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Movie Review: Mean Girls

In January of 2020, it was announced that there would be a brand new Mean Girls movie that would be based off of the musical, which was based off of the original Mean Girls, which was released in 2004. On January 12, 2024, four years after its initial announcement, the movie was released in theaters.

For those who don’t know, the original Mean Girls is a movie directed by Rachel McAdams and written by Tina Fey which tells the story of Cady Heron, who moves to Illinois after being raised in Africa and homeschooled by her parents for all of her life. Cady experiences the life of a regular teenage high school girl and ends up meeting “The Plastics”, a group of popular girls led by Regina George, who is deemed the queen bee. Unfortunately Cady makes the mistake of falling in love with Regina’s ex boyfriend, and deals with the consequences of this throughout the movie. It is an extremely popular movie, and for good reason. Not only is it incredibly funny and wild, but it also speaks about issues many teens (especially girls) in high school face, such as bullying. Because of this, many fans of the original movie held high expectations for the upcoming adaptation of the musical. 

There has been much backlash since before the movie even came out. With the release of the movie, the criticism has intensified tenfold. Some argue that the casting and outfit designs were awful. Others complain that the songs did not do its original counterparts justice. But was Mean Girls really that bad? I decided to see for myself. My showing of Mean Girls took place late at night, around 6:30. The theater was packed, even when me and my friends showed up and got tickets an hour early (This isn’t important or anything, I just felt like mentioning it!).

Also, before I start my mini-review, I just want to say that I will be very vague about the contents of the movie and some scenes in it, in hopes of being as spoiler-free as possible.

Now for the actual review of the movie. 

I loved it! My friends and I were laughing and hooked on the movie the entire time. I think the actors did a great job at portraying their characters, especially Bebe Wood. Her take on Gretchen Wieners was just lovely. The movie is fast paced, save for the start which I thought was a bit slow, and keeps you on your toes the entire time. As for the songs, I thought they were all amazing, save for Stupid With Love. Angourie Rice, who plays Cady, has a lackluster singing voice compared to the others. I didn’t really like the direction they went with her song, and I think the musical version is ten times better. Other than that, all the other songs were wonderful. Reneé Rap (Regina George), Auli’i Cravalho (Janis Skarksian), and Jaquel Spivey (Damien Hubbard), in my opinion, had the best vocals out of the entire cast. They brought life and energy into their songs and made the experience ten times more enjoyable.

Many of the jokes in the movie were hilarious and had the entire theater laughing along. I loved how easily the movie adds humor in little ways, such as the scene where Damien unfurls a fan and covers his face with it (if you know you know!). As for the outfits, I thought they were alright! Remember, this is a more modernized version of Mean Girls, so the outfits won’t be exactly like how they are in the original. I especially loved Regina George’s angel costume, and I may prefer it more than the one she had in the original.

From left to right: Jaquel Spivey (Damien Hubbard), Angourie Rice (Cady Heron), Auli’i Cravalho (Janis Skarksian)

Now, is this movie for everyone? Of course not. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, and with that being said, if you dislike fast-paced movies and musicals, then I don’t suggest you watch Mean Girls. I believe that the reason so many people dislike this movie is simply because of nostalgia. Like I mentioned before, many people loved the original Mean Girls. Whenever you try to make a remake of a well-known, widely loved  piece of media, there will always be high expectations and cruel criticism right there waiting. Mean Girls (2024) however, is not trying to replace the original. The movie is simply a twist on the musical that was based off of the movie. And while yes, the movie did remove many great and iconic songs from the musical, it still did a good job at portraying it.

From left to right: Avantika Vandanapu (Karen Smith), Reneé Rap (Regina George), Bebe Wood (Gretchen Wieners)

There is definitely a certain audience this movie is trying to target, and if you don’t fit into that certain audience, then chances are, you will not like it. And that is perfectly fine! While the movie is not perfect, it isn’t horrible either. It’s a good movie that you can easily get into and forget your worries for a moment as you watch. If you are hesitant on watching the movie because of the mixed reviews online, then I suggest that you do, and watch with no expectations or reviews, positive or negative, influencing your opinion on it. You may end up hating it. But that’s alright. The movie may just not be for you.

TL;DR: In my opinion, the movie was great and I think people may be criticizing it too harshly. Watch Mean Girls (2024) and form your own opinion on the movie. Even if you hate it, it’s definitely an experience.

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About the Contributor
Jugeiry Perez, Contributor
Hi everyone! My name is Jugeiry Perez and I'm currently a Sophomore at South. I take Journalism as a class and am a contributor to the Chronicle! I have always loved to read and write, and to have the opportunity to further explore my interests in it through journalism. I adore teaching others about important topics going on in our community and the Colonel Chronicle allows me to do that. I own a lazy little chihuahua named Audrey and she is my biggest supporter (other than my mom). I frequently attend the Apricot Journal workshops and try my best to stay connected to South through clubs and school events. I hope to pursue a career as an author in the future and I am very excited to contribute as much as I can to the school newspaper! 

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