Of all the notable pop-culture anniversaries in 2014 (The Beatles’ arrival in America, television’s 75th birthday), for women in their mid-20s, there is one that trumps them all: “Mean Girls” — starring Lindsay Lohan — is turning 10.
Tina Fey’s adaptation of Rosalind Wiseman’s self-help book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” was a surprise box-office hit, with a $24.4 million opening weekend after its April 30, 2004, premiere. For superfans, most of whom were teenage girls at the time, the movie is so much more.
What makes Fey’s script so funny is that it rings true. (The cafeteria tracking scene mapping out the tables of each crowd will look familiar to anyone who ever went to high school.) It’s that sort of understated humor that not only qualified “Mean Girls” as a dark comedy, but also made it so relatable for girls between ages 13 and 20. High school can really be the pits, and seeing the social situations Lohan and her peers were experiencing on-screen was a window to help kids cope. Sure, the incidents in the movie were a tad exaggerated, but they weren’t so far off. And if there is one essential to surviving high school, it is a sense of humor.
Case in point: The movie’s take on body image. (“My pores are huge.” “At least you guys can wear halters — I have man shoulders.”) Google “thigh gap” and you’ll see endless blog and photo results glorifying a trait physically unachievable for so many, but that someone — then many someones — decided was ideal.
The movie’s true power (besides skyrocketing Lohan’s career) is that it is endlessly quotable.
“I can’t go to Taco Bell. I’m on an all-carb diet! God, Karen, you’re so stupid!” is a typically nasty quote from queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams).
Not nice, but that’s beside the point. Parents know children emulate what they see in movies, and while no one probably wants their sweet daughter turning into Regina George, what’s wrong with wearing pink on Wednesday?
Hopefully, Lohan (as she tries to make both a personal and career comeback) is celebrating the anniversary with a Kalteen bar.