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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

In 2024, we still wear pink on Wednesdays!

Mean Girls returns to the theaters twenty years later with a Gen Z take on the classic.

Get in loser! We’re going back to Northshore High! 

After moving from Africa, teen Cady Heron dives head first into the complicated world of high school in classic 2000s movie “Mean Girls.” Naively, she is brought into the popular clique, nicknamed “the Plastics.” Cady quickly learns the truth about the group and makes plans to destroy them.

The movie became an instant classic in 2004 due to its witty catchphrases and unforgettable dances.

The Mean Girls craze continued in late 2017 when it was adapted into a Broadway musical. Its stage version only heightened the movie’s popularity, leaving audiences wanting the musical to become a movie. 

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In November of 2023, a teaser trailer dropped, giving a sneak peek into the dazzling new world filled with impressive dance numbers and familiar characters. Following the movie’s release on Jan. 12, 2024, audiences met the same familiar cast of characters in this musical movie adaptation. 

Unlike the original film adaptation, the musical movie now features diverse characters. The cast is no short of talent, from heartthrob Christopher Briney to popstar Renné Rapp

Every cast member brings a unique take on their characters. 

Reneé Rapp gives Regina a new spunkiness while staying true to the queen bee attitude. Auli’i Cravahalo and Jaquel Spivey give a new and lively LGBTQ+ spin on the iconic Damian and Janis duo. 

The new take on the story helps erase stereotypes the original film was filled with. Although the stereotypes were modified in the Broadway musical, the film continues modifying the story by eliminating or changing old storylines, such as the sexual education teacher’s intimate relationships with students and a more aggressive take on Regina’s weight gain issues. 

While this diverse cast erases some of the issues with the original film, the movie musical lacks the grittiness and unapologetic humor of the original. 

Iconic one-liners and jokes were either left out of the film or were changed to fit this generation’s humor. “Is butter a carb?” and “Oh my God Danny Devito, I love your work!” were gone. Most notably, Gretchen Wieners’ toaster strudel empire and amazing Caesar monologue were excluded. 

The Gen Z approach to remaking and reimagining the original film overworked the storyline. TikTok and dance montages ruined the overall feel of the movie. Unlike the rest of the movie, the dance montages feel frantic and highly cinematic. Even the TikTok montages felt like fillers instead of plot-advancing scenes. In doing so, it tried too hard to relate to the current generation of viewers. 

Additionally, very obvious brand placements for e.l.f Cosmetics added to the overall randomness I felt while watching. It made many question if the movie was sponsored by the brand or not, which it isn’t, making the product placement even more confusing.

Another complaint from myself and viewers is the lack of songs. Only twelve out of the twenty-one original songs were in the film, plus an original song written by Renne Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion called “Not My Fault.”

Every song had its music video-esque montage; however, unlike most musical films, where dialogue and song mesh, “Mean Girls” cut quickly from dialogue to song via awkward beats. The choppiness between songs and dialogue breaks ruined unforgettable lines and often felt awkward. 

Along with the sudden burst of song, there was a vast imbalance in the final sound mixing. Most, if not all lyrics got lost behind the overpowering backing tracks. 

Overall, the movie fell flat. This “modern remake” of the teen classic felt almost identical to the original, with dialogue and scenes being virtually, if not identical, to their predecessor, often making the movie dull.

Teen culture has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. 2004’s “Mean Girls” is a great time capsule of teen culture from the early 2000s. The new movie feels like a poor Gen Z remake of a classic movie. 

Truthfully, it didn’t need to be made into a film. The musical worked on stage because it was made for the stage. This version failed because it simply tried too hard to be a modern musical movie. 

My Rating: 5/10 

The classic “Mean Girls” (2004) poster, featuring the original cast, versus the new “Mean Girls” (2024), showcases a more diverse cast with a flashier sense of fashion. (THE STYLE LIST)

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About the Contributor
Max Sandoval
Max Sandoval, Staff
Max is a senior in the performing arts department at VNHS. They can often be found reading books or at packed concert venues. When they are not in class, Max is in the theatre helping bring the arts to life with tech. They are excited to write about the arts and their other passions. Later in the fall, Max will attend college to further their education in technical theatre.
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