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Criticism: Get in loser, we’re going to the movies

New “Mean Girls” remake falls short of Fetch
Rene%C3%A9+Rap+in+her+leading+role+as+Regina+George.
Photo by IMDB
Reneé Rap in her leading role as Regina George.

Rating 6/10

Walking into the theater, my expectations could have probably touched the 18-foot ceilings. My advice to fellow moviegoers is to forget everything you previously thought about “Mean Girls,” and enjoy it for what it is.  If my expectations for this comedy were more down to Earth, I probably would have enjoyed myself and the film a little bit more. Overall, “Mean Girls” gets a 6/10.  

Spoilers ahead for “Mean Girls”

“Mean Girls,” released on Jan. 12, is a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical adaptation of the 2004 classic. The 2024 production features popular stars like Christopher Briney from “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” Jenna Fisher and Broadway hit Reneé Rap as Regina George. The Mean Girls redo also brought back original cast members Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury, John Ham as Coach Carr, Tim Meadows as Principal Duvall and even features original lead Lindsay Lohan for a few brief scenes in the end. 

The casting for this film couldn’t have been better, except for one key role: Cady Heron played by Angourie Rice.

Angourie Rice gave the audience nothing in her performance as Cady Heron. The Australian actress is most well known for her appearances in the Spider-Man Universe but also has an extremely thick Australian accent. I’m not sure if it was the attempt at masking her accent that made her singing performance so difficult to watch, but her solos would have made theater kids cringe. 

Another cringe that this movie offered its audience was the horrendous product placement. All you could do was laugh when characters began singing into Secret Antiperspirant Dry Spray bottles as a microphone, “accidentally” dropping e.l.f. Lip Gloss into the bathroom sink or asking each other, “Hey, what shade of e.l.f. Lip Gloss is that?” I counted over 10 noticeable product placements in the first 30 minutes of the film, including Glossier, Beis Travel and Glow Recipe, but the most recognizable and shoved in the audience’s face is the e.l.f. beauty brand. 

e.l.f. is currently getting slammed on social media for the poor product placement in the film. By its third appearance from the start of the movie, I heard people in the audience groaning or snickering. Like I said, all you could do was laugh.

Reneé Rap’s role as Regina George was only her second major role in the film industry since her Broadway career. Besides gaining recognition from the “Mean Girls” musical on Broadway, Rap’s only other notable performance was as Leighton Murphy in “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” I personally felt that her performance in the “Mean Girls” film was reflective of her Broadway training: very over-exaggerated. To me, it was clear that she wasn’t super comfortable in front of a camera. Her voice, however, gave me chills. As Gen Z has not-so-lightly put it on social media, Reneé Rap is “mother” when it comes to her voice. 

Overall, “Mean Girls” was good — not great. Nothing will ever beat the 2004 original. If you’re someone who enjoys movie musicals which are remakes of Broadway musicals that were originally movies, then this will be right up your alley! While it’s not a family-friendly film, “Mean Girls” offered a few laughs and was perfect for a night with friends.    

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