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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

Review: “Mean Girls” Musical (2024)

Addison Gload
Magazines about “Mean Girls” films.

“Mean Girls,” originally released on Jan. 1, 2003, became an instant classic that is still popular over two decades later. Now on Jan. 12, 2024, a new adaptation has been brought to the big screen, with the movie version of the hit Broadway musical inspired by the first film being released in theaters across the U.S.

All renditions of the “Mean Girls” story, including the popular Broadway musical released in 2018, were written by American comedian and actress Tina Fey, who also made an appearance in both films. Fey’s works often utilize her unique comedic writing style, with this playing a large role in the audience’s reception of the original movie and musical. The fact that there are still versions of “Mean Girls” being remade to this day shows how iconic and relevant it is in pop culture. 

“I do think the movie was very well written. The plot, characters and songs were on point,” Gaby Sanabria, sophomore said. “This movie is historical.” 

This new adaptation follows the familiar plot of the original movie at first glance, with protagonist Cady Heron, a high schooler who was homeschooled in South Africa, moving to a public school in Illinois. Looking for a place to belong, she is invited to join “The Plastics,” a popular clique led by queen bee, Regina George. Forced to forge a new identity for herself in an unfamiliar environment, Heron must decide between friendship and popularity as the lines between them begin to blur. 

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While there were no major changes made to the general storyline, there were many ways in which the new film was modernized to fit today’s audience. Most notably, the movie made some changes to characters’ personalities and behaviors and also changed or removed many fan-favorite lines and scenes.   

“I think the overall movie was good, but I liked the original more,” Ellery Weiss, freshman, said. “I wished they kept the scene from the movie where Karen says ‘there’s a 3% chance it’s already raining.”

Some people also expressed disappointment with the direction the movie musical took with costume design. For character’s who were meant to be fashion icons and trend setters, some outfits looked cheap and unrealistic to what high schoolers would wear today. 

And yet, there were some who liked the costumes chosen and the overall look of the actors, feeling like the changes to their attire helped better represent the characters in the present.

“I liked the costume designs and I loved all the hairstyles that Cady had,” Weiss said. 

Despite the early doubt and criticism the film experienced, the public’s overall excitement for the movie musical was plain to see, with theaters being packed with fans of both the original movie and Broadway adaptation. The movie grossed $50 million in the U.S two-weeks after its release and $16.2 million internationally. 

“The atmosphere and people were excited. It was a full theater when I saw it,” Sanabria said. “My theater actually started clapping when Renee Rapp popped up.”

Reneé Rapp is an American singer, songwriter and actress, who reprised her role as Regina George in the new movie, having performed as the main antagonist in the musical in 2019-2020. Her Broadway experience is clearly demonstrated when listening to her amazing delivery of “World Burn,” with her being able to masterly belt out and riff high notes. Her vocal training also shines through her extremely clear and powerful vocals throughout the whole movie. 

“She was one of the most energetic people in it and her voice for the songs, it was really fitting,” Ava Christie, freshman, said.  

There was some disappointment, however, in the film’s renditions of some of the Broadway songs, such as “Stupid with Love,” which was changed from a fast, upbeat song with rising notes to a slower, more pop-esque song to help fit Cady’s actresses (Angourie Rice) vocal range. Other songs followed a similar formula, with loud instrumentals being replaced by a more modern composition. 

“I thought some of the tempo changes were good for some songs and other ones, they could have kept the same,” Christie said. “it did fit but it’s just different from the original.”

Although a couple of the songs did not live up to the original Broadway play, the cinematography of the scenes including the lighting and camera angles was extremely entertaining. A clear example of this can be seen with the lighting during the song “Someone Gets Hurt” making Renee Rapp’s performance even more visually stunning. 

“I really liked how they made some of these scenes really intense and how they made each character stand out in their own way,” Weiss said. 

All in all, the movie was enjoyable. It was extremely fun to see ‘The Plastics’ revamped in a modern style and to see amazing songs played out on a professional set. Even with a lot of hate and conflicting views being circulated around on social media, viewers should see the film for themselves and form their own opinions. 

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