Mean Girls – Movie Review

What’s it about?

The Mean Girls we know and love get a musical makeover. (And if you don’t know and love it, it’s about a teen girl who was homeschooled in Kenya learning to navigate the bitchiness of American high school.)

What’d we think?

The original Mean Girls movie (written by Tina Fey) was given the musical treatment on Broadway, and now the Broadway version has made it to the small screen… sort of.

Hollywood has a complicated relationship with musicals and Mean Girls is no exception: in fact, most of the marketing actually hides the fact that this redux is a musical at all. Mean Girls 2.0 feels like it’s half the movie and half the musical but not quite a whole of either. And, since we already have a movie version that doesn’t feel that dated, I think this iteration needed to go hard on the musical twist. Sadly, several of the show’s best and funniest songs have been cut (is it a coincidence they’re the really musical theatre-y songs? We’ll never know. But probably yes). Newcomers to the source material won’t notice this of course, but musical lovers may be a touch disappointed.

There are some excellent moments: Aulii Cravalho’s I’d Rather Be Me kicks some serious ass, and Renee Rapp is savage and talented as hell as this generation’s Regina George.

Ultimately Mean Girls is super enjoyable, but if it had leaned harder into its musical side (aka what makes it new and necessary) it could have been great. The Broadway show felt like an all-out party and this new movie feels like pre-drinks, you know?

Still lots of fun, but not the main event.
Elizabeth is a journalist who's been in love with film ever since she pestered the manager at her local video store to hire her at age 14 (Seriously, she went in every Friday at 4pm and asked "Any jobs yet?" Pretty sure he hired her just to shut her up). She started reviewing with Anthony Sherratt in 2004 as a way of justifying the obscene amount of money she spent on movies to her parents. This two-person side-hustle eventually became Super Quick Reviews, which now comprises a team of reviewers from across Australia. She's also now a regular contributor for Empire, the world's biggest film magazine (coincidentally also because she just showed up at the office and pestered the editor to hire her.) A self-confessed media tart, Elizabeth has also written for many other publications including Woman's Day, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Age, Take 5, SheSAID, Mamamia, Your Tango, and My City Life. She likes long walks up the makeup aisle (check out her beauty product-filled instagram @thebeautypalate) and correcting people's grammar.
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