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The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Kessler Potter
A screenshot of the Mean Girls (2024) Spotify playlist. Photo courtesy of Kessler Potter.

“Mean Girls” Adaptation is So Not Fetch

On Wednesdays we wear pink…and watch a classic tale of betrayal, backstabbing, and bright pink. Many remember the iconic film “Mean Girls.” Even though the film came out nearly 20 years ago, it has kept its popular status for over two decades. The movie about drama, pastel shades, betrayal, and guys has made an interesting return.

Recently, actor Tina Fey made a remake of her popular 2004 film “Mean Girls.” It’s the story of a teenage girl named Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) who moves back to the states after being educated in Africa by her scientist parents. Cady will finally get to experience public school and get a first-hand experience of the cruel laws of popularity that divide her fellow students. When two of her peers, Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian Leigh (Daniel Franzese), find her eating in the bathroom alone during lunch time, the three quickly become friends. Janis, who was relentlessly bullied by Regina George (Rachel McAdams) in middle school, jokingly tells Cady she should become friends with “the Plastics,”, an elite group of cool girls, and find a way to ruin Regina’s life.

Cady agrees and goes on to become “friends” with Regina’s two girl friends Gretchen and Karen, getting close to each girl and finding out all the secrets and shade they throw at one another. She even learns about Regina’s “Burn Book,” a pink book that holds all the biggest drama about the entire school. Cady gets caught up in the attention from being friends with Regina and starts to become a Plastic herself, then use this new popularity to win over a boy she has a crush on…who just so happens to be Regina’s ex boyfriend. Gretchen makes it clear that this is just not “fetch” with the iconic quote, “Irregardless, ex-boyfriends are just off limits to friends. I mean, that’s just like the rules of feminism.” At the end of the movie, Cady realizes that being a Plastic is not who she truly is, drops the Plastics, and goes back to being the nerdy girl she used to be.

In the 2024 remake, it’s about the same story, just with a musical twist and new actors to reprise the iconic roles. The cast includes Reneé Rapp (Regina George), Angourie Rice (Cady Heron), Auli’i Cravalho (Janis ‘Imi’ike), and Tina Fey reprising her role as teacher Ms. Norbury. I felt that the first half of the film was quite cringey with the introductions and the singing numbers. Also, some scenes in the movie are similar to, if not the same as, the original, which made me feel like “Why did I just pay money for this?” And overall, I felt that turning the movie into a musical made the characters seem much less “cool” than how they were originally portrayed.

The actors’ performances were noticeably dull, lacking the depth necessary to bring the characters to life. In fact, the lack of decent acting quality severely hinders the ability of “Mean Girls” fans’ to connect with the revised characters and story, turning what should have been touching and relatable moments into scenes that feel forced and unconvincing. The talent show scene, one of the most iconic scenes from the original movie, is a disaster and all four of the girls just look awkward doing it.

Not to mention, the musical numbers seem to hinder the progression of the story, making for a choppy viewing experience. In the theater where I watched the movie, people audibly groaned each time a singing sequence would come up. The actors hired for these iconic characters seemed like ill fits for their parts, failing to capture the essence of the personalities they were portraying. The casting editor certainly didn’t live up to their salary for this film.

“Mean Girls: The Musical Adaption” serves as a good example of a film adaptation gone wrong. The film’s failure to capture the essence of the original narrative, or to present a new interpretation, leaves fans like myself disappointed, only highlighting the risks inherent in adapting classic stories to new formats.

Overall, I give this film a 4.5/10. You can still catch this movie in theaters as it has not been released on streaming services yet.

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