Mean Girls – Eagle Media

Mean Girls – Eagle Media

Spoiler warning

If you don’t care about spoilers or have seen the movie, feel free to continue reading. If you care about spoilers, please take the time to watch both movies and listen to the Broadway soundtrack before returning to read.

Yes, you read that correctly. Not only is the new Mean Girls movie that was released on January 12th based on the original Mean Girls movie from 2004, but the Broadway musical adaptation that premiered in 2017. So if you thought this would to be a remake of the original, this may not be the movie for you.

Although it wasn’t advertised as a musical, my friend and I knew it, which was part of the reason we were interested and saw it together opening weekend. Considering how classic the original movie is for any teenage girl, this adaptation was highly anticipated. Especially from me. It was enough to bring me to the theater for the first time since the summer.

Story continues below ad

I thought it was a pretty good movie. However, many things could have been improved.

My biggest problem with the film is that it felt rushed overall. Viewers don’t get to see many of the original film’s key elements play out. I believe part of the reason is because the songs took up most of that time. A turning point in the original film is when Cady Heron abandons her friends Janis Ian and Damian Hubbard to spend more time with the “plastics”, thus initiating her transition from young girl to bad girl. In this version, it seemed like we saw more of it with Janis and Damian trying to sabotage the plastic, rather than becoming one. All this was being played even during one song.

After watching a movie, I like to watch interviews from the actors. One of the interviews I saw confirmed the fact that it was rushed by saying that the production only lasted a month.

The casting in this movie was hit or miss. It was nice to see some actors back in their roles. For example, Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprized their respective roles of Mrs. Norbury and Mr. Duvall from the 2004 film. Additionally, Renee Rapp reprized the role of Regina George, which she played on Broadway from 2019-2020, and her performance was strong. There were also some fun shows that I won’t spoil.

However, I don’t think the casting of Cady Heron and Aaron Samuels, who are supposed to be interested in each other, was the best. Heron is played by Angourie Rice and Samuels by Christopher Briney. While I like them as actors in other roles I’ve seen, this wasn’t their best work. They never had chemistry with each other and their characters didn’t interact as much as they did in the original film. This makes it harder for the audience to root for their relationship. Rice also has several numbers where she sings including two solos. I don’t think her vocal performance was strong enough for a musical role.

I think the musical element served the film well, but the way they were presented and performed had their pros and cons. As I mentioned, the songs tend to slow down the plot and flow of the film at times. While I feel like all of these songs are necessary, most of the scenes featuring these songs had the characters singing in the same place and didn’t really move the story line along. Because of this, my favorite songs sung and performed were in the second half: two songs Regina sings and one Janis, played by Auli’i Cravalho, sings.

Given that this film was made 20 years after the original, it added some more modern elements to appeal to its crowd and fit in with the times. For example, there was much more LGBTQ representation. Here I believe the original was ahead of its time in making Damian a gay character and accusing Janis of being a lesbian. This version changed the story behind Regina and Janis, while actually making Janis a lesbian as well. There was also more addition of social media since it wasn’t that big in the early 2000’s. I think social media worked well for the set trends and spread of Burn Book. But in some scenes, it was too much sensory overload.

One of the elements that this film took away from the original was the iconic three-way dial. Since the movie already included modern elements, in my opinion, this was a missed opportunity to include a FaceTime call between them.

Despite all these comments, I really enjoyed watching the movie and would overall recommend it. It was a fun movie with good songs and a classic plot. The experience grew especially in the theater with good friends. Overall it was great.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *