“Mean Girls” Reimagined: 2020s Hit or 2020s Flop?

Promotional Poster for the new Mean Girls
Promotional Poster for the new “Mean Girls”
Promotion Poster

On Jan. 12, the new adaption of the classic “Mean Girls” movie came out, this time reimagined as a musical. 

Following the original plot, previously homeschooled Cady Heron at North Shore High is forced to pick between two groups of friends in a sea of cliques. Between her opposing crowds — the “outsiders” Janice and Damian and the “it girls” known as the Plastics — Cady fights to find her place in high school and learn to be empathetic.

The new film features a more modern script and cast, as well as a compilation of 21 original songs. Fans had mixed feelings about these new updates. 

“Originally, I really enjoyed the idea of it, as I am an original “Mean Girls” fan. But when I found out it was a musical, I was disappointed,” sophomore Parker Newman said. “I just don’t think they executed the idea well.”

Various other movie-goers seconded this opinion. 

“I thought it was pretty good; I liked how they kept most of the plot like the original movie. I do think that they started singing kind of unnecessarily throughout a lot of the movie,” junior Hayden Kissell said. 

Although many admitted the new “Mean Girls” music wasn’t its strong suit, there were other aspects that they enjoyed. 

“I like the choreography better on this one […] and the new actors are a breath of fresh air,” sophomore Berkeley Gearhart said. 

The musical highlights a more diverse cast, including Black, South Asian, and Latina actors. In the 20 years since the original “Mean Girls” release, the media has strived to be more inclusive, casting actors that represent the viewers. 

With the prevalence of social media in 2024, many teens also appreciated the reliability of the new adaption. 

“I like how they made it more modern, like they brought in social media into it, which I feel like was a lot more accurate representation of our generation,” Kissell said. 

“I thought it was kind of cool how they related it to life now like used more phones and stuff, and TikTok,” Gearhart agreed.

The musical incorporated several forms of social media that weren’t seen in 2004, such as TikTok, Instagram, and more. It even showcased famous influencers’ videos to add to the storyline as well as the trailer.

Some big names were also in the show. For example, singer-songwriter Reneé Rapp played the infamous mean girl Regina George. In addition, old actors from the original were also featured.

“I liked that they overlapped some of the characters like they brought in the Old Cady [Lindsey Lohan],” Kissell said. “And then they brought in the old teacher and principal […] so I liked seeing familiar faces.” 

Original cast members included Tina Fey and Tim Meadows, playing the same respective roles as teacher and principal of North Shore, as well as original actress of Cady Heron, Lindsay Lohan, which fans enjoyed seeing.

The musical has a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning it was ultimately well-received. So far, the movie has grossed 92 million worldwide and continues to entertain both old and new “Mean Girls” fans.

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