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Mean Girls: The Movie for Teens 10 Years Later

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Mean Girls

The movie Mean Girls celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary last month. Hard to believe that movie is a decade old. Having watched it again recently, the movie is still as funny and as relevant as when it debuted.

Comedian and actress, Tina Fey, wrote the screenplay for the movie based on the nonfiction book by Roseland Wiseman, Queen Bees and Wannabes. Wiseman’s book described the social “cliques” and other social politics that teens face in high school.

For the few who haven’t seen the movie, Cady Heron is a new 16 year-old student from Africa who had been previously homeschooled. She is thrown into the world of high school and meets outcasts Janis and Damien who give her an overview of the players in the school including queen bee, Regina George, and her worker bees, Gretchen and Karen (aka the “Plastics”).

Janis is thrilled when Cady is invited to sit at the Plastic’s lunch table. Janis, who had been dumped and humiliated by Regina years ago, devises a plan for Cady to infiltrate the group and get revenge on Regina. The plan backfires when Cady becomes enamored with the Plastics and with being popular. In her effort to hurt Regina, Cady starts to become as mean as Regina herself. When Regina figures out Cady’s true agenda, she decides to get revenge on Cady. With the whole school mad at her, Cady realizes the error of her ways.

Although the movie is slightly dated (the infamous “Burn Book” created by Regina George that says mean things about everyone in the school is written in pen instead of on an iPad and social media is so not happening yet) the movie is still a favorite amongst teens and adults.

Why has the movie become such a classic?

  1. It has a great cast.

So much talent in one movie! In addition to staring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey, the movie cast an incredible group of teen and adult talents. Rachel McAdams is spot-on terrific as the lead mean girl, Regina George, as are her “workers” played by Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seigfried. Lizzy Caplan as a punk outcast is also superb. In addition, several familiar Saturday Night Live alumni including Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows and Ana Gasteyer are featured in adult roles.

  1. It is very funny.

So many laughs in one movie! Everyone has their favorites, but here a few of the most-notable, funny quotes:

  • “It's like I have ESPN or something”
  • “That’s so fetch.”
  • “Stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen”
  • “That’s why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets”
  • “You will get chlamydia and die.”
  • “Get in loser. We’re going shopping.”
  • “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”
  1. It rings true.

While parts of the movie are exaggerated for comedic effect (Regina getting run over by the bus and returning with a rod in her head to face-off for Spring Fling queen) the overall message of how hard it can be to deal with teen social issues still rings true today. The angst of being the new girl, of wanting to fit in, and of getting caught up in being part of the popular crowd—anyone who has been a teenager can relate to these feelings. Who did not want to get revenge on the person that made their life miserable in high school?

  1. It ends on a hopeful note.

When Wiseman agreed to have Fey make the book into a movie she wanted the overall message to be a positive one. At the end of the movie it does seem the students of this high school understand each other better and want to embrace each other rather than continue to break each other down.

Fey confirmed that a musical adaption of Mean Girls is in the works and she hopes it will be on stage before the movie’s 15th anniversary. I know many teen girls and their mothers that would think Mean Girls, The Musical would be “So fetch!”

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Randi Mazzella-profile-picture

Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer and mother of three from New Jersey. She is a Contributing Editor for Raising Teens Magazine and writes monthly for the blog Barista Kids.

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