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?

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