Mark Waters

Active - 1997 - 2019  |   Born - Jun 30, 1964   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

A director with a talent for satire and a knack for remaining true to the written word of a well-penned screenplay, Mark S. Waters first came to the attention of film lovers with his biting 1997 black comedy The House of Yes. A graduate of the AFI directing program, Waters made his feature-directing debut a mere three years after his graduation from the distinguished program. A dark and incestuous tale of a college student who brings his girlfriend home to visit his dysfunctional family with predictably disastrous results, the film earned its young director nominations at both the Chicago International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival in addition to earning star Parker Posey a "Special Recognition" award at the latter. It was four years until Waters returned with his sophomore effort, Head Over Heels, in 2001, and though the mainstream teen comedy didn't have quite the bite of his former feature, it did show a remarkable talent to watch for. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Waters broke big, and after tackling the 1985 Senatorial hearings on indecency in music in the made-for-VH1 movie Warning: Parental Advisory (2002), Waters achieved the rare feat of delivering a remake that actually lived up to expectations with the 2003 Lindsay Lohan/Jamie Lee Curtis comedy Freaky Friday. By the time Freaky Friday hit screens, there was little doubt that Waters could deliver in terms of mainstream laughs -- but the question remained whether or not he could combine his talent for satire with his keen mainstream sensibilities. In the end, audiences on both sides of the fence had little to worry about, with his 2004 comedy Mean Girls offering a sharp adaptation (penned by Saturday Night Live alumni Tina Fey) of Rosalind Wiseman's bestselling book Queen Bees and Wannabes. Affectionately regarded by many as a less dark version of Michael Lehmann's Heathers (which was written by Waters' brother Daniel), the film again starred Lohan as a popularity-conscious high-school girl who unintentionally makes the mistake of crossing the path of her school's most vicious clique.

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