- Now widely popular Mean Girls quotes – “Boo, you whore!” – have earned actress-screenwriter Tina Fey a surprising Writer Guild Award nomination.
- Howard Hughes biopic and Southern California Wine Country road movie have topped this year’s Golden Globes.
Tina Fey’s Mean Girls quotes earn Lindsay Lohan teen movie surprising Writers Guild Award nomination
The inclusion of 30 Rock actress-screenwriter Tina Fey’s Mean Girls screenplay was the big surprise among the 2005 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award nominations. After all, despite plenty of Mean Girls quotes floating about, the Mark Waters-directed hit teen comedy starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lacey Chabert, has been largely ignored this awards season. (Several memorable Mean Girls quotes can be found a few paragraphs down.)
Moreover, the other nominees in the WGA Awards’ big-screen categories are all U.S. critics’ favorites to some extent or other, including The Aviator, Sideways, and Million Dollar Baby. Mean Girls is undeniably the outlier.
Update: See further below a partial list of this year’s WGA Award winners and nominees.
WGA Awards eligibility
It should be noted that as a result of the WGA’s guild-oriented eligibility rules, non-English-language releases are almost invariably disqualified from the awards.
One exception is this year’s Spanish-language entry The Motorcycle Diaries / Diarios de motocicleta, deemed eligible because Walter Salles’ partly U.S.-funded road movie/political drama was produced according to WGA regulations.
On the other hand, certain U.S./part-U.S. films made by companies not affiliated with the Guild were ineligible for the awards. Case in point: Marc Forster’s Miramax-distributed Finding Neverland, which was produced outside the WGA’s current labor regulations.
The most notorious such exclusion is probably that of another Miramax movie, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, which was left off the 1994 WGA Awards’ longlist.
Ineligible for WGA Awards, eligible for Oscars
Although ineligible for the WGA Awards, well-regarded non-English-language films such as Alejandro Amenábar’s The Sea Inside, Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement, remain potential Oscar contenders in the writing categories (but not necessarily for Best Foreign Language Film), as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a different set of eligibility rules.
In early 2004, for instance, Denys Arcand’s French-language The Barbarian Invasions and Fernando Meirelles’ Portuguese-language City of God were left off the WGA’s list. Yet both films went on to receive Oscar nominations in the screenwriting categories.
The previous year, the same off/on thing happened with two Spanish-language titles: Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También and Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her. The latter would earn screenwriter-director Almodóvar the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
Also absent from the 2003 WGA Awards list was Roman Polanski’s English-language The Pianist, a Polish-British-French-German co-production that ultimately was given the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.
Going back one more year: in early 2002, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s French-made, WGA Award-bypassed Amélie found itself listed as one of the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nominees.
WGA Awards vs. animated films
Something else: bizarrely, animated films are not allowed to compete for the WGA Awards. The Academy Awards have no such rule.
Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson’s Shrek (2001) and Andrew Stanton’s Finding Nemo (2003) are two recent animated features that received Oscar nominations in the writing categories. This year, the same will probably happen with Brad Bird’s The Incredibles.
Somewhat ironically, due to the Oscars’ fiercer competition, Tina Fey’s WGA-recognized Mean Girls quotes have only an iffy chance of earning their film a nomination.
Update: As it turned out, WGA nod or no, Tina Fey’s Mean Girls quotes were indeed bypassed for the Academy Awards.
Mean Girls quotes: Monday pants & Halloween sluts
Partially based on Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002 nonfiction self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes, Mean Girls is set in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Evanston, where a teenager (Lindsay Lohan), recently returned to the U.S. after years in Africa, is enrolled at the local public high school.
There she meets the members of the fearsome Plastics clique: a rich bitch (Rachel McAdams), her sycophantic pal (Lacey Chabert), and their dimwitted blonde friend (Amanda Seyfried).
Other key characters: the Plastics’ mortal goth enemy (Lizzy Caplan), a flamboyant gay stereotype (Daniel Franzese), and a calculus teacher who may or may not be a drug dealer (Tina Fey).
Among the popularized Mean Girls quotes are:
- Rachel McAdams’ Regina asserting, “I can’t go to Taco Bell, I’m on an all-carb diet.”
- Amanda Seyfried’s Karen marveling, “It’s like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can tell when it’s gonna rain.”
- Daniel Franzece’s Damian confiding, “My grandma takes her wig off when she’s drunk.”
- Lacey Chabert’s Gretchen exclaiming, “Regina, you’re wearing sweatpants. It’s Monday. … You can’t sit with us!”
- Also Gretchen, faux lamenting, “I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me. But I can’t help it that I’m popular.”
- Lindsay Lohan’s Cady philosophizing, “In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up and beg for candy. But in Girl World, Halloween is the one day of the year a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
Mean Girls’ awards season recognition
Apart from the WGA Awards, the Mean Girls quotes – and their delivery – have resulted in nominations only from lesser-known and/or populist groups, among them:
- Online Film & Television Association: Tina Fey (Best First Screenplay) and Lindsay Lohan (Best Youth Performance).
- Broadcast Film Critics Association (and its Critics’ Choice Awards): Lindsay Lohan (Best Young Actress).
- People’s Choice Awards: Favorite Movie Comedy.
See below a partial list of the 2005 WGA Award winners (announced on Feb. 19) and nominees. Tina Fey’s Mean Girls quotes lost out to Sideways’ Merlot odes.
The Aviator - John Logan.
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Charlie Kaufman; story by Kaufman, Michel Gondry & Pierre Bismuth.
Garden State - Zach Braff.
Hotel Rwanda - Keir Pearson & Terry George.
Kinsey - Bill Condon.
Before Sunset - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; story by Linklater & Kim Krizan.
The Motorcycle Diaries - José Rivera.
Mean Girls - Tina Fey.
Million Dollar Baby - Paul Haggis.
* Sideways - Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor.
Bright Leaves - Ross McElwee.
Control Room - Julia Bacha and Jehane Noujaim.
Home of the Brave - Paola di Florio.
The Hunting of the President - Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry.
In the Realms of the Unreal - Jessica Yu
* Super Size Me - Morgan Spurlock.
* Something the Lord Made - Peter Silverman & Robert Caswell.
Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story - J.T. Allen.
Spinning Boris - Yuri Zeltser & Grace Cary Bickley.
* Angels in America - Tony Kushner.
Cavedweller - Anne Meredith.
The Wool Cap - William H. Macy & Steven Schachter.
Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement: David Mamet.
Howard Hughes & Wine Country movies are Golden Globes’ favorites
From Tina Fey’s Mean Girls quotes and their surprising Writers Guild Award nomination to the Golden Globes: Martin Scorsese’s big & boisterous Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator was announced as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s top Motion Picture - Drama at a Jan. 16 ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Additionally, The Aviator earned Golden Globes for star Leonardo DiCaprio as the psychotically heroic all-American billionaire and for composer Howard Shore.
U.S. critics’ fave Sideways was the Golden Globes’ Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. Directed by Alexander Payne, the road movie stars Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church as two emotionally stunted middle-aged men, and Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh as the two women they meet while touring Southern California’s Wine Country.
Payne also shared with co-screenwriter Jim Taylor the Best Screenplay Golden Globe.
Martin Scorsese-Clint Eastwood turnabout
This awards season, a couple of U.S. critics’ groups have chosen Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby as the year’s Best Picture while selecting Martin Scorsese as Best Director for The Aviator. The HFPA, for its part, did things the other way around.
Eastwood’s boxing tale also earned Hilary Swank the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. Annette Bening topped the Comedy or Musical category for her portrayal of a London stage diva of decades past in Istvan Szabo’s Being Julia.
See below the full list of this year’s Golden Globe winners.
Motion Picture - Drama: The Aviator.
Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Sideways.
Foreign Language Film: The Sea Inside (Spain).
Actress - Drama: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby.
Actor - Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator.
Actress - Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening, Being Julia.
Actor - Musical or Comedy: Jamie Foxx, Ray.
Supporting Actress: Natalie Portman, Closer.
Supporting Actor: Clive Owen, Closer.
Director: Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.
Screenplay: Sideways - Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor.
Original Score: The Aviator - Howard Shore.
Cecil B. DeMille Award: Robin Williams.
Miniseries or TV Movie: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Actress - Miniseries or TV Movie: Glenn Close, The Lion in Winter.
Actor - Miniseries or TV Movie: Geoffrey Rush, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Musical or Comedy Series: Desperate Housewives.
Actor - Musical or Comedy Series: Jason Bateman, Arrested Development.
Actress - Musical or Comedy Series: Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives.
Drama Series: Nip/Tuck.
Actor - Drama Series: Ian McShane, Deadwood.
Actress - Drama Series: Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or TV Movie: William Shatner, Boston Legal.
Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or TV Movie: Anjelica Huston, Iron Jawed Angels.
Writers Guild Awards website.
Golden Globes website.
Images of Mean Girls quotes deliverers Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lindsay Lohan, and Lacey Chabert: Paramount Pictures.
Leonardo DiCaprio The Aviator image: Warner Bros. / Miramax Films.
“Mean Girls Quotes Earn Tina Fey Surprising Writers Guild Recognition + Martin Scorsese-Clint Eastwood Turnabout” last updated in May 2020.