“Mean Girls,” the high school comedy that spawned a thousand catchphrases, is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
“Girls” was first released on April 30, 2004 and starred actress Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron, a girl who entered an American high school for the first time after having been homeschooled. She quickly becomes friends with outsiders Janis (“Masters of Sex” actress Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (actor Daniel Franzese), who convince her to infiltrate the group of popular girls that includes Gretchen (actress Lacey Chabert) and Karen (“Les Misérables” actress Amanda Seyfried) and is ruled over by Regina (“About Time” actress Rachel McAdams).
The film was directed by “Vampire Academy” helmer Mark Waters and was written by Tina Fey, who based the film on Rosalind Wiseman’s nonfiction book “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” which discussed how girls face problems with cliques and gossip. Fey also starred in the film as a teacher.
“Girls” also starred “Saturday Night Live” actors Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows as well as “The Middle” actor Neil Flynn and the movie went on to become a box office hit, grossing more than $86 million domestically. The film received mostly good reviews, with Christian Science Monitor film critic David Sterritt writing that the movie makes the teen movie genre “feel fresh.”
“It has clichés and stereotypes, and some trimming would have helped,” he wrote. “The screenplay by Tina Fey… is marvelously smart, though, and the ensemble cast is uncannily in sync with it… this could easily have been a sentimental tale of teenage angst and redemption. What rescues the movie from this hackneyed destiny is Ms. Fey's satirical wit, aimed with equal acuity at the Plastics, the nerds, and everyone in between. Not every barb hits the bull's-eye, but there's a higher ratio of gags to laughs than I've found in almost any comedy this year.”
In an interview with IGN at the time of the movie’s release, Fey discussed how she hoped teenagers would react to the film.
“I hope there's enough comedy, first of all, that they'll show up and they'll laugh and then... There's no way of stopping people from thinking that those girls look hot and have cool cars, because they do,” she said. "But you also sort of see… that they are under this crazy amount of stress… So sometimes the image that they have is larger than the person that they actually are.”