“Mean Girls”

January 11th, 2024 Posted by Review 0 thoughts on ““Mean Girls””

“Mean Girls” from 2004 is still a favorite so why remake it? Well, because Tina Fey had the brilliant idea of reimagining it for today’s world and adding a bit of song and dance, that’s why! And she hits every note perfectly as the message still rings true in this new iteration.

We’ve got all the same characters and for those of you (us) who didn’t see the original, it’s not necessary, although perhaps there are a few missed nuances. Angourie Rice stars as Cady Heron, the young transfer from Kenya thrust into the suburban high school ruled by Regina George, ringleader of the group called “The Plastics.” Cady is befriended by Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), two outcasts or misfits in the school. Cady is quickly pulled in by The Plastics only to have her heart broken by her crush, Aaron (Christopher Briney), which ignites a mission of vengeance against Regina.

“Mean Girls” has been revised and updated to include today’s vernacular and technology adding another element to the difficulties of being a teenager. Rich characters like Regina played by Renee Rapp whose superficial upbringing by Mom (Busy Philipps) and her intense focus on cruelty to others comes quickly to roost after Cady institutes her plan to take Regina down. Of course, everything comes full circle as both girls must look in the mirror to see if they like their reflection.

Amidst all of the backstabbing and gossip, there’s drama and humor that drive the story forward. Damian and Janis’s stories intertwine to add depth and complexity to the growing pains of this awkward stage. And we have the flakey Karen (Avantika) whose bra size far outweighs her IQ and Gretchen’s (Bebe Wood) insecurities which reminds us all how difficult those high school years really are. Rounding out the cast are Tim Meadows as Principal Duvall and Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury, adding subtext and levity.

Interspersed at just the right moments are captivating choreography and catchy tunes that will delight your senses. Be sure to listen to the lyrics carefully for added entertainment. While some of the issues from the past have been tastefully omitted, Fey focuses on keeping it real with all the life lessons every teen should learn. From friendship and identity to honesty and compassion, this script and these actors tell a meaningful and vibrantly enjoyable story.

Rice and Rapp are the key players in this rendition of “Mean Girls” whose acting, singing, and dancing are fine-tuned. Rice creates Cady, the all-American girl next door, as she transforms before our eyes into someone completely different. These changes happen subtly both outwardly and from within. Rice’s skillful portrayal of her character allows us to better understand Cady and to root for her to be a better version of herself. This goes for Rapp’s Regina as well. We get a taste of her home life and her mother’s “parenting skills” which Regina must somehow overcome.

There’s not a dull moment in the movie thanks to quick wit, great editing, imaginative storytelling, and most importantly, a story with a meaningful message.

3 Stars

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