‘Mean Girls’ is a nostalgic mash-up of the film and Broadway musical

By Anna Harman

I love musicals and theater, as well as the original film, so I was interested to see what they did with this movie. 

I knew this would be different from the original movie since it is a musical, but this film was significantly more cheesy. Of course, “Mean Girls” was always intended to be a bit ridiculous, portraying how absurd the Plastics act in the film, but there were several factors in the 2004 version that made it more tolerable. The Plastics looked the part of the unattainable, beautiful, popular girls in the original film more so than the 2024 musical. I also think that in the 2004 version, there wasn’t as much obvious effort to say things in a “safe” way as to make sure not to offend anyone, but I think that was the culture at the time. Although, I think the original was funnier because it didn’t have that sense of tension.

I was glad to see some familiar faces such as Tina Fey, stepping back into her role as Mrs. Norbury. Renee Rapp, who played Regina George in the Broadway musical from 2019-2020, reprised her role in this film and Auliʻi Cravalho, the voice of Moana, played Janis Sarkisian in the film. I think these big names helped save the film a little bit. Filmmakers likely chose these people to bring in more viewers. While big names such as Tina Fey, Auliʻi Cravalho and Renee Rapp made the film better, they couldn’t help this movie outshine the original 2004 Mean Girls movie.

The music was catchy and hilarious, even if it was a bit cheesy at times. Of course, Renee Rapp was incredible in every song, as a Broadway veteran and rising pop star. The other cast members were fairly talented singers, but Rapp definitely outperformed everyone else. “Someone Gets Hurt” in particular blew me away. The lighting and cinematography painted a picture of Regina George being this temptress-like figure trying to win back Aaron Samuels. Renee Rapp’s performance and expressions sold this number and almost made viewers see her from Aaron’s perspective by the end of the song. 

Auliʻi Cravalho, Angourie Rice and Jaquel Spivey did a great job reprising the famous trio

Auliʻi Cravalho, Angourie Rice and Jaquel Spivey were great as Janis, Cady and Damian. However, I didn’t love Christopher Briney as Aaron Samuels. As much as I’m a fan of Briney, he didn’t quite fit the good-looking jock role that Aaron is supposed to fit. Gretchen and Karen, played by Bebe Wood and Avantika, were funny and talented, but I didn’t think they stood out in comparison to the other girls at school as much as they did in the 2004 film. 

Overall, the music, singing and costumes for this film were good and kept the audience’s attention. The film itself was very funny and engaging. While the musical was great on Broadway, I don’t think it translated very well to the film, giving the original film a leg up in terms of quality. 

I give this film a 7/10. 

“Mean Girls” is in theaters now. 

Anna Harman is a senior Christian Education major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, children’s ministry, flowers and going to concerts. 

Images courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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