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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 4/09/24
Richland Chronicle 4/09/24

‘Mean Girls’: The musical

Nostalgic vibes with a few sour notes
Regina George played by Reneé Rapp begins to sing the song “World Burn” by Taylor Louderman in the musical “Mean Girls.” (Photo/IMDB)

In the realm of Hollywood adaptations, the latest cinematic rendition of “Mean Girls” grapples with the challenge of adapting a Broadway musical inspired by a film comedy that was, in turn, based on a parenting book. Guided by writer-producer Tina Fey and producer Lorne Michaels, the movie clings to its 2004 roots, attempting to replicate the charm that made the original a hit. However, the nostalgia only goes so far, as the new musical adaptation struggles to capture the essence that made the first movie memorable.
So, what’s the deal with the “mean” girls in this new version? Well, they miss a bit of the oomph that made the originals so feisty. Regina, the leader of the pack played by Reneé Rapp, doesn’t quite have the icy charisma that Rachel McAdams brought to the role back in the day. They sanitized lines like “You can’t join mathletes. That’s social suicide” to “That’s socially ruinous.” Where are the insults? Where is the prerogative entitlement that was captured so well in the original mean girls’ personalities?
Let’s talk tunes. Most of the songs sound a bit cheesy and tacky. There are a couple of tracks like “Sexy” and “World Burn” that stand out, giving a tiny taste of what the musical could’ve been. Auto-Tune also becomes a bit of a show-stealer, taking away from the natural vibe of the performances.
The attempt to modernize any narrative through the incorporation of elements from social media platforms like TikTok and X, the former Twitter, has always been a game of hit or miss. And with this musical, it was with-out a doubt a huge miss. Instead of enhancing the storytelling, these additions felt forced and cringy, a failed attempt at resonating with the current generation.
Adding to the disappointment, the delivery of some iconic lines from the original script like “On Wednesdays we wear pink” or “That’s why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets” felt forced and cringe-worthy. The attempt to replicate the humor that endeared the 2004 version to audiences resulted in moments that, unfortunately, missed the mark. Despite the efforts of the new Cady (Angourie Rice) to navigate the high school hellscape, the narrative stumbled in recreating the comically and horrifyingly reliable essence of the original.
But here’s the plot twist – despite all the letdowns, the musical still manages to bring a smile. Sure, it might not top the original, but it still dishes out some fun and laughs.
So, in the grand picture, this musical becomes a living example of the idea that a movie doesn’t have to be a blockbuster to make you happy. Even though it might not be the perfect redo of the first one, it still brings some giggles and good vibes to the table.

Grade: C-

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