Mean Girls: A piece of cinematic genius

Okay, hear me out. I know that when you think about the movie Mean Girls, you first think, “Oh, right, that was when Lindsey Lohan was still cute and innocent and not on drugs/in jail.” Then your second thought is, “Oh yeah, that’s another one of those ridiculous and irrelevant teen comedies.”

But I would like to make the case that not only is Mean Girls a fantastic movie, but it’s also a more accurate depiction of modern teenagedom than just about anything else out there. (Also, it’s the only decent movie that Amanda Seyfreid has ever been in).

I like it because it shows how girls actually act in high school when they don’t like each other. There’s no straight out name calling like they tend to show in all those after school specials. That would be beyond uncool. Instead, girls are crafty. They make backhanded compliments, like Regina’s “Ooo I love your skirt, where’d you get it?” and then make all the nasty comments behind the girl’s back (Regina: “That is the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen.”) And if you really want to hurt another girl, you do exactly what Cady did: you turn her friends against her and steal her boyfriend.

This all sounds quite harsh, and probably also over-dramatic. It happens though. I’ve only experienced bits and pieces, but I’ve seen a lot of these things happen over the years, mostly second hand. Mean Girls really captures the way high school can sometimes feel. You can begin to feel like that school is your whole world, and you begin to place too much value on things that aren’t really important in the grand scheme of things. All of a sudden the most pressing things in your life can end up being who is wearing what and who is dating who and who is not speaking to who. It can spiral out of control pretty fast (although I have yet to see anyone get hit by a bus over it)

It’s a really special thing when I writer really gets real life right. As Ray Bradbury said in Fahrenheit 451: “The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” And I think Tina Fey really does touch life with this one. I know it’s a comedy and it’s meant mostly for entertainment, but I also think that it carries a message that is authentic and important.

This must have been what my parent’s generation felt when they watched The Breakfast Club. Hell, I feel this same feeling when I watch a John Hughes movie. I guess it’s cool when a grown-up really gets it.

Now that the serious part of this post is over:

Mean Girls quotes that I literally use every day

“Boo, you whore.” (Every time a friend stays home sick)

“Stop trying to make fetch happen, it’s not going to happen Gretchen.” (you can replace fetch with just about any annoying phrase your friends use)

“Get in loser, we’re going shopping” (Pretty much any time I pick someone up in my car)

“FOUR FOR YOU GLEN COCO, YOU GO GLEN COCO! And none for Gretchen Weiners.” (You’d be surprised how much you can use this one in real life.)

And so ends the post where I somehow managed to tie Tina Fey, Ray Bradbury, and John Hughes together. You’re welcome, internet.

13 thoughts on “Mean Girls: A piece of cinematic genius

  1. I’ve never paid much attention to the movie or actually seen it with interest. However? It’s so true. Especially the whole be-nice-to-her-face-but-bitch-behind-her-back bit 😀

  2. Great post! And thanks for the link. Check out the book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman. It’s the book on which Tina Fey based the screenplay for Mean Girls. So good.

  3. Hah!

    So much truth. 🙂 And man – your day just can’t be made until you read about Mean Girls, Bradbury and Breakfast Club in one post! That’s kind of day-making.

  4. Tina Fey could turn me lesbian. Just saying.

  5. Tina Fey annoys me, but Mean Girls rocks!

    • Gasp! You did not just speak out against my idol! Blog friends off.
      Kidding. Mostly. But actually, I’m glad you like Mean Girls.

  6. I literally just used the Glen Coco quote the other day at work. And I got strange looks. I f’ing love that movie.

    • Good, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does this! I can probably think of a Mean Girls quote for almost any situation.

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