The Plastics are back in the new adaptation of “Mean Girls,” adapting both the Broadway musical and the 2004 movie to impact the comedy and musical scene at large. It has been one of the most talked about films heading into the new year, but did anyone know it was a musical?
Theater screens are well versed with multi-faceted actors that have something to say through song. Through the walls of North Shore High, these students are raging with awesome choreography.
We are graced with demanding voices that must be heard, one from Reneé Rapp as Regina George, and transports us into the middle of this cafeteria with the same point of view as Cady Heron, played by Angourie Rice, when she is invited to sit at the Plastics’ table.
The manipulative trio is back at the center of attention and destroying anyone that dares to cross them. This spirit stays with the new leads, Avantika Vandanapu as Karen Shetty and Bebe Woods as Gretchen Weiners.
The costume design did not reflect our current Y2K fashion return well. Instead, it felt more downplayed and as if it was trying too hard to make them look like normal teenagers. Regina George would not be caught dead in cargo pants, her hair blowing in the wind during her phenomenal song “World Burn” could not save that devastating outfit. I wanted to feel the wrath of the plastics but my head internally screamed what are they wearing amongst that noise I was able to leave the theater laughing still reminiscing for days to come.
From the world of musical theater, we see the faults and successes of using the original score of the Broadway show, but unfortunately, they leave out songs that had so much potential. The musical sequences were crafted well and meshed well with the atmosphere but not the male lead, Aaron Samuels, played by Christopher Briney. He lacked charisma throughout the film, and was not able to make a lasting impression the way the other new cast members were, but it was fun to see him paired with a dominating woman like Regina George.
Luckily, the other new actors were perfect choices for the roles and made me forget all about the original actors. Throughout the film, I was intrigued by how they used new dialogue and felt like they could have been in the original. I loved seeing Jaquel Spivey as Damien Hubbarb, who was in fact “too gay to function,” but it is still only okay when Janis ʻImi’ike, played by Auli’i Cravalho, says it. This duo was everything and more through their use of comedy and ability to capture the audience through bold makeup choices and lines that kept me on the edge of my seat.
With all the bold choices they made in this movie, it had me questioning why they chose to basically have a one location shoot, which mostly took place at school and Regina’s house. We did not see the iconic mall scene from the 2004 film take place, maybe to keep the focus on the school dynamic.
My enjoyment came from the original cast members of Tina Fey as Miss Norbury and Tim Meadows as Principal Duvall, who reprise their roles with an interesting twist. The film is filled with surprise cameos and new social media stars that act as storytellers by showing how impactful a social media trail is when you are at the top of the social chain.
Overall, do not let the mixed reviews fool you. This reboot is one to watch whether you hate or love “Mean Girls.” It is worth the watch for all of those nostalgic feelings.