From 'Mean Girls' to 'Spider-Man 2': Hollywood hits from 2004 turn 20 with unwavering popularity

Posters of movies. Photo: IMDb

In 2004, movie fans were treated to a spectacular array of releases, making it a memorable year for cinema enthusiasts. However, this year holds special significance for another reason: several iconic movies from Hollywood are celebrating their 20th anniversary. Let's dive into five such legendary films that continue to captivate audiences two decades later.

Mean Girls
'Mean Girls', featuring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried, broke new ground in American teen comedy. Rather than focusing solely on typical high school friendships, the film explored the intricacies of teenage relationships, bullying, and social dynamics. Following the story of Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan), who was raised in Africa by her scientist parents, the film explores her transition to public school in suburban Illinois. Here, she quickly learns the harsh realities of popularity and the cliques that dominate her fellow students' social hierarchy.

The Notebook
When discussing love in films, one cannot overlook 'The Notebook'. It stands as a timeless tale, resonating with audiences of all ages. The story explores the complexities of love, particularly how societal disparities can pose challenges. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, the film shows Noah's unwavering love for Allie, despite their differing social backgrounds. Their romance faces opposition from Allie's disapproving parents, who separate them. Years later, fate reunites them, and their love story unfolds, showing the enduring power of love, companionship, and overcoming obstacles.

13 Going on 30
'13 Going on 30' has achieved popularity for several reasons. Firstly, its storyline delighted audiences with its unique premise. The idea of a 13-year-old girl waking up in the body of her 30-year-old self offers a fresh and engaging portrayal that resonated with viewers.

Moreover, the film taps into a powerful nostalgia factor. By exploring themes of adolescence and second chances, '13 Going on 30' allows viewers to reminisce about their own teenage years while pondering how they might change if given the opportunity to relive certain moments.

Spider-Man 2
Following the tremendous success of 'Spider-Man 1', which featured Tobey Maguire as the iconic superhero, the franchise released its highly anticipated sequel in 2004. Set two years after the events of the first film, the sequel sees Peter Parker grappling with new challenges. He must thwart scientist Dr. Otto Octavius's plans to recreate a perilous experiment that led to the death of Octavius's wife and his own fusion with mechanical tentacles. Meanwhile, Peter faces an existential crisis as he struggles with the conflict between his dual identities, a conflict that threatens to rob him of his powers.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' marks the third instalment in the franchise. It's a pivotal moment as the series transitions from the cheerful ambience of Hogwarts to its darker elements. While it has an engaging storyline, it's important to note that this film is the lowest-grossing among the entire Harry Potter series. The plot revolves around the trio discovering the escape of the deranged killer Sirius Black from Azkaban prison. With the guidance of the mysterious new teacher, Lupin, Harry learns defensive skills but soon realizes there's a hidden connection between Lupin and Black.

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