‘Mean Girls’ (2024) Review – A Shot-For-Shot Musical Remake Of A Better Film
You cannot deny the original 2004 film Mean Girls was a cultural hit for the 2000s. A film that was crafted to launch Lindsay Lohan’s career to the superstardom before it all fell apart.
In the span of two years, Lohan went from the biggest ‘it girl’ in Hollywood to an absolute mess of a human being — derailing any efforts to make Mean Girls sequel while the cast was still in their prime. Since 2004, Paramount Pictures have been desperate to recreate that magic; the only problem being Lindsay Lohan’s career.
Because the film never got a proper sequel, the original Mean Girls writer Tina Fey is back 20 years later but this time with a slight twist: instead of doing a straightforward comedy, she’s now doing a musical.
As far as the story goes, the 2024 Mean Girls is a musical remake; not much has changed since 2004. The film stars a 16-year-old home school girl named Cady, this time played by Australian actress Angourie Rice, who is a transfer student from Kenya goes to North Shore High school. There, Cady befriends two outsiders, Janis and Damian, who introduced her to various cliques.
Just like the original, the one clique that she has to avoid is the plastics: Gretchen Weiners (Bebe Wood), Karen Shetty (Avantika Vandanapu), and of course Regina George (Reneé Rapp), who invites Cady to be a part of her clique and Janis decides to use this as an opportunity to get revenge on Regina.
Cady thinks that she’s making a new group of friends, that is until her new group of friends decides to hone in on her new crush, Aaron. Cady decides to go all in to her revenge party, and her plan to bring down the plastics involves a whole lot of musical numbers.
Being no more than a nostalgia trip for the people who watched the original film, Mean Girls 2024 really depends on how much you truly enjoyed the 2004 version. The only difference is that most of the cast is singing rather than acting a general comedy.
The film tries to mix the audiences from the original film and the Broadway production that’s been popular for many years. However, one of the biggest problems with Hollywood musicals, especially over the last few years, is that their song choices lack the staying power to make audiences enjoy it.
Many of the musical numbers in the film are serviceable, but that’s roughly about it. This exposes a bigger problem with the movie, this film is a shot by shot remake of the 2004 film with musical numbers planted in-between.
The film expects you to take a trip down memory lane and remember every scene, bit, and punch line from a film 20 years ago. By failing to stand out, all you’re doing is making the audience want to see a much better movie.
The actors here feel like they are cosplaying pre-established characters — some of which being a step down from the 2004 actors in both looks and talent.
Lacey Chabert is better than Bebe Wood, Lindsay Lohan is better than Angourie Rice, Lizzy Caplan is better than Auliʻi Cravalho, and so on. Mean Girls 2024 is not elevating anything except what has already been established.
The actors in this film won’t be as remembered as the actors from the original, nor is this movie going to elevate anyone’s career on the grander stage.
While the film certainly isn’t terrible, Tina Fey essentially tries to repackage her original hit to Gen Z; ultimately creating a film that I don’t think is going to be a hit with neither Millennials nor zoomers.
The execution of this new Mean Girls makes it perfectly clear why the studio released the film in January to begin with.