It’s probably a good thing “Mean Girls” came out when it did (2004). People who were in high school then may very well now have children the same age as the characters.
Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.Synposis
And when it came out social media was basically in its infancy. The kind of all-too-serious “reputation destruction” behavior (as psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls it) that could be manageably presented as humorous then would probably nowadays turn quickly tasteless!
The reason is the social media explosion (not to mention 2+ years of pandemic isolation). “Mean girl” behavior, in reality, is anything but funny, especially when it leads to stuff like self-harm, substance abuse, and suicide. But I suppose the 2004 film could tread the line it did when scrapbooks and rudimentary chat rooms were just a thing…not an intrusive 24/7 presence. 50 million social media platforms and a more refined interpretation of the old “sticks and stones” adage (As a matter of fact, “words can hurt you.” They can’t literally pierce the flesh.) would make Tina Fey’s work harder to put out to a positive reception.
“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.”– Girl Who Doesn’t Go to the School