It’s not very often that a film about high school girls successfully balances serious messages while incorporating comedy. “Mean Girls” was released on April 30, 2004, and is sure to generate excitement for its 10th anniversary.
“Mean Girls” tells the story of Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) who starts her first year in high school after spending the majority of her childhood being home-schooled in Africa. She meets Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese) also referred to as “the greatest people you will ever meet” before she is confronted with “the worst.” Beware The Plastics: Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried), Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and the Queen Bee, Regina George (Rachel McAdams).
While Cady tries to deal with The Plastics, we see just how unnecessarily animalistic and savage “girl world” can be. Screenwriter Tina Fey portrays such a world while still keeping the film light and humorous, as expected from the now Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress and writer of the hit NBC comedy “30 Rock.” Even though the film had to be toned down to keep its PG-13 rating, “Mean Girls” still went on to earn more than $1.3 million worldwide and win a Teen Choice Award and a MTV Movie Award. It quickly became a “modern classic,” as The Guardian called it.
After the success of “Mean Girls,” some of its stars went on to other major films. Both Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried starred in film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks’ novels: McAdams in “The Notebook” and “The Vow,” and Seyfried in “Dear John.” Seyfried also starred in films like “Jennifer’s Body” and “Les Miserables,” both popular movies among teens. Lacey Chabert does voice-overs for cartoons such as “Young Justice,” and Lindsay Lohan has been in 2005’s “Herbie Fully Loaded” and more recently “Scary Move 5” as herself.
Even with their later success, fans still avidly celebrate the actresses for their roles in “Mean Girls.” The film’s resonance with young girls has been especially significant.
“The biggest part I took away from it was I can’t change — I shouldn’t change — who I am,” said Howard University junior Jackie Nunery, recalling when she first saw the film 10 years ago. “That really stuck with me. It still does.”
Nunery added that jokes and animated GIFs on Tumblr are “funny and witty,” but said that the “lesson is what I really got from the movie.”
Today, the film is still relatable to college girls who have dealt with “girl world.” Senior Nicole Okeke-Oraeki said that she related to the film then as much as she does now.
“You’ll still get the same meaning from it,” Okeke-Oraeki said. “You still do have mean girls in high school, middle school and even in college — like the girls that feel like they’re better than you but they’re really not.”
Even Cady Heron, the film’s protagonist, can see how foolish it is for girls to break each other down rather than building each other up. In one of the last scenes, she has an epiphany. “Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier, calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter, and ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier,” she said. “All you can do in life is try and solve the problem in front of you.”
That is just one of many quotes that stuck with viewers. Lines such as “She doesn’t even go here!” and “You can’t sit with us!” are still quoted all over social media. Even the White House’s Twitter playfully scolded Bo, the presidential pet, for “trying to make ‘fetch’ happen.”
Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen. pic.twitter.com/Ez6hWGFpFc
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 13, 2013
Mariah Carey, also a huge fan of “Mean Girls” re-enacted the scene with her husband, Nick Cannon, during an MTV interview with Sway. Fans of the film have even created a Disney parody, with Ariel playing the red-haired Cady Heron.
Despite the film’s popularity, Tina Fey still turned down offers to write the sequel, and the resulting “Mean Girls 2” ended up being a made-for-TV movie that fans never gravitated to like the original. There were rumors of a “Mean Girls” reunion after Lohan, while on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, said that she had met up with Fey who mentioned a reuinion in the works. However, Fey has since denied those rumors telling the Los Angeles Times that it would more likely be a panel discussion than a film.
While fans still hope for a reunion, they can celebrate the film by going to a local watch party or even hosting their own. So, find your own way to celebrate this momentous occasion, and if you don’t wear pink on Wednesday, April 30, you can’t sit with us!