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"Mean Girls"

By Jay Li Feb. 14, 2024 “On Wednesdays, we wear pink!” With just one iconic quote, Tina Fey—creator of the original cult-classic “Mean Girls”—launched me right back into the cafeteria cliques and Plastics of the ever-nostalgic Northshore High School.

Although strangely not advertised as one, the 2024 “Mean Girls” remake is a movie-musical based on the 2018 Broadway musical of the same name. This adaptation hits the same storybeats as its progenitor, following Cady Heron’s move from Kenya to Evanston and, thankfully, preserves what made the original so “fetch” while still offering a vibrant new score and cast. However, “Mean Girls” takes hardly enough risks to justify an entire remake. Initially fun aspects such as its TikTok videos and fourth-wall breaks ended up being heavily overused, making them come across more of a tacky gimmick. 

Moreover, several aspects of “Mean Girls” do not translate well from the Broadway musical format onto the big screen. Unlike other musical-movies like “La La Land” or “Tick, Tick... Boom!,” the majority of “Mean Girls'” musical numbers—such as the introductory “What Ifs” and painfully uncomfortable “Sexy”—fall short on enhancing narrative and suffer from abruptly awkward beginnings and ends. This results in an uncanny movie viewing experience incessantly interrupted by music videos.

Nevertheless, the new cast shines bright as one of the few enjoyable additions: Regina George remains iconic—from her domineering introduction with “Meet the Plastics” to her scandalous revelation of the Burn Book with “World Burn,” Reneé Rapp’s solo numbers prove to be the musical highlights of the film. “Mean Girls” also breathes new life into bestie duo Janis and Damian; their actors replicate what made the original characters so likable and turn the charisma dial up to a hundred. Yet, Angourie Rice as Cady lacks the screen presence necessary for a main character, leaving her far overshadowed by her fellow cast members. 

Despite its flaws, “Mean Girls” boasts a talented new cast and maintains the best parts of the original. Regina’s bus accident and Kevin Gnapoor’s triumphant shirt tear will still leave you cackling as it did years ago.


About the Contributors

Jay Li opinions editor Jay Li is a junior at Leland High school and the Opinions Page Editor for the Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys playing game pigeon and hanging out with his friends and family.

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