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  • Writer's pictureRua Fay

Is "Mean Girls" 2024 Fetch?

We all know Mean Girls, but if you haven't been keeping up with the world of Broadway in the past couple of years, you probably missed the Mean Girls musical, based off the 2004 film. Written and produced by the legendary Tina Fey and based off an iconic movie, the musical opened on Broadway in 2018 and closed in 2020 after over 800 performances. Although it received mixed reviews from critics, it scored 12 Tony Nominations so you can reasonably call it a successful show. In January of 2024, Hollywood attempted to make a movie, based on a musical...based on a movie. But was this adaptation as fetch as we all were hoping?

The official trailer for Mean Girls came out in Early November of 2024 and Twitter absolutely erupted. For every 10 people that said it looked good, there were 50 that said it looked terrible, unfortunately I was in the second group. I grew up as a major Broadway nerd but I always hated Mean Girls the musical, I thought the songs were annoying and that it basically ushered in a new era of unoriginal adapted musicals. I'm also a huge fan of the original Mean Girls and I get a little protective when something classic gets rebooted. When it comes to the 2024 film, my expectations were in the gutter....and the movie proved me right.

My main issue with Mean Girl 2024 is that none of the actors really embody the characters we've come to know and love. I think the only one who really clicked was Jaquel Spivey as Damian. In terms of actors, this film acted as the big break for Renee Rapp who played Regina George in the Broadway musical and then reprised her role for the movie. It's undeniable that she is a very talented performer but in my opinion, her performance doesn't come close to Rachel McAdams. But one thing's for sure, she's a hell of a lot better than Angourie Rice as Cady. The one thing that all viewers alike can seem to agree on is that Rice was a poor choice for the lead role, it even started a Tiktok trend users would compare her performance with the original Broadway recording and comparatively, she sounds bored and uninteresting. She's not the best singer, and that's not her fault, it's just a baffling casting decision. But the one that annoys me the most is Bebe Wood as Gretchen Wieners. I personally consider Lacey Chabert's performance as Gretchen to genuinely be one of the best in the comedy genre, so for Wood to be missing all of her crucial comedic timing and charisma was kind of heartbreaking. I did however, find myself enjoying Avantika's performance as Karen...right up until she started singing.

I personally believe that every member of this cast has the ability to give a stellar performance in the future, but considering the script they had to work with, I don't blame them for being sub-par. The lyrics are so insanely literal in every song, relying on tell don't show. In the song about Cady being good at math but bad at dating, the chorus literally reads "smart with math but stupid love." And the song where Regina states that her queen bee persona is just a character, she states "this is performance, this is all self defense." I'm pretty sure the writers were born in a timeline where metaphors or subtlety don't exist.

If you're a particularly eagle-eyed fan, Mean Girls 2024 gets even worse because you'll see just how corporate this movie is. The film is absolutely littered with obvious product placement from brands like Cheetos, American Eagle, Pure Leaf, Bubly, Bratz Dolls, Secret Deodorant, and apparently Regina's favorite makeup brand: elf? You're telling me ultra-rich Regina George uses drug store makeup? It all just reads like a competition to see which corporation can get the most screen time and once you notice it, it's impossible to unsee.

But like any piece of media, there are some good elements. Namely, Tina Fey's comedy is still as witty as ever, maybe not with all of the characters but her and Tim Meadows are definitely stand outs in terms of one-liners, even though the comedy is a clear step-down from the original. The one musical scene that I felt actually worked 100% was "Someone Gets Hurt." Just in terms of lighting, camerawork and performances, it was probably the only scene I can see myself going back to.

So no, I did not like Mean Girls 2024, I was not first in line at the theater to see it, and I haven't really joined the Renee Rapp hype train. But it did get some positive reviews and grossed early triple its budget so this might not be the last we see of this story, but for now...let's hope it is.

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