Mean Girls

Release Date: April 30, 2004

I think Malcolm's mom had this nightmare a season ago.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
26/126 Kim Hollis Biting, satirical look at life as a teenage girl. Heathers for a new generation.
33/48 Les Winan Definitely worth the $1.49 rental fee. It was much more clever than I expected, but yet, not clever enough.
74/92 David Mumpower My estrogen level isn't high enough to appreciate this concept.
105/133 Dan Krovich Not quite funny (or mean) enough

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The premise behind this Tina Fey-penned flick reveals something that I’m sure is a stunning revelation: teenage girls are mean. Fey, currently the lead writer on Saturday Night Live (along with her stint as the show’s Weekend Update cohost), certainly knows how to bring the funny. As background for her screenplay for this project, Fey began with an article from the New York Times titled “Girls Just Want to Be Mean,” by Margaret Talbot. This hot and heavy expose drew on the experiences of teenage counselor Rosalind Wiseman, who offered a comforting shoulder to many a teenager suffering the bite of cliques and snobbishness. Soon after the newspaper article was written, Wiseman chimed in with a book of her own, which was also optioned by Paramount as potential source material for Fey’s script.

And so Mean Girls evolved, with Fey herself starring as a teen counselor modeled after Wiseman. Even more importantly, it once again teams Lindsey Lohan with her Freaky Friday director, Mark S. Waters. It’s hard to deny that the two worked well together, as Lohan’s performance in Freaky Friday was both nuanced and noteworthy. That film went on to be one of Disney’s many summer hits; this time, it’s Paramount who will hope to capitalize.

The story is set at a high school in Illinois (I’m already having horrible flashbacks), as Cady, played by Lohan, is enrolling as a new student after having returned from a safari with her parents. She is easily accepted into the A-list clique of girls at the school, but that all changes when Cady suddenly attracts the attention of the ex-boyfriend of one of her new friends.

Anyone who has ever been a high school student can guess what happens next. Cady is marked for punishment by the popular girls, whose methods include gossip, nasty Internet messages, and banishment from the group. Before long, Cady finds herself playing the same games, and a war for supremacy is on.

From the looks of things, Mean Girls has all the earmarks of a sleeper hit. Teenage girls are by their very nature concerned with peer pressure and how it affects them, so a bitingly satirical look at the process in action should be of definite interest. Additionally, thanks to Fey’s involvement, it appears that it might be dark enough that it will have some subversive appeal to adults as well. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Mean Girls
Main Cast Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey
Supporting Cast Jonathan Bennett, Lizzy Caplain, Lacey Chabert, Nicole Crimi, Ana Gasteyer, Rachel McAdams, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler, Wai Choy, Neil Flynn, Daniel Franzese, Olympia Lukis, Jonathan Malen, Amanda Seyfried
Director Mark S. Waters
Screenwriter Tina Fey
Distributor Paramount
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 2,839
Awards Awards page for Mean Girls
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Mean Girls
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Freaky Friday 8/8/0322.20 22.20 2954 7516.00 7516.0 110.22 110.22 0.00
Bring it On 8/25/0017.36 19.42 2380 7294.00 7848.8 68.25 76.35 3.93
Lizzie McGuire Movie, The 5/2/0317.34 17.34 2825 6138.00 6138.0 42.67 42.67 2.46
What a Girl Wants 4/4/0311.43 11.43 2964 3858.00 3858.0 35.99 35.99 3.15
Parent Trap, The (1998) 7/31/9811.15 14.33 2247 4962.00 6136.4 66.30 85.24 5.49
Can't Hardly Wait 6/12/988.03 10.32 1987 4041.00 4997.4 26.61 34.21 3.31
Chasing Liberty 1/9/046.08 6.08 2400 2533.95 2534.0 12.19 12.19 0.00
Drop Dead Gorgeous 7/23/993.99 4.75 1207 3306.00 3774.6 10.50 12.51 2.63



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