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The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

‘Mean Girls’ fails to live up to the original movie’s charm

In+the+2024+remake+of+%E2%80%9CMean+Girls%2C%E2%80%9D+Regina+George+was+played+by+singer-songwriter+Rene%C3%A9+Rapp%2C+who+also+played+her+in+the+Broadway+musical.
Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
In the 2024 remake of “Mean Girls,” Regina George was played by singer-songwriter Reneé Rapp, who also played her in the Broadway musical.

The 2024 version of “Mean Girls” was doomed from the start. An entire generation adores the original 2004 movie, and achieving that same level of devotion from fans in a remake would be quite the feat. Unsurprisingly, “Mean Girls” failed to do so, and viewers have made their feelings clear — the film debuted with a whopping average of 2.2/5 on Google Reviews.

As someone who watched the 2004 Mean Girls movie countless times growing up, I was confident this remake would never be able to live up to the original. I was correct — between the subpar acting and repetitive soundtrack, this movie was unsuccessful in creating the same atmosphere as the 2004 film.

The movie’s plot was identical to that of the first version. Intelligent home-schooled teenager Cady Heron moves to a high school full of your stereotypical cliques — nerds, jocks, dorks and, of course, the Plastics. Cady joins the Plastics by invitation from Regina George, the self-appointed queen of the school. When Cady attempts to date Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron, she learns how mean Regina can be.

In the remake, Regina was played by Reneé Rapp, who also played her in the 2017 Broadway musical. Because Regina is such a unique character, I doubted anyone could portray her as well as Rachel McAdams, who played her in the 2004 movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Rapp’s performance, which was likely the best of all the remake’s actors. Rapp stepped into the Regina role, delivering classic lines like “Get in, loser” with attitude and glamor. She was the saving grace of the movie.

In a massive contrast, I thought Angourie Rice’s rendition of Cady could not have been worse. Her acting was emotionless and dry, and she simply could not live up to Lindsay Lohan’s flawless performance in the original film. While I understand that Lohan’s shoes were nearly impossible to fill, Rice’s acting felt as if she was reading off a script. She didn’t capture Cady’s spirit, which is a massive problem in a movie that leans so heavily on its protagonist’s personality. I noticed this tendency with a few of the movie’s other actors, such as Christopher Briney, who played Aaron Samuels and is known for his role as Conrad Fisher from “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” 

Now, let’s discuss the movie’s biggest pitfall: the soundtrack. Rapp carried it on her back with loud, powerful vocals that captured Regina’s energy perfectly. Auli’i Cravalho, who played Janis and is best known for her role in Disney’s “Moana,” also put on a great singing show. The tracks without Rapp and Cravalho sounded like amateur karaoke, and I cringed every time the characters spontaneously burst into song (basically every five seconds). Rice was not a good singer at all, and between that and her bland acting, I questioned why she was cast as Cady in the first place.

In short, this new remake of “Mean Girls” felt unnecessary. The plot has been used in a movie and a musical and remains iconic after two decades. The 2024 film had an identical storyline, an irritating amount of songs and an arguably less talented cast. I can only hope this story doesn’t undergo another reiteration and can instead hold onto whatever originality and nostalgia it still has.

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About the Contributor
Brinda Iyer, Copy Editor
Brinda Iyer is a sophomore at Burlingame High School and a second-year journalism student. She's thrilled to have the opportunity to explore different styles of writing in this class and to gain the experience of working in a newsroom. Outside of school, you can find Brinda playing lacrosse, traveling to new places, playing and listening to music, rewatching her favorite shows and spending time with friends and family.
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