Welcome to the girl world.
Mean Girls is a 2004 teen comedy film directed by Mark Waters, written by Tina Fey, produced by Broadway Video, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is inspired by Rosalind Wiseman's 2002 book, Queen Bees and Wannabes. It stars Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams. This is the first film in the Mean Girls franchise. It was followed by Mean Girls 2.
"That was so fetch." - Gretchen Wieners
Teenager Cady Heron has been homeschooled by her parents in Africa for her entire life. When she finally moves into public school, she discovers the life of a high schooler through drama, teen romance, and an especially girly, cruel clique called "the Plastics".
My Favorite Part of Mean Girls
2000s comedies (with the exception of Anchorman and Old School) don't usually do it for me. Teen comedies don't usually do it for me either. So, naturally, I wasn't super excited to watch Mean Girls.
What works best about this movie is that it reverses every problem that I have with most 2000s and teen comedies. It has this extremely relatable story that is absolutely hilarious at the same time. I'm not a girl, but I am in high school, and I've experienced drama and cliques before. Mean Girls exaggerates that, but it does it in this incredibly charming way that doesn't take itself too seriously. It makes fun of teenagers in high school in an almost satirical way, and that makes it so much funnier. Beyond that, however, it has actually compelling and interesting characters while never crossing the line into melodrama. It has some elements of realness, but it never feels like an odd, jarring tonal shift, which I really loved.
My Least Favorite Part of Mean Girls
I feel like the story can be a bit of a mess sometimes. There's a lot of characters, and, while they are all memorable and fun, the movie sometimes has trouble balancing all of them. Janis and Damian are major characters in the beginning, but they kind of disappear after a while and stop being a huge part of the story. Ms. Norbury keeps coming in and out of the movie. Her storyline doesn't seem that significant until the end. It doesn't quite land everything...but that doesn't really detract from the movie all that much.
Why Mean Girls Is Great
The script and cast come together to make a great high school comedy that has fantastic characters and clever writing. To be honest, I'm shocked that this movie didn't get an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. It's really well-written. Everything feels over-the-top and cartoonish, but it's meant to feel that way so that you never take the film too seriously. It has the right balance of comedy and drama, keeping a consistent tone throughout while also providing consistent laugh-out-loud moments. So many jokes in this movie would not be allowed nowadays, but that almost makes it better. It's quotable, charming, and just plain fun. If you like comedies and haven't seen Mean Girls, I highly, highly recommend.
Final Thoughts and Score
Mean Girls is the rare teenage comedy that is consistently funny with great characters and the right amount of drama. It blends everything perfectly to create one of the bigger surprises I've had while watching a movie.
I will go Sweet here. Age range is 10+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 9.5/10
Characters: 9/10 Quality: 8.5/10
Directed by Mark Waters
Released on April 30, 2004
Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content, thematic elements
1 hour and 37 minutes
Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron
Rachel McAdams as Regina George
Lacey Chabert as Gretchen Wieners
Amanda Seyfried as Karen Smith
Lizzy Caplan as Janis Ian
Daniel Franzese as Damian Leigh
Jonathan Bennett as Aaron Samuels
Tina Fey as Ms. Sharon Norbury
Rajiv Surendra as Kevin Gnapoor
Tim Meadows as Principal Ron Duvall
Amy Poehler as June George
Ana Gasteyer as Betsy Heron
Neil Flynn as Chip Heron
Dwayne Hill as Coach Carr