Happy Mean Girls Day!
Mean Girls Day comes but once a year … That’s October 3rd to the uninitiated!! If you have no clue what the hell I’m going on about, where the hell have you been???
You may have thought the teen movie MEAN GIRLS is ‘just’ some vacuous teen movie but IT’S NOT. There’s plenty here that screenwriters and novelists alike can learn from for their own stories. Ready? Then let’s go, bitches!
1) Our protagonist’s journey is so relatable
Great characterisation is about relating your characters’ journey to your audiences’ and MEAN GIRLS has this in spades. After all, who HASN’T wanted to be popular, especially at school, but even in the adult world at work? Not many people, I’d be willing to put real money on that.
So whatever genre you’re writing, or medium such as a screenplay, a novel or transmedia project, making your audience INVEST in your characters and how they see the world is absolutely key. MORE: 3 Reasons Why LEGALLY BLONDE Is Like, The Best Characterisation Totally, Ever, PLUS Is “Good” Characterisation Really About Change?
2) It’s got great secondary characters
Too many writers – whether screenwriters OR novelists – forget to flesh out their secondary characters. Yet in MEAN GIRLS we have a varied cast of characters whom we can really get on board with, even if we’re supposed to dislike them, like The Plastics. I don’t know about you, but I even felt sorry for Alpha Plastic Regina when she started gaining weight! There aren’t many screenplays that can make us empathise with an antagonist character, so BRAVO. MORE: 4 Female Secondary Characters Who Deserve Their Own Movie
3) It’s so QUOTABLE!
A lot of my Bang2writers obsess over dialogue and it’s not difficult to see why. Great screenwriting *is* totally quotable and we allllllll want people to say our lines and write them as their Facebook statuses. It’s the ultimate in **writing cool** and let’s face it, there aren’t many perks of this job money-wise! So knowing people remember our dialogue with a big smile on their face is a GREAT reward. Here’s 20 MEAN GIRLS quotes, ranked from Grool To Totally Fetch.
4) There’s a strong message
The message to many comedies is “be true to yourself”, yet MEAN GIRLS reminds us of the truth of this message whilst also counselling us to “BE KIND to others” at the same time, whether the subject is slutshaming; “othering” people we don’t understand; fat shaming; or being loyal to your friends – ALL things girls (and boys!) have to navigate at high school and in society beyond. This is more nuanced than the average teen movie, yet it doesn’t ever get preachy either.
5) It’s written by a female screenwriting legend!
Tina Fey, ladies and gents. Enough said.
So if you’ve never watched MEAN GIRLS? No time like the present, people. GET WATCHING!
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