Lifetime’s Holiday High School Reunion Is One Long Mean Girls Reference

If I told you to name the high school comedy that Lifetime‘s newest movie, Holiday High School Reunion, most resembles, what would you say? Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? Wrong. I mean, there’s a little bit of that, plus a few Breakfast Club references, plus a little bit of every romantic comedy ever, but those aren’t the movies to which it pays the most homage.

That honor goes to Mean Girls. That’s right. The masterpiece that I’d bet good money is playing on TV right now somewhere in the world, probably on multiple channels and in more than one language. And with good reason. Anyone who doesn’t love Mean Girls is no friend of mine.

The plot doesn’t have much in common with Mean Girls, in that it’s about an aspiring fashion designer/former cheerleader named Georgia (Rachel Boston) who attends her high school reunion to try to win back her ex-football player boyfriend Craig. But the Mean Girls references are pervasive. Oh, let me count the ways.

I began to have visions of Plastics dancing through my head when Georgia’s high school friend Ben showed up near the start of the film. I immediately recognized him, but I couldn’t place from where. After a minute of stressed thinking, the wonderful, beautiful answer dawned on me. Ben is played by Jonathan Bennett, better known as AARON “October 3rd” SAMUELS! I was ashamed that it took me so long to realize, but he’s aged eight years, so cut me some slack.

Ben tells Georgia he doesn’t want to go to the reunion, because, as he says, “I traveled 5,000 miles to get away from high school. I’m not going back there.” Too bad, Ben/Aaron/Jonathan, because you’re about to.

This movie’s version of the Plastics are Georgia’s three cheerleader friends. Tori is now a successful model who scolds one of the other Plastics for binging on chocolate and insists on standing in the center of the group. Oh, Regina George, I’ve missed you.

These girls ask Georgia to help them perform their old glee club holiday numbers at the reunion. This school obviously doesn’t exist in Ryan Murphy‘s universe, because the cheerleaders willingly joined glee club instead of being forced to fraternize with the geeks because — I don’t remember why. That show is exhausting to keep up with.

The important part of this scenario is that the performances feature the girls singing and dancing as angels and slutty Christmas trees. A disaster occurs when Georgia accidentally knocks a big light-up snowflake off the stage. It unfortunately doesn’t hit anyone in the head, but c’mon, the reference is pretty spot-on, as is the image of Tori and Georgia bumping into each other onstage.

That’s not all, guys! At one point Georgia finds refuge in a bathroom stall, a la Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) eating her sandwich in the bathroom. At the end, a teacher (Harry Hamlin) dressed as Santa, complete with a deep “ho ho ho” voice, gives out labeled Secret Santa presents from a sack. Sadly, Glen Coco is nowhere to be found.

To make a long story short, Georgia recovers from her ten-year amnesia and remembers that, oh yeah, Craig totally cheated on her at prom and her friend Ben was really great, so she ends up with him. I called that at the beginning, but that’s not important. What’s important is that this movie ends with the camera tracking away from Jonathan Bennett kissing our protagonist on the dance floor. Sound familiar?

Either someone involved with this movie loves Mean Girls (which by the transitive property or some other kind of math thing makes them my friend) or they were informed that Mean Girls is kind of the greatest movie ever made and therefore smart to emulate. Either way, thank you, Lifetime. You make me love you more every week.

(Image: Lifetime)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • nataliecrush

      I totally misread that Georgia literally had amnesia and was like, “Yep, classic Lifetime.”

    • Laurie

      One of the WORST lifetime movies ever! Don’t waste your time … horrible acting, stupid, corny, goofy beyond belief … made for a child’s “mind”.

    • Nomeangirlsmovie

      This is a horrible movie!!!!! The acting is AWFUL, the plot IDIOTIC, aughhhhhh BAD, BAD, BAAAAAAAAAD movie!!!!!!

    • Punahou Puns

      HATED this movie. It is a sub-par, weak imitation of the brilliant “Mean Girls” and Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion” Georgia, the main character, is an absolute airhead. She is supposed to be 28 years old, yet she still acts like she’s 15, slobbering all over her high school jock ex-boyfriend. She’s clumsy and awkward–why is it that producers/directors think it is hilarious when a female is bumbling and awkward? (i.e. almost dropping her Christmas packages, her foot slipping into the toilet). Unless you are a brilliant physical comedienne like Lucille Ball, an ordinary actress like Rachel Boston can’t pull it off. She ends up looking stupid, weak, stereotypically female, and not funny.

      And since when does a 28-year-old conveniently forget that her boyfriend cheated on her with the Prettiest Mean Girl and that’s why they broke up? Either this woman is pathetically desperate to get back with her old flame or else she’s already developed Alzheimer’s. Her character has not moved on at all nor has she matured in 10 years; emotionally she is still 18 years old. Georgia seems to smile a lot in this film, which makes her look even more immature and ditsy. Perhaps this is bad acting on Rachel Boston’s part. When watching this film, I kept asking myself, “HOW old are these characters supposed to be?”

      Such is Georgia’s cluelessness is that, even after being away 10 years, she fails to see her best male friend Ben has always been in love with her and cares for her; there were so many scenes with Ben and Georgia, you’d think the girl would finally catch on. Usually, after 10 years of being away, a person is more aware and can see things from a clearer perspective. No, not our little bimbo ding-dong Georgia.

      Speaking of not moved on or matured, why would Tori, a supposedly successful, wealthy, famous model, still be so jealous of Georgia, a total nobody? Why would such a woman be chasing after the loser jock boyfriend who still lives with his parents? A woman like that would be dating wealthy, famous men, not chasing after a high school loser.

      When I saw the previews, I thought this movie might be good, as I enjoy Christmas movies, But the plotlines and characters seem very weak, unrealistic and 2-dimensional. They say imitation is a form of flattery, but this film is a total insult to “Mean Girls” and the other films it poaches ideas from.

      The dark-haired woman chasing after old geezer teacher? Creepy, very creepy. Total ick factor.

      While one singing number where Georgia screws up is fine, the stupid Christmas tree number could have been dropped altogether, as it did nothing to move the plot along. It was ghastly singing and choreography that we didn’t need to see.

      Lifetime usually puts out good Christmas movies with a bit of a bite so they don’t descend into sappiness. But Lifetime has a huge miss with this movie. I hope Lifetime doesn’t think that borrowed plots of good movies regurgitated as Christmas fare will be acceptable to its viewers, because they won’t. That is simply cheap, lazy, sloppy, unoriginal writing. Viewers deserve better.

    • Sherrie Fritz

      I liked the movie and there was a song that Georgia and Ben sang and I would love to know the name of it and where I could get the music

      • Christian

        YES i loved that song. I tried for so long to try and find this song online and its no where to be found! If anybody has any suggestions as to where to find it I’d be happy to hear it!

    • S. boucher

      Do you ever post anything when someone actually likes a movie? I LIKED the movie!!! In response to Punanou Puns this is actually what happens when someone goes back to their 10th year reunion. People are still trying to outdo everyone else. It is not uncommon for someone to go back after struggling for 10 years and have some hope that maybe life could be better if only they were with their highschool sweatheart because all they remember is the good stuff. As far as Tori is concerned, even though she has a successful career she is still trying to outdo Georgia so her character is believeable. I never saw Mean Girls and I probably will not see it either. When people go back to their 20th reunion everyone seems to be more real and accepting of each other and not trying to out do one another. The reason I liked this movie because it is believeable. Just looking at the love that Ben had in his eyes when watching Georgia was tender. This is supposed to be a love story and it was. Love all to often is right in front of us and we don’t see it. I’m sorry that others did not like this movie because I did. What I am disappointed with is the fact that lifetime did not show it on Dec. 24th. We had our cable changed on the 22nd and I lost my copy of the movie. During Christmas and New Years Pretty Women played constantly as well as marathons of Dance Mom’s. I used to look forward to Lifetimes 9pm movie during the week and they got rid of that, then they stopped showing Chritmas movies right after Christmas. Actully I am disappointed in LIfetime because they are not the high class station that they used to be. And for this movie to only have been shown a few times considering it was new is sad. I have seen Pretty Woman many times and would like to see something else. When can I expect to see Holiday High School Reunion again? Or can this movie be seen somewhere else???