Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Mean Girls: The Movie For The Theater Kids [REVIEW]

Kay McHugh

Oh, God. Another musical.

The 2024 “Mean Girls” movie adaptation of the 2019 Broadway musical, based on the classic 2004 screen comedy has been released, and if that sounds entirely too much, that’s because it is. The newest remake, a sour skit from the millennials, copycats the original in an unfunny, postmodern trash flash. 

Tina Fey, writer for both movies, creates a replica TikTok version that so easily parodies her later work. It did, almost exactly, what the YouTube Hunger Games Spoof Movie did. No, wait, the Starving Games parody was so much better, in mocking the original, and actually made something new.

This isn’t me subtly hating musicals, just those awkward seconds right before you feel the cast will break out in song and dance. Those were the worst seconds of my life. Oh my God. And it isn’t as if they helped the plot in any way—I really, actually, couldn’t tell you what it helped. Each number was more forgettable than the last and the longer I stayed in the theater, the more I was sure. I literally hated this movie.

I think, maybe, Fey’s attempts at keeping the relevancy of her script, tampered, too much, the satirical high school trope that we all love so much. The new movie took itself too seriously. It removed the slang and slur and the ruthlessness of the teenaged girl. I mean, the “Mean Girls,” weren’t mean enough. 

I needed to envy their status, to pray I was part of their clique, but I really didn’t care. Their rivalry against each other was boringly mediocre. The “Burn Book” held no cheeky secrets, and was disappointing underwhelming. The once iconic prop, mirrored the movie well: plain and lame. 

The Reneé Rapp lore made the watch just tolerable. Rapp (who played the same role on Broadway) plays the hot pink stilettoed Queen B, Regina George, in a passive, misanthropic guise that had a muted beotch-y feel from Rachel McAdams’ take in the 2004 edition.

Rapp’s obvious stardom seemed to be the only pinnacle for the supposed success of the film, despite her low screen time. Her indifferent aura in both the movie and the movie’s press tours hyped the new starlet up. Her unapologetically messy public faux pas has hailed her “queen of relatability,” from verbally obsessing over Megan Thee Stallion’s talent and ass to publicly claiming to be an ageist, Rapp is winning over the audience.

Replacing Lindsey Lohan’s “Cady” is Angourie Rice, who I felt was a mistake to be cast. Her transformation from nerdy, homeschooled girl to the wicked new bully wasn’t at all convincing. I would blame the screenwriter, but I don’t think that was the problem. I mean, who the hell is Angourie Rice? 

Her clawing up to popularity, ruining every existing friendship in the high school hellscape, was too nonchalant. Not because it was easy, but because it wasn’t her story. She didn’t actually care for this.

This tasteless revival of the devilishly naughty high school comedy did absolutely nothing in conjuring originality (other than swapping out characters to make them browner and gayer). 

Here’s what’s wrong with trying to remake something as iconic as “Mean Girls.” The new cast knows, too well, the original piece, so that when delivering the same lines, it’s done with the same mannerisms and the same tone and it comes off as tacky. But even the most memorable lines were butchered. The “get in loser, we’re going shopping,” was incomplete, the absurd insults like “you can go shave your back now,” were absent. It felt like the new movie was just a watered-down replica of the 2004 “Mean Girls.” The 2024 copycat, scared of “woke teens” and their cancel culture.

Tina Fey had obviously prioritized talents in singing over acting for this project. Casting real pop stars and Disney voice actors damaged the comedic timing and performances of the cult classic. The thing I’m mad about, though, was that the music wasn’t even good music. It was a limping hyper pop playlist from the musical theater kids, for the musical theater kids.  

The tired rendition of the pink plastics was no more than a trendy box office money grab tailored to the audiences of the Broadway musical.

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  • E

    Jan 25, 2024 at 9:43 am

    have you seen the broadway musical??? this wasn’t for theatre kids either

    • T

      Theresa Ratliff
      Mar 17, 2024 at 11:39 am

      Absolutely not worth watching! “Trash flash” is the perfect descriptor.