Mean Girls Review

REVIEW: Mean Girls 2024

Mean Girls is the 2024 revamp of the hit 2004 film, this time around it’s a musical, based on the Broadway show of the same name. With Tina Fey returning to write, this had bags of potential but sadly the end result is a shining example of why reboots aren’t necessary.

The film stars Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, a homeschooled teenager who has moved back to the US with her mum (Jenna Fischer) after living in Africa. She starts at North Shore High, where she’s befriended by outsiders Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey) who fill her in on the various cliques at school, including the “Plastics” who consist of gossipy Gretchen (Bebe Wood), unintelligent Karen (Avantika) and queen bee Regina George (Reneé Rapp).

Mean Girls Review

After inadvertently catching Regina’s eye in the cafeteria, Cady is invited to join the Plastics and Janis encourages Cady to use this as an opportunity to infiltrate the group for her after Regina previously ruined her life. In her calculus class, Cady meets and is attracted to Aaron (Christopher Briney) who turns out to be Regina’s ex-boyfriend, and Gretchen and Karen warn Cady away. 

Unperturbed, Cady intentionally fails math to get closer to Aaron who invites her to a Halloween party. At the party, Regina discovers Cady’s crush on Aaron and intentionally flirts with him and kisses him. Realising Janis was right about Regina, Cady agrees to help ruin Regina’s reputation and the group start their campaign. However, with Regina’s popularity waning, Cady becomes the new queen bee and soon becomes to be quite comfortable with the “Plastics” lifestyle.

Mean Girls Review

I’ve always enjoyed the original Mean Girls film as it’s a bit of a teen cult classic, but with any reboot, I didn’t quite see the point in revamping something that wasn’t broken in the first place. I also don’t agree with turning non-musical films into musicals (Elf: The Musical being the only exception that comes to mind), so this musical Mean Girls reboot was pretty much my worst nightmare. And unfortunately, it was everything I thought it would be. 

There isn’t enough in this reboot to make it stand out on its own against the original. The songs are okay but not particularly memorable, only a couple are genuinely toe tappingly ear patching and the musical aspects in general are just cheesy – the characters bursting into song at random moments is rather off-putting and just a bit bizarre. The attempts to bring the film into the modern day by including references to TikTok and pretty much every other social media platform out there fall flat and seem forced, and the overall look of the film feels cheap. 

Mean Girls Review

The casting too is sadly subpar in comparison with the original. Angourie Rice is missing the spark and likeability Lindsay Lohan brought to Cady and Reneé Rapp just seems a little lifeless as Regina, not a patch on Rachel McAdams’s original. The only standouts are Avantika as Karen, who seems to be having a lot of fun playing stupid, and Cravalho as Janis, who has got a cracking voice and her energy is infectious, but both of these characters and performances are ultimately let down by the poor screenplay. It was nice to see Tina Fey and Tim Meadows return as Mrs Norbury and Principal Duvall respectively, but I hated how they changed Norbury’s character and I really couldn’t see the point in bringing Jon Hamm in as Coach Carr in what was a blink and you’ll miss it performance. 

Despite featuring some promising performances, this 2024 revamp of Mean Girls suffers the same fate as the majority of reboots and is ultimately unmemorable and entirely unnecessary.

Where to Watch

Mean Girls | January 17, 2024 (United Kingdom) 5.9


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