Mean Girls (2004)

1h 37m / PG-13 / Comedy

REWIND tends to specialize in movies that only came to be beloved in hindsight. Mean Girls was a hit from day one. And it’s easy to understand why — interviews about the movie, writer Tina Fey once said that adults thought it was funny, and laughed at the jokes, but “young people watch it like a reality show […] It’s much too close to their real experiences, so they are not exactly guffawing.” It’s that kind of whip-smart satire, just real enough to sting and just exaggerated enough to be funny, that give Mean Girls a lasting life that a lot of its ilk never got. It’s relatively easy to make She’s All That (no offense, Freddie Prinze Jr.); every generation only gets one Heathers, at most.

But even though it was a box office success, it’s had an explosion of popularity in the age of social media. In fact this whole summary would probably be better as a gallery of animated .gifs. The story of dazzlingly charismatic fish-out-of-water Cady (Lindsay Lohan) and her attempt to navigate the cliques and pitfalls of high school in the early 2000s, Mean Girls has the trifecta of components that assure lasting relevance on the various ‘Books and ‘Grams: it’s very quotable (fetch, Glen Coco, pink Wednesdays, boo you etc.), and it’s very clip-able (the cast combines comedy leading-lights and a half-dozen young actors who were all on the rise, and the jokes come fast and furious), and it’s very relatable (see above – it’s inclusive and honest about sometimes harrowing experiences of teens, especially teen girls).

Join REWIND for Mean Girls on Mean Girls Day, October 3, at 8:00pm. It’s cool, you can sit with us.