09
Sep
10

OBR – Ensemble Casts: Mean Girls (2004)

Somebody mentioned a while back (probably FilmDrunk) that of the ensemble cast of 2004’s Mean Girls, it was arguable that Lindsay Lohan, easily the most famous prior to the film, was the least successful following it. There is a couple ways to answer that: ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, possibly profit earned by subsequent films starring each of the main actresses.  Such measures does suffer from a bias inasmuch as it leaves out any television roles for the actors or actresses, but it would be marginally informative on just how everyone is doing.  Better than going on how many nude scenes everyone has filmed since (Tim Meadows IS Demetri Blackulus in Mushroom Stamp; never happened but let’s be honest, The Ladies’ Man wasn’t far off, which, unsurprisingly, took 11% as far as RT was concerned).

Ensemble casts themselves don’t always work out well; there are often movies that toss a panoply of actors into a mix without any discernible plan (or plot).  Even a classic film can fall prey to the tendency: The Blues Brothers actually came dangerously close to losing itself in cameos but was saved by the strength of its leads and the overall inspired mayhem of the film.  All too often, a film houses an ensemble for the ensemble’s sake.  The much stronger effect arises, quite obviously, not so much from a movie designed for an ensemble but a well rounded cast designed to fit the demands and flow of the film.  Mean Girls, whether you like the movie or not, had an ensemble that molded well to the interactions of its characters.

Mean Girls was one of those films that played constantly on HBO or Showtime when I had access to those channels for a brief period of time a few years ago.  Lindsay Lohan’s tits brought you to the table and the movie was good enough keep the fork and knife in your hands.  Perhaps the most disturbing fact was that, with a cast is a murderers row of hotness spanning Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lohan, Lizzy Caplan and Tina Fey,  everyone except for Fey plays a student and their ages run (at the time of filming):

Fey: 34

McAdams: 28

Chabert: 22

Caplan: 22

Seyfried: 19

Lohan: just under 18

GOO!  Apparently Lohan being a sex-symbol in the film was a little bit over the wall to PervLand (where the oompa-loompas wear no pants).  No matter.  Here’s how the core of cast made out, post-production.

Rotten Tomatoes Score (click to enlarge):

Profit per Screen (Domestic; click to enlarge):

None of the members exactly made out like bandits, but Lohan hitting a brick wall in 2008 sticks out as she was easily the most well known when Mean Girls itself was filmed (despite being the youngest).   McAdams is probably the most respected at this point, although box office receipts are hardly guaranteed by her presence.  Seyfried has perhaps been the most risque (other than Lohan’s actual life) with her turn in Chloe that featured multiple sex scenes including a lesbian scene with Julianne Moore.

Beyond McAdams, the remainder have all appeared on television, with Chabert doing the bulk of very unsung work (in addition seven separate films that received no tomatometer rating).  The strongest television performances though came from Lizzy Caplan, who did 19 episodes of “Related“, six episodes of HBO’s delightful trashfest “True Blood” (in which she killed a vampire, went topless–somewhat of a prereq for actresses on this program–and was killed off via being strangled by a serial killer while high on vampire blood), and 20 turns in “Party Down“.  This ignores of course Fey’s writing and starring in 81 episodes of the award winning “30 Rock“.   Fellow SNL alum Amy Poehler went on to front “Parks and Recreation“, good for 52 episodes so far, and a series of shit caked flicks, the exception being Blades of Glory (RT: 69%), opposite Will Ferrell, Jon Heder and her husband Will Arnett.

The male actors in the film, namely mainly on Jonathan Bennett, Rajiv Surendra and Daniel Franzese, have basically done jack and shit since, .  They weren’t terribly memorable in the film itself either.  Tim Meadows, the best known of the fellas, has shown up in punch bowl turds like Semi-Pro (RT: 20%) and The Benchwarmers (RT: 12%), although Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story had some redeeming value (and a stunningly high RT of 74%).

Perhaps not a win all around for the Mean Girls‘ ensemble, but definitely a strong showing.  Well, if Lohan gets off the sauce and poppers.

Any opinion expressed here is my own and not that of the firm which employs me.  Under no circumstances should writings or links on this website be taken as a solicitation for an investment or as investment advice.  These topics and commentaries are, whole and entire, for entertainment and discussion purposes only.

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