Does anyone remember the Tina Fey-penned quick-witted and trenchant satire on the social hierarchies of American high schools? Well, it’s been ten years since ‘Mean Girls‘ hit the theatres and it still has a rabid cult following. Imagine that … and after ten years!
Sure, we remember how Lindsay Lohan became a household name and how both Rachel McAdams, as well as Amanda Seyfried, became stars but it’s the hilarious catch phrases that people haven’t forgotten: “You go Glen Coco!”; “Too gay to function”; “Grool”; “So fetch.” Then, there’s the bizarre “Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white”; to the ruthless, “You smell like a baby prostitute”, they’re all instantly recognisable and live on in everyday jargon.
30 Rock creator Fey wrote ‘Mean Girls‘ with an observant equal opportunity offender on how high school remains a jungle of cliques, with a high-gloss caricature of adolescence hormones and haughtiness with acutely hilarious and surprisingly empathic sociology.
Fey also played the film’s moral compass, Ms Norbury. She drew inspiration for the screenplay from her own teenage years, as well as a self-help book by Rosalind Wiseman’s ‘Queen Bees & Wannabees’.
She also followed the ‘monomyth’ structure, as penned by Joseph Campbell. A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow men.
So, our hero would be Cady, the supernatural world would be ‘Girl world’, and the fabulous forces the Plastics. The victory would be Regina and Aaron breaking up and the boons would be popularity to fellow man that’s Gretchen and Karen.
‘Mean Girls’ has been a pop culture phenomenon since its debut in 2004. Its recognisable truths are funny — hopeless sex-ed instruction, nerd aggression, competition, as well as a positive portrayal of diverse characters, including disabled, gay and minority students.
But, as you can see Fey and director Mark Waters weren’t lazy or dwindled anything to leave it just for laughter alone. They provided a plot that embraced and busted cliché in equal measures.
True it seems that it’s a bit bonkers but ‘Mean Girls’ has all the hallmarks of a typical American high school with bullies and bitch slapping taking the film centre-stage.
In 2011, there was a ‘Mean Girls 2’ but it was so bad not many know of its existence, till now. There have been plenty of rumours about the original actors coming together but there shan’t be another. So, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Let’s enjoy and be ‘Fetch’.