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Mean Girls phone scene
Mean Girls phone scene
Lorne Michaels Productions
Culture > Entertainment

Is The New Mean Girls Adaptation Fetch? A Review

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Get in loser, we’re talking about Mean Girls!

Mean Girls (2004) is widely regarded as an instant classic and must-watch for anyone. The movie is widely quotable and has created a legacy of different slang, trends, and inside jokes that are still used frequently today. So, when millions heard that there would be a remake two decades later (and no, not whatever Mean Girls 2 (2011) was), fans quickly built hype over this modern adaptation. It was a massive deal. Now the question is… did it live up to expectations? Does it stand a chance against such a classic, or is it just another modern adaptation gone wrong? I want to give my thoughts on some key aspects of the film and see where I stand in this debate.

yes. it’s a musical.

Many people were confused and rather disappointed by the fact that they would have to sit through a musical. However, I think that my critiques about the musical aspect of the movie are the opposite: it wasn’t theatrical enough. I need to explain that I am a big enjoyer of the Mean Girls Broadway adaptation: I know the soundtrack practically front-to-back and I even had a chance to see it on tour. I was well aware that the 2024 adaptation of Mean Girls was going to be a movie version of this musical. I mean, Reneé Rapp as Regina George, hello!? So, I was ready for this to fulfill my theatre major expectations and… it didn’t quite get there. The cast is certainly talented, despite some weak moments. However, they cut many songs which I think could have both elevated the plot and provided entertainment. The songs that were kept from the soundtrack were often produced underwhelmingly and watered-down to cater to a more pop-focused audience. I get it: it’s a movie, not Broadway, so this makes sense. The songs are still incredibly fun and often do a good job continuing the plot of the movie.

modernization of mean girls

Alright, now for the movie itself. As is the musical, this adaptation is simply a new way of telling the story of Mean Girls, set in modern day. Smartphones, social media, and 2020’s fashion trends are all in full display. I do think that these aspects are all done well. Smartphones and social media tend to be the biggest blunders in modern movies, but I think that Mean Girls is one of the least offensive examples of its use. TikTok in particular has an influence on this version’s plot, and I would say it’s use resembles what could happen in a high school. At the end of the day, it is a movie and it will be at least slightly unrealistic (à la influencer cameos). I know many had issues with the costumes. While I don’t think that they’re perfect by any means, there were still looks that I thoroughly enjoyed. Regina dressed as an angel during “Someone Gets Hurt” and wearing the classic black top in “World Burn” are a few of my favorites. Some jokes you may remember from the original rendition do not return, but there are many new lines that made me laugh. Plus, there are some cameos from the original cast, which was a pleasant surprise.

so, is it fetch?

Short answer: yes. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I had a great time watching it. I’m likely biased due to my love for the original movie and the Broadway adaptation. However, multiple friends who saw the 2024 rendition in theaters with me were unfamiliar with the musical soundtrack and still greatly enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it’s better than the original movie or the Broadway soundtrack, but I don’t think that was the goal. The goal was to create a movie adaptation of a musical adaptation of a movie… which is clunky to say, but it did achieve that! It’s still fun for the original fans and it’s fun to the new fans. Is it perfect? Is it cinematography masterpiece? Not by any means, but that’s not what I care for. I’m not picky! Will I listen to the movie soundtrack over the musical soundtrack? Now that’s a different story. But I will get in the car and go back to that movie theater to see it all over again!

My name is Jess and I’m currently a junior Theatre Education major at Winthrop! Alongside being passionate about both theatre and education, I love all things Survivor (show), Taylor Swift, and an assortment of other artists and games! I’m excited to professionally ramble about my interests and whatever else crosses my mind!