The Fetch Return Of Mean Girls

The Fetch Return Of Mean Girls

*Warning this article contains spoilers
Many of us have grown up watching the iconic 2000s movie “Mean Girls. Written by Tina Fey, this classic movie has set the stage for the hit “Mean Girls” musical on Broadway, and now both have joined together to create a musical movie! Like the original, “Mean Girls is about Cady Heron, a teenage girl who goes from being homeschooled by her mother in Kenya to a high school in North Shore, Illinois. On the first day of school, she learns the horrors of the high school social hierarchy. She befriends one artsy girl, Janis, and Janis’s gay best friend, Damian. They encourage her to work her way into a popular girlfriend group known as “The Plastics” in order to expose Regina’s hidden dark side. Despite some minor flaws, I think you should watch this movie because it stayed true to many of its iconic moments while altering some storylines and characters to make it more relevant to today’s high school experience.
While the story was kept the same as the original movie, some aspects were changed. First, this was a musical, which was a surprise to many viewers as it was presented in a movie theater, and it is filled with countless songs from the Broadway musical that made this movie even better! Reneé Rapp, who played Regina on Broadway and in the new movie, sings “Meet the Plastics” and “World Burn”, which left me in awe because it was very well done and a strong performance. Her voice was outstanding and her acting was incredible. The scenes in which Rapp sang felt like her own entertaining music video. Jaquel Spivey, who plays Damian, also has an incredibly strong voice. Some of my favorite songs he sings are “A Cautionary Tale” and “Apex Predator”. Prior to this movie, he won the Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical for his work in “A Strange Loop” on Broadway in 2022. Spivey was also extremely funny. I even laughed out loud a few times! Overall, Spivey and Rapp’s voices were captivating and a joy to listen to.
Another aspect that was different was how some parts of the movie were changed to better reflect modern times. First, there is greater diversity. Karen Smith, a member of the Plastics, was played by Amanda Seyfried in the original movie and is now played by Avantika Vandanapu, an Indian-American actress. Similarly, Damian is now played by an African American gay male whereas in the first movie, Damian was played by a white gay male. Next, the characters use slang like “slay” and “queen” which makes the movie more modern. The costumes that The Plastics wear are very accurate to what high schoolers wear these days as well. They mix Y2K fashion with clothing trends from all over the internet. They also added TikTok and iPhone videos into the movie which gave it a more 2024 feel. Another change was that Cady’s mom was a single mom. In the original movie, Cady had two parents, but in the new film, we never see a father figure and her mom doesn’t wear a wedding ring. In addition, another change was that Ms. Norbury, played by Tina Fey again, isn’t a single divorcee like in the original movie. Instead, she is in a relationship with Mr. Duvall, the principal of North Shore High. Lastly, to make the new movie more modern, social media played a significant role in making Regina unpopular and spreading lies. During the winter talent show when Regina takes a tumble, everyone took out their phones and posted hundreds of videos and photos of Regina. Similarly, this also happened when Regina got hit by a bus, and all the characters were posting videos of what they thought happened.
While the new movie did change many things to better fit this day and age, they kept one impactful aspect: the fat plotline. In the original movie and in the musical Regina’s character highlights the toxic nature of high school beauty standards and weight-related issues. In the new movie, unfortunately, they kept many of these horrible body image scenes. For example, when Regina wanted to “lose weight” Cady still gave Regina Kalteen bars that made her gain weight, even though Cady told Regina otherwise. Soon after, when Regina realizes she gained weight, she spends hours running on the treadmill in order to lose that weight. She also wears sweatpants as she explains that it is “the only thing that fits her right now”. The worst part was that they added a new harmful scene about weight. During the Christmas talent show, the new movie framed Regina as though she gained a significant amount of weight. During the dance number, Regina couldn’t perform her gymnastic skill because she was weighed down by the Kalteen bars. For this movie to continue to spread the message that the worst thing that can happen to you in high school is to gain weight is extremely outdated and potentially harmful to many high school viewers. As a society, we are moving away from body shaming and towards body positivity, so this idea in the movie should be forgotten.
In addition, one of the things the movie does well is keeping the iconic lines. Some of these included “On Wednesdays we wear pink”, “too gay to function”, “that’s so fetch”, and many more. To do without these lines would change the experience of seeing the movie. These are key elements of the original movie that made the new one nostalgic rather than repetitive. Another aspect that was the same as the original movie is that Tina Fey played Ms. Norbury, and Tim Meadows played Principal Duvall.
Another exciting addition was that they included surprise guests! The idolized original Cady Heron, Lindsay Lohan, made an appearance being the moderator of the Mathletes competition. This was a great addition to the movie! There were also famous cameos replying to the drama in the movie. These included hilarious videos from TikTok superstar Chris Olsen and rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
I thought that the best character in this version was Regina George played by Reneé Rapp. I think Rapp played Regina better than Rachel McAdams in the original movie. She had so much attitude and confidence that there was no question she was the queen bee. Unlike McAdams, Rapp’s unreal voice made her more dominant and fitting for the role.
After 20 years since the original, “Mean Girls is still a great movie and will continue to be. If you are debating watching this movie, I would recommend going to see it!

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