Mean Girls: The Hardships of High School


Even though the film came out almost twenty years ago, people are still talking about Mean Girls. Audiences can not get enough of the hilarious comedy, the wild plot, and the terrific cast. People have watched Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) try to take down Regina George (Rachel McAdams) countless times. Since then, the film has been turned into a musical, and that musical will soon be turned into another film. Even though decades have passed, there is still a lot in store for this story. That could lead to some curiosities about this film. Where did it come from? What puts the plot in motion? What is this musical like? We have answers to those questions and more so that anyone can be a Mean Girls aficionado.

What was the basis for Mean Girls?

The movie of Mean Girls was actually semi-based on a book. Tina Fey read the nonfiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman and got inspired to make a film. The book was meant to be a guide on teenage girl behavior, as well as teaching parents how to deal with aggressive behavior from their daughters and the deal with cliques. After reading this book, Fey got a deal to make a movie based on it. Of course, Mean Girls is a fictional story, so it mostly came from Fey’s mind. However, the concept of making a film about the hardships of being a high school girl came from this book.

Over how much time does Mean Girls take place?

Mean Girls begins with Cady starting her first day of school at her new high school. While there are a few flashbacks of Cady’s life in Africa, the actual events begin when school begins. Over time, the audience sees Cady go through many events throughout the school year. She goes to her first big Halloween party, performs “Jingle Bell Rock” at the winter talent show, as well as attending countless parties. Towards the end of the film, Cady attends the Spring Fling dance, which is supposed to be one of the biggest dances of the year, which means it is towards the end of the year. After this dance, we see small scenes of Cady and her friends at the beginning of the following school year, showing how they grew across the long school year that this film is centered around.

What are some rules that Cady learns about the “girl world” and high school?

Since Cady is new to this environment, there is a lot that she has to learn. It is not as simple as reading a guide and knowing instantly how to behave. She has to observe and learn. Cady learns about how Halloween is not about dressing scary, but about dressing sexy. She learns that even though she loves math, she would be seen as a loser if she joined the mathletes. There are also all of the defined cliques, and how everyone has their set place to be. There are also specific rules for Cady to hang out with the Plastics, like wearing pink on Wednesdays and not wearing hoop earrings. There are also rules about guys, which she needs to learn since she does not have much dating experience. These rules include not dating a friend’s ex and only dating someone that your friends like. High school can be complicated, so Cady needs to know all of the social rules if she wants to have a good time in high school.

What causes Janis and Regina’s mutual hatred?

A lot of the plot points in this film come from the fact that Regina George and Janis Ian are mortal enemies. This could be from their different statuses in popularity, as Regina is beloved and Janis is an outcast. However, it goes deeper than that. The two used to be really close friends in middle school. However, Regina began to suspect that Janis was a lesbian, and turned everyone against her. That led to Janis changing schools but then returning with a whole new look. Ever since her embarrassment, Janis has vowed to get revenge on Regina. That is what causes most of the events of this film.

What are the big changes from the movie to the musical?

In 2017, the iconic comedy film was made into a musical. The musical then premiered on Broadway in 2018 and got twelve Tony nominations. For the most part, the musical stays faithful to the original film and respects what the fans want. However, there are a few changes. For starters, the musical is able to get more in depth and personal with some characters, like Gretchen, Damian, and more. They are stronger characters who have more of a background to their personality. Also, Damian and Janis serve as narrators. Another change is that instead of “Jingle Bell Rock,” the hilarious talent show dance is done to “Rocking Around the Pole.” There is also the modernization of the musicals, with social media now existing and playing a part in the characters’ lives. These are small changes, as the core plot is still the same one that fans know and love.