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“Mean Girls,” so fetch or not so fetch?

Photo courtesy of DeviantArt
The 2024 version of Mean Girls is a remake of the 2004 film and an adaptation of the Broadway musical.

There is a new “Mean Girls” movie and yes, it is a musical. The movie has received many mixed reviews spanning from the fashion to the awkward product placement to some not even knowing that it was a musical in the first place, which caused a bit of an uproar.  

The movie is directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. with Tina Fey coming back to write but also to reprise her role as Ms. Norbury. The movie stars Reneé Rapp as Regina George, Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, Avantika Vandanapu as Karen Shetty, Bebe Wood as Gretchen Weiners, Auli’i Cravalho as Janis ‘lmi’ike, Jaquel Spivey as Damian Hubbard and Christopher Briney as Aaron Samuels. Lindsey Lohan and Tim Meadows from the original “Mean Girls” movie made special appearances and Ashley Park from the original Broadway cast of “Mean Girls The Musical” also made a special appearance.  

The first problem people found with the movie was that it was not clear that it was a musical as the title did not change from the original “Mean Girls” and many of the trailers did not show the musical numbers included in the movie. Many viewers were shocked when they discovered that the film was not supposed to be a remake of the original movie but rather based on the 2017 Broadway show “Mean Girls The Musical”.  

The criticism did not stop there as many viewers thought the movie looked “cheap” or “tacky” because of the fashion and Elf cosmetics product placement. Online users said the clothes looked like they came from Shein, which contradicts the plastics characters who are supposed to be rich girls who can buy the trendiest items from designer brands. Viewers also criticized how Elf products were “obvious product placements,” with characters being shown using the products and stating the products name and shade. 

For musical lovers, the movie took away from what they thought made the musical special with nine songs from the original production being cut.  

Aside from the cuts, another criticism was the production simplification of several songs with some viewers even saying that they tried to turn the musical theatre songs into pop songs, making them lose the drama and passion of Broadway.  

“The major change was the instrumentals and the emotions of the songs,” said Kaelyn Olivera. “It was noticeable, and it was a bit bad.”   

The songs were not the only elements in the movie that were simplified as another issue viewers had was that some characters were made into side characters. 

“They should have added more personality to Karen and Gretchen,” Olivera said. “They sort of made them just side characters, and Karen was dumber in like a pet way. No offense to the actresses at all, they took the script and made it the best they could which I respect a lot.” 

For some that have not seen the movie, the mixed reviews have made them curious and encouraged them to form their own opinion.  

“I have seen that a lot of people don’t like the actors that they used to for the musical and liked the person on Broadway better,” said UTEP student Krysta Phillips. “I will always give film a chance though whether there have been negative reviews or not because I might have a different taste then other people do.” 

The biggest criticism of the movie has been some of the casting choices, mainly Angourie Rice who many online critics think got the role through nepotism as her parents are actors Kate and Jeremy Rice. Many have been comparing Rice’s musical numbers and Erika Leigh Henningsen’s, who originated the role on Broadway, and stated their preference for the original. 

UTEP student Sara Alvarez shared some of her thoughts on nepotism in Hollywood. 

“Having the right contacts and network can get you a long way in your career, but what if the possible candidates for a role have already been determined based on nepotism,” Alvarez said. “The action of hiring a person not based on their talent, but off their power in said industry can be a major downgrade to the art of acting in general.” 

Other viewers though have pointed out that they were not aware that Rice had parents in the industry. 

“Honestly, I didn’t really know the actress was a nepo baby,” Olivera said. “I liked her when she was Cady, just not really for the singing parts. I think she made a good addition to the Mean Girls, but not for a musical.”  

Aside from the critics, the “Mean Girls” movie has managed to push some of its cast into the spotlight with Avantika Vandanapu getting praised for her portrayal as Karen as many fans expressed that she had some of the best musical numbers. Reneé Rapp who played Regina George on broadway is also getting praise and the role is only pushing her further into mainstream media as she had already starred in a comedy series on Amazon prime and released her own album “Snow Angel.” 

Regardless of any mixed reviews, moviegoers can experience this new, musical, take on a classic in theatres and decide for themselves if it is fetch or not. 

Ximena Cordero is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Ximena Cordero
Ximena Cordero, Staff Reporter
Ximena Cordero is a freshman at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is a staff reporter at The Prospector. She is majoring in communications and deciding between a minor in creative writing or English literature. After graduating, she would like to pursue a master's degree, work as a journalist or communication specialist, and maybe even write her own books. She wants a career that will allow her to explore the world and see new perspectives and cultures.
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