Regina George was dead wrong; “fetch” happened. “Mean Girls” was released 10 years ago and the word Gretchen Weiners attempted to make cool in the film is here to stay.
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the release of “Mean Girls,” which made more than $129 million at the box office, became one of the most quoted movies of all time and nestled into the hearts of fans, where it has stayed for the past decade.
The film tells the story of Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), a junior at North Shore High School, a fictional high school located in Evanston, Illinois, who was previously home schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents.
In her first experience in a public school, Cady encounters the Plastics, or the mean girls to which the title refers, in the form of Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried). The film also explores the friendship that Cady develops with Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese) in their attempt to sabotage the Plastics for revenge.
“Mean Girls” maintains a large cult following, with fans ranging in all ages.
“I remember seeing the movie when I was 11 in theaters,” DePaul graduate Jacqueline Felker said.
Felker is also a graduate of the conservatory at the Second City, where many of the ol
der cast members of the film have also studied. Felker remembers sitting in a packed theater, so much that some people endured sitting on the stairs and two to a seat, just to watch “Mean Girls” the day it came out.
“I went with 30 people from my sixth grade class,” Felker said. “We put the arm rests up on the seats so we could fit more of us. In four seats we would have eight people.”
The film was written by Tina Fey, which is why some fans believe the movie is still as popular as it is.
“Tina Fey is still at the center of what’s funny,” Media and Cinema Studies Professor Dan Bashara said. “You can never give Tina Fey too much credit for what is going on in popular culture.”
For Felker, the movie is enjoyable to watch because of the references to Second City Fey has made through the way she wrote the film.
“’Mean Girls’ has such dimensional and developed characters,” Felker said. “That’s what we’re taught to do at Second City, and I know that’s where she learned it from.”
Fey also cast her friends from the Second City in the film, including Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows and Neil Flynn, as well as setting it in the Chicago suburbs, paying homage to the city where Fey learned how to master comedy. The Plastics visit Old Orchard Mall, Cady wins gift cards to Walker Bros. Pancake House and Kevin G’s phone number has the area code 847.
Bashara also added that the film was such a hit because “it benefitted from our mean-based culture.”
The mean-based culture that influenced the film intimidated younger viewers, such as Felker.
“I thought the film was really funny,” Felker said, “but I had a question of ‘Is this what high school is like?’”
DePaul Junior Jillian Rice saw the movie when it first came out on DVD, and still loves watching it whenever she has a movie night with her friends.
“I still think it’s one of the funniest movies out there,” Rice said. “It’s one of those really quotable movies that my friends and I bring into conversation all the time.”
Fans not only celebrate the film by watching it, but also wear pink on Wednesdays, a rule the Plastics abide by in the film. Some take to social media on October 3, to commemorate a line from the movie, where Cady is asked what day it is on October 3.
Rumors of a reunion have been spreading for years, but they have been circulating more frequently as of the past few months due to the 10-year anniversary. Lindsay Lohan also recently posted pictures with Daniel Franzese and Rajiv Surenda, who play Damian and Kevin G respectively, on her Instagr
am, leading fans to wonder about a potential reunion. Fey also announced that a “Mean Girls” musical was in the works, but dispelled any rumors about a full on reunion.
Although it has been 10 years since the movie was released, it still has an intense fan base who will continue to cherish it.
“The fact that it was funny to me as a 10-year-old and still is funny to myself as a 20-year-old says a lot about what it can do,” Rice said.