Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Produced by||Lorne Michaels|
|Written by||Tina Fey
|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 and starring Lindsay Lohan. Written by (and co-starring) Tina Fey, the film features a supporting cast of Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Lizzy Caplan. The film also features several Saturday Night Live cast members, including Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy Poehler. Mean Girls has been praised as Lohan's break-out film role.
Director Waters described the film as "Clueless meets Heathers", the latter of which was written by his brother, Daniel Waters. Mean Girls is based 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 movie is also based on Fey's experiences at Upper Darby High School.
The home-schooled daughter of zoologist parents (Ana Gasteyer and Neil Flynn) living in Africa, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is unprepared for her first day of public high school at fictional North Shore High School in Evanston, Illinois. With the help of social misfits Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damien (Daniel Franzese), Cady learns about the various cliques, including the Plastics, an exclusive group of girls led by queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams), who was once Janis' best friend. Janis hatches a plan for Cady to infiltrate the Plastics and get revenge for what Regina did to Janis in 8th grade. Her plan involves cutting off Regina's "resources", which include Regina's two best friends: pathologically insecure Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and dimwitted Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried).
Having ingratiated herself with the Plastics per Janis' plan, Cady learns about the "Burn Book," a top secret notebook of Regina's, filled with rumors, secrets and gossip about all the other girls in school. In the process, Cady slowly succumbs to Regina's high-end lifestyle. Shortly, Cady falls for Regina's ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), whom Regina successfully steals back from Cady in a fit of jealousy. Distressed, Cady then ups the ante in retaliation against Regina, convincing the latter to eat high-calorie weight-gain bars by claiming that they help one lose weight.
In her efforts to get revenge on Regina, Cady gradually loses her individual personality and remakes herself in the image of Regina. Her act soon becomes reality, and she becomes as mean as Regina. Aaron abandons Regina, but still does not date Cady. Regina, now overweight due to Cady's sabotage, is forced to leave the Plastics and Cady becomes the new Queen Bee. In celebration of her newfound status, Cady throws a party with the Plastics and does not invite Janis or Damien, which causes Janis to renounce Cady as a friend. During the party, she also alienates Aaron with her unsavory new personality traits.
Regina eventually discovers the truth about the bars she has been eating and strikes back by spreading the contents of her Burn Book around the school, which causes a riot as the class learns all of the nasty things others have been saying about them. Regina also inserts fake slander of herself in the book, in order to focus scrutiny on Cady and the Plastics (now the only girls not mentioned in the Book). The riot is eventually quelled by the principal; math teacher Ms. Norbury 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. Janis confesses her plan to destroy Regina with Cady's help, and openly mocks her with the support of the entire school. Regina storms out, pursued by Cady, and gets hit by a school bus.
Now without friends, shunned by Aaron, and untrusted by everyone at school, 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 and hangs with her old friends.
At the Spring Fling dance, Cady makes up with Janis and Damien, reconciles with Aaron, and reaches a truce with the Plastics. She is elected the Spring Fling Queen and gives a speech to her class that her victory is meaningless; they all deserve it and are all wonderful in their own way. She breaks her tiara and distributes the pieces to her fellow classmates, and becomes reasonably well-liked once again.
The film ends with the Plastics disbanded by the start of the new school year: Regina joins the lacrosse team as a way to channel her aggression, Karen becomes the school weather girl (claiming that her breasts can always tell when it's raining), Gretchen joins the "Cool Asians" clique, and Cady continues to date Aaron, who has moved, but Cady can still see him on the weekends. Having forged true friendships with both Regina and Janis, Janis begins dating Cady's fellow mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, (Rajiv Surendra) and Cady reflects that the "Girl World" she lives in is now at peace.
Though set on the North Shore of Chicago, the film was partly shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Instead of using real-life North Shore High School: New Trier High School, North Shore High School was actually shot at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute. Notable landmarks include the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall and Sherway Gardens. Regina George's house is a home in the Bridle Path neighborhood.
The film was generally well reviewed by critics, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 84% "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 the film $24,432,195 from 2839 theaters becoming the #1 film in America and averaging $8,606 per venue. Due to strong word of mouth, 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 the US, the film was the 24th highest grossing film of 2004.
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 television show. It is 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 us." Many review and people have named it as one of the most quotable movies of all time, and has become a classic teen-flick. It currently has frequent re-runs on TBS and ABC Family.
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Comedy Actress: Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Breakout Actress: Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Hissy Fit||Won|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Blush: Lindsay Lohan||Won|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout Movie Star - Female: Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout Movie Star - Male: Jonathan Bennett||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie - Comedy||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress - Comedy: Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Blush: Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Chemistry: Lindsay Lohan
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Fight/Action Sequence||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Hissy Fit: Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Liar: Lindsay Lohan||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Sleazebag: Rachel McAdams||Nominated|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Won|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Breakthrough Female Performance||Won|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Best On-Screen Team||Won|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Best Villain||Nominated|
|2005||Kids Choice Awards||Favourite Movie Actress||Nominated|
|2005||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Movie: Comedy||Nominated|
|2005||WGA Award||Best Adapted Screenplay: Tina Fey||Nominated|
R&B singer Mariah Carey expressed several times that she's a fan of the film, using some quotes from the film in several interviews, most notably on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2005 and in her official Twitter updates in 2009. Carey released the first single from her album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, called "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. Also, the male stalker (Carey) gets hit by a bus, another reference to Regina in the film. Carey's husband Nick Cannon debunked other theories and revealed the song was inspired by the film itself. Country singer Kellie Pickler, before Carey, used the accident scene in her first Top 10 Country single, "Best Days of Your Life".
|Soundtrack by various artists|
|Released||September 21, 2004|
The soundtrack for the film was released on September 21, 2004, the same day as the DVD release.
The DVD was released 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 was released on April 14, 2009.