Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: "Mean Girls" Anne T. Donahue

GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS. God, I tried to make “salutations” catch on SO HARD in grade school after I read Charlotte’s Web and I will tell you right now exactly how well that went for me: it was a disaster. But that’s neither here nor there! Here at Old Lady Movie Night, we bask in the glow of our sordid pasts, and in case you’re just joining us now, I will tell you that the “Old Lady” portion of “Old Lady Movie Night” has everything to do with me being an actual elderly person (not in age, but . . . let me have this) and not with me calling any of you guys old or aged or any other derogatory term. And while at first I was all, “We’ll watch all old movies!” I also realized that there are/were some newer movies that are totally in need of OLMN-ing, and who am I to say we can’t all watch them together?

EXACTLY.

So this week we’re going to watch Mean Girls because it’s been ACTUALLY nine years since this bad boy came out, and also, I’m obsessed with it. So let’s do this! Let’s watch Mean Girls and remember high school and use “fetch” as much as we can and wear giant pink polo shirts because on THURSDAYS WE WEAR PINK. (WHAT! YOLO! HORRAY!)

LET US BEGIN.

1. Lindsay Lohan rules in this movie

So let’s just address that right now because she does and there is nothing any of you can say that will make me think otherwise. This role rules. She rules in it. And you know what? THAT’S WHY I WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE SHE WILL COME OUT ON TOP.

2. Mean Girls has to be the most realistic depiction of high school in movies in the world

So after I left Catholic high school, I went to public high school and if you were to add a little bit of Dazed And Confused into this mix, this would literally be the PERFECT reflection of what high school is like. The hierarchy! The Plastics! The social awkwardness! IT’S ALL HERE. Mrs. Norberry is even kind of like my sociology teacher, Ms. O who may have been the most perfect teacher IN THE WORLD, but that could also just be reaching. Who knows. But for argument’s sake, let’s say … yes. Absolutely.

3. This movie was filmed in Toronto, BY THE BY

I mean, not to brag about my country or the city in which I previously lived (and am still often found), but HELLO. WHAT UP. BLAME CANADA (sung in the South Park voice). I didn’t see this movie being filmed or anything, and I actually didn’t know about it at the time, BUT . . . hey. It’s the small victories in life, right? (If by “small victories” I mean “suuuuuuure, Anne.”)

4. Janice + Damien = the perfect friendship

First, Lizzy Caplan is PERFECT as Janice. Perfect. And Daniel Franzese as Damien? EQUALLY GREAT. Their friendship is by far one of the best in any teen (or maybe ANY) movie ever in the world. They’re literally just best friends. REAL best friends, too, with none of this “and then there’s a conflict!” type of pals who create drama just for the sake of it. All friendships should be like this. ALL. Scary movies on Halloween night and all.

5. It’s actually getting very hard for me to re-cap this movie because all I want to do is watch and quote it

I know I can’t be the only person who’s watched Mean Girls 25925285 times (a.k.a. to the point where I use quotes in actual conversations on a regular basis), so I also know I can’t be the only person who can’t actually WATCH the movie anymore without quoting it or putting part of it in my Facebook status or saying it out loud if there’s another person in the room (or even if there isn’t). And I say all of this with confidence because I refuse to believe I’m clinically insane.

6. If I were Janice I would totally tell Cady what Regina said about me just to remind her how terrible Regina is

Right? Or does that just come with old(er) age? Now, if I hear someone has said something terrible, I will give them the kibosh and then I will tell my friends EXACTLY what the person said so that we all know he or she is the absolute worst. But in high school . . . I mean, there are differences. Mainly that you’re afraid what the person said is true, so you never want to speak of it aloud again. BUT STILL. I would tell Cady what Regina George said and then I would assume that if Cady chose to be friends with her anyway, I wouldn’t want to know her. [Drops mic] But again, I am saying this as a 26-year-old and not as somebody ten years younger and oh boy, a decade since grade 11, you guys. Yikes.

7. I also tried to make “fetch” happen

I did. And I’m not proud, but I did it anyway. As a “tribute” to the movie, I told anyone who didn’t know what I was saying (that was a lie). Obviously I just really wanted to make “fetch” happen. And I still do, and that’s something we are all just going to have to make peace with.

8. The animal parts, though, I could do with out, I’m not going to lie

Let’s get one thing straight: I love Mean Girls. I love it to the point that it’s probably weird and I will gauge whether I want to be friends with someone based on whether they can pick up on “You go, Glen Coco!” or not. BUT I will say that I could take or leave the kids-as-animals-by-the-watering-hole thing because … RIGHT? I don’t know. It’s just not really adding anything where literally everything else in this movie DOES. But I’m not going to focus on this type of grey area when . . .

9. Amy Poehler steals ALL THE SCENES

“Steal all the scenes!” is what I imagine Tina Fey said to Amy when they were on set. And she did! (Minus the scenes stolen by Tina Fey herself.) Because WE ALL KNEW THIS MOM. I did, anyway. And they DID give us “hump day treats” and they DID “rather we drink alcohol in the house” and she and her daughter were “best friends” (but not really because the girl in question actually lied to her mom all the time and shoplifted a lot …? It was terrible and I HATED going shopping with them because I have the biggest guilt complex in the world and also I knew that if I shoplifted my parents would literally leave me on the doorstep of a prison or something). ANYWAY. Amy Poehler, you guys. SHE DID IT.

10. The Burn Book – REAL OR FICTIONAL?

Well in this movie, duh, obviously it’s fictional. But in real life. There’s stuff like this, right? It’s called the internet now, BUT I can attest to the Burn Book of yesteryear because Ashley (my only friend in grade nine and ten and current best friend) and I had a book where we wrote all of our notes for the day back and forth and drew comics of The Plastics who hated us. And once we thought we lost it (which could have been disastrous because it had detailed notes allllll about the guys we liked) and it turned out to be behind her bedroom door, and then we NEVER. USED. IT. AGAIN.

11. I don’t think the Mathletes are social suicide

Okay, so I’ve been out of high school (wretched, wretched high school) for almost ten years, but even then, being academic wasn’t “social suicide” because even the coolest kids thought that going someplace in life was okay – as long as you got really good marks. Also, some of the most popular kids were also the most academic, and I’m pretty sure some of them were even in extra-curricular academic programs. ACTUALLY I will say it was almost super exclusive, so SOME OF US didn’t fit in still. So join the Mathletes is what I’m saying. Learn! TREAT. YO. SELF. (To knowledge!)

12. HALLOWEEN

RIGHT?! WHY IS HALLOWEEN SO SEXY NOW? Can we dial it down, friends? It’s October! Almost November! WE’RE ALL COLD. And you know who wants to wear a swimsuit on October 31? Hopefully no people because YOU GUYS sometimes it even snows. Anyway. The moral of the story is a) absolutely, Tina Fey, writer of Mean Girls: Halloween HAS become an excuse to wear animal ears and a bodysuit and b) WHY. Why can’t we all dress like Christmas presents again? Or at least like our pop culture heroes? (Like my friend who’s dressed like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids one year and Sue Sylvester the year before and from what I saw, IT WAS THE BEST.) More of that, everyone!

DUH.

13. WHATEVER Aaron how dare you  believe Regina’s lies

NO WAY. No way you believe her, Aaron – those stories are nuts! She saved a Kleenex you used? No. NO. Any one of us would totally just say, “Iiiii don’t think so, Tim” and then we would make the right choice by peaceing Regina out in a big way. But for movie’s sake obviously we needed a conflict, so here this is. (Even though if Aaron can’t see how awesome Cady is she shouldn’t even want to “steal” him back because he’s obviously shown terrible judgement.)

14. “You go, Glen Coco!”

The perfect scene. Get out of here, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

15. THE KEVIN G RAP

See, now, if this was an actual song released today I would buy the single and then I would follow the artist on tour because no song in the world would ever be as great as this. No song. Ever. Also, I just found out that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler actually taught the actor who plays Kevin G how to rap which only adds to the song, making Kevin Gnapoor the greatest living rapper alive. (I also worked with a guy ACTUALLY named Kevin G once, and whenever I tried to rap this song to him, he’d just look at me like, “…Huh?”) (We didn’t become friends.)

16. Ohhh my God, I’d be so embarrassed to perform the Jingle Bell Rock dance

Right? Like, they’re not singing – until Cady starts – and they’re not even really dancing, they’re just kind of walking all flirty-ish, which YES I KNOW is the purpose, but if this was real, IMAGINE. Because these “cool girls” are actually performing choreography to an adult contemporary version of a Christmas carol that could be way more fun, and they CHOSE this version and this song and they’ve been doing it for years. I mean, at least the Kenny G version is kind of sexy, you know?

17. Taco Bell IS fun, Karen, YOU GET IT

I haven’t had Taco Bell IN YEARS. Oh my goodness, what I would do for Taco Bell right now, too. Imagine. Or a burrito! That would make me feel better about EVERYTHING (especially considering nothing is making me particularly upset right now). But seriously, Karen. Probably the movie’s most underrated character. She knows what’s up! If I am sad, the FIRST THING I would like is food and then hey, if you’re going to take me to Taco Bell, COOL. BRING IT ON. (But only the soft shell tacos – none of this “oversized nacho chip” business for those of us who are terribly, terribly ignorant when it comes to faux Mexican food.)

18. MS. NORBURY 

Who can do no wrong. NONE. AMEN TO PUSHING PEOPLE, MRS. NORBURY. I remember laughing really hard at the part where Cady says she’s a drug pusher, but the older I get, the more I realize how infinitely perfect of a character Mrs. Norbury is. You DON’T have to dumb yourself down to get people to like you! If you do that, you are hanging out with the wrong kind of people. Also, push people! Do it! And call yourself a pusher as it’s happening!

19. THE THREE WAY CALLS

Oh boy. Well, I can confirm based on high school that these exist. First, I was part of many : 1) I was the secret third person on the phone while my friend called the guy I like to find out if he liked me (he did not) 2) I totally listened in while a friend confronted another friend and I was like, “Okay! I’ll be here! You just tell her WHAT YOU THINK!” (a.k.a three-way calling attacks) (worst) and 3) I was on the receiving end of a three-way call when two girls told me to dress “sexier” in grade 11 OR ELSE. And that was in the frame of about three months. (After that, three way calls were only meant for talking to Ashley AND Erica (or Erica and Alana) about the TV show we were collectively watching.)

Also, remember phone calls in general? Did anyone feel SO FETCH when they “got to” speak to someone “cool” on the phone? Like, “Oh yeah, we TOTALLY talked on the phone last night” because that obviously made you friends (nope). I also remember getting the courage to call some guy I liked in grade nine (OUT OF THE BLUE) (Oh my GOD it was a disaster) and his brother pretending to be him and OH MAN I am so glad text messaging exists.

20. OHHHH THE JANICE-CADY CONFRONTATION

ALSO the best. Because you know what? YOU GO, JANICE. You tell her! Now if you’re going to have a confrontation, it needs to look like this because Janice is just getting real and then Damien gets REALLY real because just give him his pink shirt back! I mean, avoid calling somebody a bitch at all costs, but Janice does the best job of saying everything we have always wanted to say to those girls who may or may not have made our lives absolutely terrible. Also, three points for throwing that awesome drawing at Cady as a final act of valour.

21. Regina George is freakishly smart though

Maybe SHE should join the Mathletes because I’ll tell you who could come up with framing the rest of the Plastics for slander: not me or probably most of us. So vindictive and manipulative and genius! Terrifying. Like The Brain of Pinky And The Brain. Only less of a mouse and more of a character played by Rachel McAdams. AND THEN SHE STARTS A WAR.

22. But man, I think every high school needs some sort of Norbury-led intervention

Right? Like, I remember watching this movie RIGHT out of high school, and thinking, “Oh my GOODNESS, yes.” Because I think we all just learn these lessons too late. Especially as women! High school is just a mecca of hormones and insanity and back-talking and pettiness and too late we realize we should have handled things differently or at least just asked ourselves What Would Norbury Do. So what WOULD Norbury do? Well, she would have a sharing and caring presentation, and we would all do that thing where we apologize and trust each other and it’s lovely and great. So who DOES have a lady problem that they’d like to talk about? (I mean, I am just obviously quoting the movie BUT hey – I mean, there is a comments section and I can give very amateur advice when/if you need it!)

PS. I just realized the irony of “THE GIRLS HAVE GONE WILD” (nine years later) which made me laugh far too hard for having known this movie by heart since 2004. So this is where I’m at as a human, basically.

23. NOW Regina George getting hit by a bus …

I mean, there are a couple of things. Like, that I don’t know if she would have survived or at least looked as good after the fact. Also, YIKES. Talk about a twist, let’s be honest with ourselves and everyone we know/knew. But also, why was Cady seen as the worst out of everyone during this whole situation? I mean, okay wait – YES. It was her fault Regina’s life turned out so terribly, but at the same time, Regina also did a lot of things that probably don’t warrant that many flowers. Also, how did the bus driver not even slow down slightly?

ALSO AGAIN (oh boy now I’m on a roll), that workshop actually turned out terribly considering someone got hit by a bus at the end and Regina probably suffered major psychological and physical damage, so maybe have workshops that are kind of like Ms. Norbury’s BUT also don’t end with someone attesting to ruining someone’s life.

24. BUT it’s okay you guys because it all works out

I mean, Cady does a full 180 and goes from being the ultimate Mean Girl to righting wrongs to actually being a really great person. SO this just goes to show all of us that:

1) Never have a burn book because you will ultimately think that you lost it at school and will panic-cry until you find it behind your best friend’s bedroom door.

2) You shouldn’t mess up someone’s life because they’re dating the guy you like.

3) You SHOULD have friends like Damien and Janice, always, all the time, forever and ever.

4) Ask yourself WHAT WOULD NOBURY DO.

Help me I’ve gone on a preachy tangent. I AM SO SORRY. This movie is just everything great, obviously.

25. AND PROM

Well what kind of a teen movie would it even be if there was no prom scene? NOW I felt prom was anti-climactic on a personal note, but if it looked like this prom and there was this much drama beforehand, I would probably go just to see what was going to happen. But when you think about prom scenes in movies, this one rules for two very distinct reasons:

1) There is a gift certificate to the Walker Brother’s Pancake House involved. And I’m going to be really honest about everything with you: I would really, really love some pancakes right about now. So this was just one of those things that jumped out at me because PANCAKES. Somebody make me some and then send them to me, please.

2) KEVIN AND JANICE FOREVER. I’m sorry to every other onscreen couple in movie history that doesn’t even come close.

AND THERE WE HAVE IT, YOU GUYS. Mean Girls. We did it. We watched it, nine years after the fact, and we all learned how high school can really be if you don’t go to a high school that’s like any other high school in the movies. Also, now we have a reason to quote it even more than we already do. Because at the very least, “Hell no! I did NOT leave the south side for this!” is stuck in your head.

FIN.

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  1. Soooo I’m a high school teacher and this post has inspired me to basically deal with all future issues in school in a Ms Norbury(/Regina George)-esque way. The film is definitely under-appreciated by current British teens and I’m determined to bring back the Mean Girls hype and lead the revival!

    Also, I was definitely hoping I’d get prom queen at prom this summer (even though I was technically a chaperone) just so I could re-enact Mean Girls. FYI – I didn’t get it. Got a couple of votes though. ;)

    Oh and my dad is definitely called Kevin G… Yeeeah he doesn’t understand the rap either…

  2. SWEAT PANTS ARE ALL THAT FITS ME RIGHT NOW.

    what my bff and I always say to each other after embarking on a food marathon.

    thanks so much for writing this, i have never agreed with anything more.

  3. Gosh I love Mean Girls! All last semester in college my best friends and I would have slumber parties and ALWAYS quote this or Bridesmaids but by far the person I quote this wonderful movie with the most- who ALWAYS gets my references is my dad… We both LOVE this movie! :)

  4. Whenever anyone says the same word more than twice in a sentence I immediately respond with “say crack again.” Whether or not they look at me funny or immediately respond with “crack” determines whether we have a future as friends.

  5. Fun (but also weird) fact: Mean Girls is based on the book Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence. Weirder is I totally remember my mom reading that book before the movie came out and how discomforting it was.

  6. Damian: That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets. Also please make a new awesome shitty things podcast! My bus rides are so boring without them!

  7. So, you have your cousins, and then you have your first cousins, and then you have your second cousins…

  8. Oh my God, Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white!

  9. My absolute favourite thing about this movie, is at the prom when Cady says “I know this song!”, it’s Samantha Ronson! Thus, also showing a weird psychic connection of keraziness to come!

  10. OMG! Danny DeVito, I love your work!

  11. Actually, on Wednesdays we wear pink.
    You can’t sit with us!!

    Now, chlamydia. K-L-A…

  12. “Her name is Cady. Cady Heron. Where are you, Cady?”
    “That’s me. It’s pronounced like Katie.”
    “My apologies. I have a nephew named Anfernee, and I know how mad he gets when I call him Anthony. Almost as mad as I get when I think about the fact that my sister named him Anfernee.”

  13. You can’t sit with us!

  14. A friend and I had a burn book of sorts in 9th grade; one of the boys stole it, read it, and then made copies and handed them out to everyone. He didn’t get punished, because apparently we were to blame for wanting to save paper by using a book instead of writing each other a million notes.. so yea, that scene where Regina is passing out those copies still makes me a little mad everytime I watch it..!

  15. Nice wig Janice, What’s it made of? Your mom’s chest hair!!!

  16. Following that intro you DEFINITELY need to do heathers

  17. Cady totally nailed the feeling you get when something goes horribly wrong in your love life, “My stomach felt like it was going to fall out my butt.”

    Umm..if you did an OLMN on Dazed and Confused that’d be the best.

    • Hi! I did! It was the second recap I did, so if you click on “more of this series” and scroll, you’ll find it! xo

      Anne T. Donahue | 7/26/2012 01:07 pm
  18. Do not have sex. You will get pregnant. And die.

  19. Haha!! I loved this! One of my favorites….
    “I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy…”
    “She doesn’t even go here!”