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Author at \"Mean Girls\" movie
Author at \"Mean Girls\" movie
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Culture > Entertainment

Yes, we’re still thinking about ‘Mean Girls’

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

As I watched “Mean Girls” (2024) for the first time, I frequently shifted from enjoying the fun on the screen to wanting to leave the theater. Some aspects, like the occasional powerhouse vocals, were exceptional, while others were extremely disappointing. The overall inconsistency and miscasting led me to rate it a 6/10.

“Mean Girls” (2024) is an adaptation of the 2018 Broadway musical of the same name rather than a full remake of the original 2004 film. The movie attempts to tackle the plot in a more Gen-Z way, so if you are viewing the film expecting it to be exactly like the 2004 film or the Broadway musical, you are in for some disappointment. However, if you look at it as a stand-alone film, it can be a decently enjoyable and fun watch.

“Mean Girls” follows Cady Heron as she transitions away from her isolated home in Africa to join the bustling life that is high school. New to the school, Cady is accepted into Queen Bee Regina George’s inner circle. As Cady adjusts to her new life and forms a crush on Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Cady learns of Regina’s twisted game and devises a plan to take her down.

WARNING: This article contains a full plot overview, which may include spoilers, as well as a critical review.

The film opens with main character Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) and her mother (Jenna Fischer) arriving in Illinois after moving to the United States from Kenya. One of the first major flaws of the film is the miscasting of the lead role. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actor Angourie Rice was chosen for it, but she has trouble bringing the character to life. Her character remains dull throughout; rather than gradually shifting into the Plastic queen bee role over time, it seems she switches overnight. Cady’s character development is crucial to this classic story, and without it, it feels like an element is missing. Rice’s singing provides another low blow that drags the film. Many of the popular songs of the original musical had to be cut or drastically altered to fit her vocal range, and even with the lower notes, her voice lacks emotion and sounds packed with autotune.

During Cady’s first real day of school, she meets Janice Sarkisian (Auli’i Cravalho), an artistic, quirky student who hates Regina George with a burning passion, and Damian Hubbard (Jaquel Spivey), Janice’s outspoken best friend whom she considers to be, “too gay to function.” 

Cravalho gives a strong performance, although a few of her songs are weirdly altered from the original. She does her best with the material at hand and, in my opinion, made ‘Rather Be Me’ one of the best songs on the soundtrack. Spivey, a Broadway actor himself, gives a fresh take on Damian and serves up every iconic line just as well as in the original. His vocals are strong throughout and his presence lights up the screen. Cravalho and Spivey are two of the white knights of the musical aspect of this film.

As Cady gets situated in her new school, she has a run-in with Regina George, (Reneé Rapp) who invites her to join her posse, better known as The Plastics. Reneé Rapp is a shining star who effortlessly carries the film on her back. Her performance as the ruthless Regina George makes the viewer question whether they love her or fear her. Each song of Rapp’s is beautifully sung and her presence carries a sort of power unlike any of her costars. Rapp embodies the iconic character of Regina George in a way that is fresh, while still encompassing everything that Rachel McAdams perfected in the original film. 

The other members of The Plastics include Gretchen Wieners (Bebe Wood), Regina’s vulnerable, right-hand woman, and Karen Shetty (Avantika Vandanapu), the high-energy, not-so-intelligent friend. Bebe Wood has a nice voice in the few singing parts she’s afforded and she does a great job showing the complicated emotions of Gretchen Wieners. Avantika’s portrayal of Karen appeared unpurposeful to me; it felt like she was overacting or trying too hard to act dumb. While she initially struggles at the beginning of her song ‘Sexy,’ she finishes the song with a solid ending  proving that a lot of the issues with the film aren’t the actor’s vocals, but rather how their vocals are arranged.

Conflict emerges for Cady when she discovers that her classmate and crush, Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), is Regina George’s ex-boyfriend. To maintain superiority and remind Cady of her place, Regina George gets back together with Aaron. As a result, Cady, Janice and Damian plot to take down the school’s crowned empress and strip her of her power. All falls apart when Cady subsequently turns into a Plastic herself, pushing away her only good friends. Cady has to come back down to earth, returning to her place as an average student, and accept the consequences of her decisions in order to repair the relationships that she so selfishly destroyed.  

Many aspects of “Mean Girls” (2024) are hit-or-miss, which ultimately makes it very inconsistent throughout. The cast consists of a few powerhouses accompanied by several weak links. The sound editing is terrible and the transitions into songs are poorly executed. Even many of the apparent directorial decisions seem disjointed, disrupting the flow of the film. Fans of the original film are likely to be disappointed by the absence of the fearlessness and unfiltered dialogue of the original. Nevertheless, the story continues to be entertaining and the musical aspect adds another layer of fun. If that’s not enough, Rapp’s vocals make the film worth the watch despite its flaws.


  • Regina (Re·gi·na) means the “reigning queen” in the UK.
  • Jaquel Spivey was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2022.
  • Ashley Park, who originated the role of Gretchen Wieners in the 2018 musical production of Mean Girls, makes a short cameo in the 2024 film.
  • Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their original roles of Ms.Norbury and Principal Duvall in this adaptation, only this time… their characters are married!?!
Hi! I'm a freshman double majoring in Journalism and Cinema and Media Studies! I LOVE movies and plan to focus on film criticism and film-related articled. Additionally, I love to perform (act, dance, sing), play basketball, ice skate, and travel around the world.