‘Mean Girls’ still so fetch 10 years later

Hunter Goddard

Oct. 3 has come and gone, but “Mean Girls” still refuses to leave our generation’s hearts, even a decade after its release.

Directed by Mark Waters, produced by “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, written by Tina Fey and starring Lindsay Lohan, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams, this high school comedy was all but destined for greatness.

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Cover of "Mean Girls (Special Collector's...
Cover via Amazon

Based on Rosalind Wiseman’s “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” the film tells the story of Cady Heron, the new kid in school who sells her soul to the vilest villain in modern cinema, Regina George, and her popular henchwomen, Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith.

Cady’s epic “Divine Comedy” journey to Hell and back again was a box office sensation when it came out in 2004, and it has since aged into a quotable cult classic, especially with the advent of social media and memes.

Nothing about the movie really feels all that dated. Indeed, the plot can appeal to anyone who has ever been tempted toward making a mistake against their better judgment and then been forced to put their life back together.

What has changed is the pop culture that surrounds “Mean Girls.” Believe it or not, Lindsay Lohan once upon a time made headlines because of her acting talents and not because of her criminal antics.

For Amanda Seyfried, the flick was her cinematic debut, and it proved to be Rachel McAdams’s breakout hit. Tina Fey has since become a leading lady in NBC’s “30 Rock” and Amy Poehler (Mrs. George) has earned her own success with NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”

Interestingly enough, Lacey Chabert, who stole the scene with Gretchen Wieners, did not have much of a post-“Mean Girls” career takeoff, nor did romantic lead Jonathan Bennett (AKA Aaron Samuels), whose Twitter bio simply reads “My hair looks sexy pushed back,” a “Mean Girls” reference.

Arguably known more for “Mean Girls” than anything else are Cady’s pre-Regina friends, Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese). It goes to show that being one of the Plastics pays off.

The film works as a comedy because of its strong “SNL” influences. The comedic variety show, which is currently in Season 40, has turned out the likes of John Belushi and Will Ferrell. “Mean Girls” greatly benefited from SNL alums Michaels, Fey, Poehler and Tim Meadows (Principal Duvall).

It is rare for a script to have even one iconic line, but “Mean Girls” is a screenwriter’s wish come true, with almost every single line recognizable to the average  millennial, no matter how small the role speaking it. Truly, this release showcases Tina Fey’s genius writing abilities.

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In addition to “30 Rock,” Fey – you know, that lady in those American Express commercials – is perhaps most well-known for her “SNL” parodies of former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, which got her the recognition she deserves with an Emmy in 2009.

“Mean Girls” is as much a morality tale about redemption, tolerance and inspiration as it is about catfights and prank calls.

How long will it stay relevant? The limit does not exist.

Collegian A&E Writer Hunter Goddard can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @hunter_gaga.