and most beautiful girl in school. The Plastics take an interest in Cady, however, and 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 large notebook filled with cruel 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's 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 and superficial and abandoning Janis and Damian.
Cady hosts a party at her own house one weekend while her parents are away. The party is supposed to be a small get-together, but a large number of people show up. While waiting for Aaron, Cady drinks too much punch. When she finally finds him, she explains that she was failing math on purpose, just so she could have an excuse to talk to him. This angers Aaron, who tells Cady she's no better than Regina. The drunk Cady vomits on Aaron. While Cady chases after an infuriated Aaron, Janis and Damian, who are upset that Cady lied to them about not being able to attend Janis's art show that night, show up. Cady tries to explain her motives, but Janis says that Cady has become worse than the Plastics by hiding a spiteful personality behind her cute and innocent façade.
When Regina learns of Cady's treachery, she responds by spreading around the contents of her Burn Book, inciting a riot. To avoid suspicion, Regina inserts a fake libel of herself into the book in order to blame the only female students not mentioned in the book: Cady, Gretchen, and Karen. 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 confess to spreading the rumors in the Burn Book and apologize to the other students and teachers. When Janis's 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 humble 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 or putting her down would not stop the girl from beating her. She then realizes that the best thing to do is to 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 sheds her stuck up personality and 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 start dating, and Cady declares that she has matured and is now herself. Regina walks past Cady and smiles, showing that they made peace with each other. Damian witnesses the new group of "Junior Plastics" walking by, but they are suddenly hit by a bus. It turns out, however, that this was only a humorous figment of Cady's imagination.
- Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron
- Rachel McAdams as Regina George
- Lacey Chabert as Gretchen Wieners
- Amanda Seyfried as Karen Smith
- Jonathan Bennett as Aaron Samuels
- Lizzy Caplan as Janis Ian
- Daniel Franzese as Damian
- Tina Fey as Ms. Sharon Norbury
- Tim Meadows as Principal Ron Duvall
- Amy Poehler as Mrs. George
- Rajiv Surendra as Kevin Gnapoor
- Ana Gasteyer as Cady's mom
- Neil Flynn as Cady's dad
- Daniel DeSanto as Jason
- Diego Klattenhoff as Shane Oman
- Dwayne Hill as Coach Carr
- Nicole Crimi as Kylie George
- Dan Willmott as Mr. George
- Alexandra Stapley as Taylor Wedell
- Clare Preuss as Caroline Krafft
- Sharron Matthews as Joan the Secretary
- Julia Chantrey as Amber D'Alessio
- Stefanie Drummond as Bethany Byrd
- Olympia Lukis as Jessica Lopez
- Jan Caruana as Emma Gerber
- Erin Thompson as Dawn Schweitzer
- Molly Shanahan as Kristen Hadley
- Ky Pham as Trang Pak
- Danielle Nguyen as Sun Jin Dinh
- David Reale as Glenn Cocco
- Wai Choy as Tim Pak
- Alisha Morrison as Lea Edwards
- Miranda Edwards as Michigan girl
- Jonathan Malen as Kristen's boyfriend
- Laura de Carteret as Taylor's mom
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.
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 director Mark Waters 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.
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. Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens.
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. By the end of its run, Mean Girls grossed $86,058,055 and $42,984,816 internationally, totaling $129,042,871 worldwide.
Mean Girls received generally positive reviews from critics, who labeled it as Lohan's and Seyfried's breakthrough performances. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 83%, based on 175 reviews, with the site's critical consensus stating that the film is "funnier and more smartly written than the average teen comedy." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post stated that it "Boasts a one-two-three punch in star Lindsay Lohan, screenwriter Tina Fey and director Mark Waters, and, indeed, it delivers a knockout". The screenplay was highly praised by critics with Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calling it "comic gold.". In November 2012, Rotten Tomatoes named it in its 'Top 50 Greatest Teen Comedies.
The film won and was nominated for a number of awards throughout 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 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|
|Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||September 21, 2004|
|Recorded||1976 to 2004|
Mean Girls: Music from the Motion Picture was released on September 21, 2004, the same day as the DVD release.
- "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 (Fatboy Slim Malpaso mix)
- "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.
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.
Legacy and cultural impact
Mariah Carey expressed several times that she is 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.
In August 2013, the White House tweeted a quote from the film and made a reference to President Obama's dog, Bo. Taco Bell tweeted a reply to the tweet, also using one of the quotes from the film.
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." 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 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."
October 3 has been dubbed on social media as "Mean Girls Day" in reference to a quote from the movie.
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 Martin and Jennifer Stone.
Adapted from another book penned by Rosalind Wiseman, Mean Moms would be written by Sean Anders and John Morris, 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. On October 7, it was announced that the film was added to the California Film Tax Credit program for the 2014-15 fiscal year, in which the production must start in California within 180 days of notification from the state to receive the $6.7 million production tax credit. In May 2015, it was confirmed the project was still happening and Sean Anders would now direct the film.
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 also be involved.
In late September 2014 it was revealed[by whom?] that Lindsay Lohan pitched an idea to Mean Girls writer Tina Fey for a sequel. In October 2014, it was announced[by whom?] that Lohan convinced other cast members of the original film to persuade Fey to write a screenplay for a sequel. The idea was brought up during a 10th anniversary for the film in People magazine.
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- Official website
- Mean Girls at the Internet Movie Database
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- Mean Girls at Rotten Tomatoes
- Mean Girls at Metacritic