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Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Mean Girls: A “fetch” take on the classic

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Mean Girls movie poster

In 2004, people of all ages packed theaters to see the film Mean Girls; 20 years later, people are doing the exact same thing. While we were unsure of what to expect after hearing rumors that it was a remake of the musical version on Broadway, we were pleasantly surprised with the new take on the iconic film.

The movie’s plot largely follows that of the original 2004 version, however, this new interpretation of Mean Girls was more inspired by the Mean Girls Broadway adaptation, with large-scale dance numbers and theatrical songs.

The film features a much more diverse cast, replacing some lead roles like Janis Ian and Karen Smith with racially diverse actresses, who were originally played by white actresses. Another pleasant surprise were some familiar faces from the original cast, like Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey.

The 2024 rendition features triple-threat Reneé Rapp as queen mean girl Regina George, a solid choice as Rapp previously played the role on Broadway. Her undeniable confidence and strong vocals give Regina George a new and edgy spin, leaving quite a remarkable impression on viewers.

On the other hand, we believe that Cady Heron, played by Angourie Rice, lacks the effortless charm that Lindsey Lohan had in the 2004 film. For the duration of the movie, Cady’s innocence seemed disingenuous and her personality after becoming friends with the “plastics” felt calculated. This was also followed by a weak vocal performance, especially compared to the other actors.

Chris Briney, commonly known for his role as Conrad Fisher in the TV series The Summer I Turned Pretty, portrays Aaron Samuels and was the perfect choice to give a boy-next-door vibe, embracing the awkwardness of teenage romance.

While many things stayed the same, many things also changed. Directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. changed insensitive phrases and slang from the original version that may be considered controversial now. For example, in the song “Meet the Plastics,” the words once said “I’m the prettiest poison you’ve ever seen / I never weigh more than one-fifteen” shifts to “I’m the prettiest poison you’ve ever seen / That filter you use looks just like me.”

The directors have realized how harmful it can be to promote unhealthy eating habits and make young girls believe they need to look a certain way to be as beautiful as Regina George, reflecting the positive changes in society since 2004.

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Rapp said, “I think it’s really important that I’m not a Regina who’s 115 pounds,” Rapp said. “Every single body type, every single gender, race, everyone needs to be more represented in the arts, and we’re inching closer to that.”

Based on the musical version, we believed the music in the film was uplifting and coincided with the plot perfectly. The songs often showed off the musical talents of most of the actors, and were interesting to watch with creative, Broadway-influenced choreography. The film gained a much more interesting spin because of the involvement of the musical choices.

As a pleasant surprise, the Mean Girls remake was everything that 2024 society reflects, and everything we currently want out of a good movie: catchy songs, likable characters and nostalgia from a timeless film.

Though some reviewers say that the film is too much like “TikTok,” or that it feels too cheesy with too many pop culture references today, we believe the film is a fresh, current and funny take on both the original and the Broadway version, and leaves viewers reminiscing about everything Mean Girls.

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