Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

‘Mean Girls’ is enjoyable remake of 2004 Broadway adaption though lacks punch of original

With a movie as iconic as the 2004 “Mean Girls,” there was no doubt that a remake would face criticism. With a 2.2 out of 5 rating on Google Reviews and a wave of criticism on social media, the new movie musical, starring Renee Rapp as Regina George and Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, has not been well received.

I enjoyed the movie. The adaptation of the Broadway musical with a modern, pop twist was mostly spot on. However, if you are not expecting a movie musical (the movie’s marketing team partially to blame), you may find it unenjoyable.

Rapp, reprising her portrayal of Regina George on Broadway, was a terrific casting choice. She masterfully executed the typical mean girl with a perfectly passive-aggressive voice and cold facial expressions. She again proved herself a vocal powerhouse during “Someone Gets Hurt” and “World Burns.”

Rice matched Cady’s innocence and homeschooled girl personality well. The progression of her character from a shy new student to an apex-predator-type mean girl was nicely done. Bebe Wood nailed the role of Gretchen Wieners with a constantly nervous, insecure persona that differs some from the original version. The duo of Janice (Auli’i Cravahalo) and Damien (Jaquel Spivey) was very authentic, and they did a perfect job of keeping everyone in check.

The execution of the music was a mixed bag. “Apex Predator” and “Revenge Party” stood out to me as two of the best musical numbers, with Cravahalo’s amazing voice showcased. Avantika Vandanapu (Karen) brought so much fun and energy to “Sexy.”  But I was disappointed that they removed most of “Meet the Plastics,” which is a fan-favorite song in the Broadway show.

In a few moments, including Cady’s awkward first person POV in “Revenge Party” and the choreography in “Someone Gets Hurt,” the cinematographic choices were questionable. There seemed to be unnecessary alterations that I could have done without. Additionally, they introduced Mrs. Norbury (Tina Fey) and Principal Duval (Tim Meadows) as love interests, which did not make sense considering the context of this movie and the original.

The social media aspect of the movie was a nice addition, featuring cameos from Megan Thee Stallion and Chris Olsen. While not exactly accurate, they were funny and fit in with the over-exaggerated nature of the story.

All in all, I did not mind this movie. Comparing it directly to the Broadway show or the 2004 original, it falls short in several categories, but there are definitely strong points that keep the movie together and mitigate the problems.

Grade: B

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About the Contributor
Matt Michailoff, Senior Editor
Matt Michailoff is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. He has written for newspapers since 2016 and currently writes for the PelMel alongside the Examiner. He is an Eagle Scout in Troop 1 Pelham. He is a member of both the varsity swim and golf teams. He participates in the school chorus and PMHS AcaPelicans. Matt is thrilled to continue writing for the Examiner for his fourth year.

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