It’s Time to Move On From ‘Mean Girls’
Look, I adore Tina Fey. And Rachel McAdams. And old Lindsay Lohan. Everything about Mean Girls, which turns 10 this year, is golden, memorable and hilarious. But there’s no way to ruin a good thing quite like beating it to death, and we’ve let the Internet get away with this for way too long.
There’s so much to love about Mean Girls, and given the fact that it represents the last time Lindsay Lohan was okay in the public eye, I see why people continue clinging to the dazzling natural redhead who first charmed the world in Parent Trap. The comedy also introduced us to Rachel McAdams, an actress who’d go on to star in another instant classic, The Notebook, among others. Tina Fey took the entertainment world by storm and became a legend, and ’90s celebrity Lacey Chabert was able to make a comeback through Mean Girls. In a business where many projects flop and can destroy an otherwise promising person’s career, Mean Girls stood out and resonated with viewers for years. As much as I appreciate all it did for the performers and fans, it’s tiring to still see so much Mean Girls-related content online, especially with dozens of new movies and TV shows that are relevant, fresh and more deserving of our time and interest.
I can always browse the Internet and find an absurd amount of articles on all-things Mean Girls: 22 Things You Never Knew About Mean Girls, 10 Important Feminist Lessons We Learned From Mean Girls, Which Mean Girls Character Are You?, Mean Girls Valentine’s Day Cards For the Fetchest Losers in Your Heart, Can You Guess Mean Girls Lines From Just a Freeze Frame?, and Mean Girls Director Spills 10 Juicy Stories 10 Years Later, to list just a couple from the last year. It’s funny, but it feels excessive for a flick that hit theaters in 2004.
It’s not unusual to praise cinematic masterpieces years and years after their release. Mean Girls remains timely now that the nation recently decided to pay attention to bullying and acknowledge that people can be really awful in high school, but that’s not the reason specific individuals just can’t let go of this franchise. A significant part of the issue is our generation’s nostalgia obsession. As my friend and former colleague Matthew Rozsa explained in a recent article on millennials’ constant need to live in the past, “The generation that lived through the Great Depression at least had the social experimental creativity of the New Deal era, the foreign crusades of World War II, the rebellion of the ’60s and the Cold War to give them a greater sense of purpose. We, meanwhile, have been left with a suspicious global mission and domestic gridlock. With nothing of central purpose in our world, we’ve retreated to a childhood universe that spoke only in promises.”
In terms of media, we have a lot of exceptional content to look forward to and enjoy. It’s the Golden Age of TV, Oscar season is truly impressive this year and there are countless high qualities web series to watch if you lack the funds or interest in traditional television. With the exception of the Academy Awards®, none of the above was around in 2004, and maybe that’s why Mean Girls was so cherished back then. Even so, times have changed and there’s a lot more to be excited about than a film that reduces teens to female stereotypes and fails to consider the fact that boys can be bullies in high school too.
Mean Girls will go down in movie history as a coming of age classic, so let it be for a while. Stop writing about how awesome it is every single week. Allow others to miss it so when the 20-year release anniversary comes around, we won’t still be reading about and quoting from it on a daily basis. To paraphrase Regina George, “Stop trying to make Mean Girls happen …. It’s not going to happen” … in 2014.
Are you over Mean Girls too? Let me know either way in the comments section.
Featured image via WetPaint