Cady Heron is a hit with the Plastics, an A-list girl clique at her new school when she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.
“Mean Girls” from 2004 is still a favorite so why remake it? Well, because Tina Fey had the brilliant idea of reimagining it for today’s world and adding a bit of song and dance, that’s why! And she hits every note perfectly as the message still rings true in this new iteration.
To read Pam’s review in its entirety, go to https://reelhonestreviews.com/mean-girls/
Sometimes, it’s better to leave well enough alone. Of course, when there’s money to be made, the entertainment industry turns a blind eye to such practical notions, and as a result, we get something like the musical remake of “Mean Girls.” First-time feature directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. are adrift with this adaptation of the Broadway version of the 2003 movie, unable to coax convincing performances from many of their actors and incapable of staging a show-stopping musical number. Granted, they are fighting an uphill battle trying to escape the long-shadow cast by the 2003 cult classic, a task they fall short of achieving at every turn.
For those of you living under a rock, here’s the skinny where the plot’s concerned – Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) has been homeschooled most of her life and has now been dropped into the confusing, social maelstrom that is a public high school. Unsure how to interact with her peers, she’s befriended by Janis and Damian (Auli’I Cravalho and Jaquel Spivey), two outsiders who recognize one of their own. However, once queen bee Regina George (Renee Rapp) takes Cady under her wing, Janis and Damian convince her to take down her unwanted mentor from the pedestal she’s put herself on. Cady is initially reluctant to do so but soon comes to see Regina for the bully she is. What she fails to see is that she is becoming just like her target.
Tina Fey’s original script, based on the book by Rosalind Wiseman, is adjusted to reflect the more PC times we live in, none of which detracts from the original story. However, what does are the songs, needless tunes that interrupt the flow and rhythm of the story we’ve become so accustomed to. I wouldn’t mind this if any of these numbers were in anyway memorable. While some in the cast have strong voices, Cravalho and Rapp being standouts, the simplistic songs they’re required to sing are showstoppers for all the wrong reasons. For example, one of the lyrics from “Revenge Party” goes “A revenge party, with your two best friends, it’s like a party and revenge it’s what it’s like.” Look, I don’t expect everyone to be Cole Porter or Irving Berlin but if this is the level to which professional songwriting has sunk, heaven help us.
In the end, the thing that grates most is the fact that every one of the younger cast members is trying too hard. Their approach of speaking louder and with more enthusiasm or really hitting a particular word in an oft-quoted line of dialogue to make it all seem fresh falls flat. In fact, it all smacks of desperation and the fault lies with Jayne and Perez for not finding a way to guide these earnest performers in a new direction. As a result, this take on “Mean Girls” is an over-done, somewhat meandering exercise that’s far from fetch.