Mean Girls

NZ release: 24 June 2004

Adult themes Rated on: 24 June 2004

Mean Girls

What’s it about?

Cady joins a new school and befriends Janis and Damian. They initially warn her to avoid the Plastics but somehow she becomes a part of a plot to take them down. Things take a turn for the worse as she gets in too deep with the Plastics, especially when she falls the queen bee’s ex-boyfriend.

The facts

  • Directed by Mark Waters (500 Days of Summer) and screenplay by Tina Fey (Date Night and 30 Rock)
  • English language
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
  • Followed by Mean Girls 2 and a musical adaption on Broadway.

Why did it get this rating?

This film was cross-rated by the Film and Video Labelling Body. You can find out more about cross-rating here.

Adult themes

Sexual references and jokes are made throughout the film. Underage young people are shown drinking at parties.

This film is about high school and really highlights social politics of trying to fit in, cattiness and boy troubles. A lot of this is contained in references and is quite funny but wouldn’t be appropriate for younger tamariki to watch.

Cruelty and bullying

The film is about bullying and navigating the social hierarchy that structures high school life. There are many examples of cruelty in the form of bullying. However the film has a positive end and pushes the message that things need to change. Examples of bullying include:

  • A group of girls create the “burn book” which details mean things about a lot of people at the school, including teachers. This book is later distributed throughout the school in a plot to frame one character in particular.
  • A character is accused of being a lesbian and is cast out by her friends.
  • In a wider plot to bring down the queen bee both successful and unsuccessful ideas are put in place, including giving her nutrition bars to eat that cause her to gain weight.

While these are all acts of cruelty most of the mean things that happen are usually during conversations and what characters say to each other.

Offensive language

Swear word, slurs and insults are used throughout the film, in either comedic or mean ways. This includes words like include “f**k”, “b*tch” and “d*ke”. Characters often call each other “fugly sl*t”.

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