Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

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Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Review: Depsite misguiding marketing, “Mean Girls” is a fun watch

Bebe+Wood%2C+Rene%C3%A9+Rapp+and+Avantika+in+Mean+Girls%2C+directed+by+Samantha+Jayne+and+Arturo+Perez+Jr.
Paramount Pictures
Bebe Wood, Reneé Rapp and Avantika in “Mean Girls,” directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.

Mean Girls is one of the most iconic movies to come out of the 2000s. Twenty years later, when a remake was announced, the pressure to succeed was intense.

The marketing of this movie was confusing, to say the least. When I first saw the trailer, I assumed it would be a modernized version of the original film. No trailer or promos used any musical numbers from the movie, so I was shocked when I learned that this was an adaptation of the “Mean Girls” Broadway musical.

The plot follows closely with the movie but overall seemed very confused as to what it wanted to be. Musical numbers happened but didn’t stand out. I was very upset to find out they had cut “Meet the Plastics,” one of the most iconic numbers from the Broadway soundtrack. Additionally, a lot of dialogue and attempts to replicate the charm of the 2004 film fell flat. Many on social media shared this sentiment that the incoherence in the movie made it unserious and confusing. 

The film’s casting was extremely questionable, especially when it came to the musical aspect. To have Reneè Rapp (who played Regina George in the Broadway production) singing on the same tracks as Angourie Rice (Cady Heron) showcased a stark difference in vocal skill. Rice has been bashed on social media for her flat and lackluster vocal performance in the film. I don’t think she was unbearable to listen to, but compared to singers who happen to act, an actor who happens to sing looks laughable. 

Auli’i Cravalho (Janis) and Rapp (Regina) dominated the movie with both their acting and their vocals. Rapp’s performance has a charm that captures the audience’s attention and embodies the intimidating nature of Regina’s character. Cravalho’s vocals on the reprise of “Someone Gets Hurt” were so smooth and satisfying to listen to. 

Tina Fey and Tim Meadows were the only actors from the 2004 film that were brought back for the remake. I loved the choice to have their characters be married, a fun reference to the original. Lindsay Lohan also had a small cameo which felt satisfying, like it brought some closure to the “Mean Girls” universe.

There are plenty of very particular issues in this modernized version of such a beloved movie, from the updated instrumental tracks to unimpressive vocal performances. Despite these shortcomings, some truly standout performances make the new “Mean Girls” a fun and entertaining watch.

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Selah Lee, Staff Writer
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