Review: Mean Girls –

The unique Imply Ladies is a cultural touchstone for millennials of a sure age. One of many quintessential teen movies of the 2000s, it helped additional shoot Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams into superstardom, bolstered Amanda Seyfried‘s profile, and cemented Tina Fey‘s pen as considered one of fast wit and acclaim. Phrases like “On Wednesdays, we put on pink,” “Cease attempting to make fetch occur”, and “On October third, he requested me what day it was” turned a part of the cultural lingo. You possibly can’t simply select to make an iconic movie, however when the script and filmmaking are there, it naturally occurs.

Any type of remake or rehash may thus be met with trepidation, particularly since Imply Ladies is so particular to an period. What might be gained from remaking it? But the truth that the brand new film could be an adaptation of the Broadway musical model, and would once more characteristic Tina Fey writing, at the least created some optimism that it could be one thing a little bit completely different.

Ultimately, Imply Ladies is simply that: a little bit completely different, if nothing spectacular. In some respects, it seems like a dropped ball. It’s been twenty years because the unique movie, and social dynamics amongst teenagers have modified. The prevalence of social media and shifting requirements concerning the quantity of tolerable bullying and the types of bullying have made the teenager expertise a brand new factor within the 2020s, even when there are nonetheless issues common to each technology.

However this 2024 model finally ends up feeling too worshipful and beholden to the unique to do something actually new. Properly conscious of how sure strains have turn into fan favorites, this movie beats references to demise even in locations the place they don’t really feel pure. Additional, as a result of a lot of the movie merely recreates scenes we’re accustomed to, the moments the place a distinct path might need been taken to replicate trendy instances are missed. Certainly, other than the occasional montages of Tik Toks, Tweets, and barrages of noise to emulate web discuss an occasion, it hardly feels any completely different from the unique — although there’s one admittedly humorous second the place Regina George yells at somebody to take an image and your entire cafeteria busts out their good telephones. This is among the uncommon cases the place the movie has a cheeky remark about how instances have modified, however they’re few and much between.

The solid is pretty respectable, with some actors feeling like an enchancment on their predecessors, whereas others fall woefully quick. Sadly, Angourie Rice merely doesn’t reside as much as Lindsay Lohan as Cady. Although Cady is a meek, socially inept character, she has a fierceness that Lohan introduced that made her transition to being a “Plastic” really feel pure. Rice performs Cady far too mousy more often than not, and although her time when she is “Plastic” works, it doesn’t really feel like a transition from the character she was enjoying earlier than. She’s additionally the weakest singer within the solid, leaving her songs feeling largely forgettable. Christopher Briney is even much less of a presence than the unique Aaron Samuels, who was already a bland character. Bebe Wooden as Gretchen can also be a milquetoast tackle the position.

Renee Rapp is stronger as Regina, as she is clearly an amazing singer and actually brings the thunder in numbers like “Meet the Plastics” and “World Burn.” Her performing isn’t as robust as Rachel McAdams, however she nonetheless does a good job. Busy Phillips is hilarious as Regina’s mom, topping even Amy Poehler‘s amusing flip. And whereas Avantika isn’t essentially a greater actress than Amanda Seyfried, her one shining second is within the music “Attractive,” which is a hilarious quantity and probably the greatest within the movie. One of many higher singers within the solid is Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) as Janis. Her tackle Janis at the least does one thing completely different with the character from the unique. Her music “I’d Fairly Be Me” largely shines due to her singing, and is harking back to Moana‘s “How Far I’ll Go.”

Talking of, the musical facet of the movie on the entire is respectable, if nothing too wonderful. Regardless of the energy of the singing, too a lot of Regina’s numbers are executed whereas she is sitting nonetheless and little onscreen is occurring, which is an odd alternative. When her numbers do have extra happening, akin to “Somebody Will get Harm” or “World Burn,” they’re among the many extra visually flashy moments within the movie. However too most of the numbers on the entire don’t make the most of artistic and enjoyable units, being largely confined to highschool hallways or the grounds. The aforementioned “Attractive” is among the few exceptions, using Tik Tok in a creative method earlier than a free-moving quantity by a home. The opposite standout is “Revenge Get together,” taking over a fantasy high quality with the varsity halls embellished in vibrant colours with grass and loopy costumes. It’s a disgrace the movie solely not often lives as much as the promise of those moments.

Imply Ladies isn’t fairly the stellar musical innovation on the fabric that one would possibly need. It feels prefer it leaves an excessive amount of potential unmined as a consequence of its clear worship of its supply materials. Nonetheless, plenty of components work as a result of the underlying Imply Ladies script nonetheless works. Tina Fey’s up to date jokes in some areas are among the many funniest materials in both model. If solely Imply Ladies spent much less time attempting to make fetch occur and actually adopted the mantra laid down in “I’d Fairly Be Me” to make itself actually new and distinctive.

 

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