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Is the New “Mean Girls” Worth the Hype

A Review of the Musical “Mean Girls” Movie

Photo by Yulia Khlebnikova on Unsplash

Regina George returns in the new “Mean Girls” movie in a musical way. After the Broadway adaptation of the 2004 “Mean Girls” was cut short due to COVID-19, Tina Fey, who played Ms. Norbury in the 2004 “Mean Girls,” was presented with the opportunity to make the musical into a film. The directors and writers worked to make a mix of the 2004 “Mean Girls” and the musical to produce what fans of both forms of media are reacting to.

The film features many popular faces, such as Renee Rapp (Regina George), who also played Regina George in the musical, and Christopher Briney (Aaron Samuels), who played Conrad in the popular series “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” Another familiar face includes Tim Meadows (Mr. Duvall), but the revamped cast combined with some new faces created a mix of the classics while allowing the new movie to have its own flair. 

The biggest difference from the 2004 “Mean Girls” is the fact that the new film is a musical. Since it is an adaptation of the Broadway show, directors wanted to keep that element when creating the script. Some songs from the original “Mean Girls” were added into the new movie’s soundtrack, including  “Stupid With Love,” “Apex Predator” and “Revenge Party.” The singing in the film was pretty good as some of the actors sing professionally. However, the moments where they would burst into songs could be cringe-worthy. One notable moment, Angourie Rice’s (Cady Heron) rendition of  “Revenge Party” was a letdown. The annunciation from singers in musicals is an important aspect of theater, but since the song was recorded in a studio, her audio sounded more toned-down than her co-stars. On the flip side, a popular song from the new movie is “Not My Fault” by Renee Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion. Fans were pleasantly surprised when Rachel McAdams, the actress who played Regina George in the old film, introduced the two singers in their Saturday Night Live performance. 

The humor and cast in the new “Mean Girls” is more socially conscious than the 2004 “Mean Girls.” Previously Janis’ sexuality was never explicitly said besides jokes and comments made by Regina George. In the new film, Janis, now Janis ‘Imi’ike to pay homage to actress Auliʻi Cravalho’s Hawiian heritage, is openly lesbian.

“I think it’s really important that we show high school for what it is today, in as many colors, in as many forms, with as much glitter,” Cravalho said.

Moreover, the new “Mean Girls” introduces diversity through the Indian actress Avantika (Karen Shetty) and the Black actor Jaquel Spivey (Damien Hubbard). Creating a cast that is more current through representation and changing names to fit the character was a huge part in the casting.

It is important to remember that the new movie is a spinoff of the original one, rather than a remake. The revamped version of “Mean Girls” accomplishes its goal of making their own unique version of the original storyline. If you are a fan of the fun, light-hearted movies as well as the Broadway show, then this movie is a must watch for you.

<Star Rating>

Humor: ★★★☆☆

Music: ★★★★☆

Cast: ★★★★★


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Andy Poll

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