Smart with math but stupid in love Cady has moved from home schooling in peaceful Kenya to Chicago’s busy North Shore High School run by “The Plastics”. But will she fit their shiny, fake, glittery mould, or will she be the one to break it?
Based on the book ‘Queen Bees and Wannabees’ by Rosalind Wiseman written in 2002, which went on to become the cult hit ‘Mean Girls’ in 2004, propelling Rachel McAdams and Lindsey Lohan to Hollywood stardom. This new reimagining rather than strict remake, has been adapted from the hit 2018 Broadway show of the same name, which was nominated for 12 Tony awards.
Written and produced once again by the forever youthful Tina Fey, who has quite rightly cast herself once again as Ms. Norbury the high-school math teacher, ‘Mean Girls’ has been updated to cater for the new TikTok generation of memes, internet trolling and high-school hierarchy. Starring Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, our home-schooled student who is thrust into the world of “The Plastics” in a not so typical high school where song and dance breaks are now the norm.
Newcomer to film Reneé Rapp as Regina George, found lead fame in both seasons of “The Sex Lives of College Girls”, and the Broadway Show of Mean Girls. Like the original film, this role makes stars of the ‘queen bee’ Regina character. Alongside Regina George, her worker bees namely Bebe Wood who reprises her Broadway role of Gretchen Wieners – keeping all her secrets in her hair – and Avantika Vandanapou, who plays airhead Karen Shetty, whose lifelong ambition is never to touch a tiger.
Whilst the original hit was a ‘snakes and ladders’ story of backstabbing and young love, this new version now introduces a bespoke soundtrack that is predominantly and alternatively lead by Cady as the slightly ditzy ‘stupid with love’ romantic through to her arch nemesis and scene stealer, Regina George. With tracks such as ‘Meet The Plastics’ and ‘Someone Gets Hurt’ both sung by Reneé, they are the most likely reason you will go back and see this more than once.
Alongside Angourie Rice’s Cady character are our films fourth wall breaking artistic narrators Jaquel Spivey as Damian Hubbard – who is in one character’s opinion almost “too gay to function”. And ‘Moana’s’ Auli’i Cravalho as Janis Sarkisian, which gives the whole film an updated Romeo and Juliet type feel, keeping the pace up and moving the story along at some speed.
With Aaron Samuels played by Christopher Briney making up the love triangle, the overall film has a similar feel to the original mostly using relatively unknowns but working extremely well. The feel here is the same but with the added soundtrack for me ever so slightly elevating the overall experience. Reprising Lindsey Lohan this time in the cameo role of ‘Mathletes’ quiz show host the tie-ins are complete alongside Principal Duvall played by Tim Meadows, whose hand is once again in a cast as a nod to the original.
With some mixed reviews pointing more towards the positive, this film has kept the top spot for the last two weeks despite not being advertised as a musical, causing some online confusion. Using Olivia Rodrigo’s song “get him back!” for the promo, this new version is not a remake but more in keeping with the recent stage version. With box office returns very close to the original that went on to make just over $130m world-wide, this twenty-year anniversary once again shows the gaping chasm between awkward teen life from then to now. Both having their positive and negative aspects, teenagers will always be harsh and at times unfair, but friendships can also be set in stone in these highly changeable formative years.
So “Get in, Loser”
Author: Piers, Maidstone Store