Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Mean Girls (2024)


Homeschooled for much of her life, Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) returns to America after spending most of her childhood in Kenya. She immediately feels out of place in a typical high school setting ruled by cliques. Eclectic duo Janis (Auli’i Carvalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey) are about to reluctantly adopt her when the queen of the plastics herself, Regina George (Reneé Rapp), lays eyes on her. The rest is history. The trio hatches a plan to knock Regina off her ivory tower by turning her drones against her, namely: confidante extraordinaire Gretchen Wieners (Bebe Wood); and not-so-bright Karen Shetty (Avantika). As their scheme wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting high school populace, it is up to Math teacher Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) and Principal Duvall (Tim Meadows) to do their best to patch up the delicate web of high school drama. Will their intervention be enough or does someone have to be run over by a big yellow school bus to drive the point home?

Mean Girls 2024 is a cinematic rendition of 2017 Mean Girls, which was a musical theater reimagining of Mean Girls 2004, which was a movie adaptation of 2002 self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes. In short, you will be watching a remake of a remake of a remake. Yes, this version is a musical, which was curiously left out in the trailers. This is NOT a sequel of the 2004 film despite Fey and Meadows returning to play their same iconic roles. Only Lindsay Lohan appears in a cameo totally unrelated to her 2004 character. If a sequel to 2004 Mean Girls is what you want, the closest you can get is Walmart’s Mean Girls ads for Black Friday.

The original plan for Mean Girls 2024 was for it to be released directly to streaming on Paramount+. The sudden big screen detour has proven to be profitable, though. Despite not matching the unexpected box office success of the 2004 film back then, the 2024 remake has managed to break even and has found a home among Gen-Z moviegoers who seem to be the primary target audience anyway. Since we do not have a clear breakdown of the demographics, we can only speculate as to how this evaded being a box office flop.

Since the film is more of a Gen-Z adjusted remake rather than a sequel, it is already expected for some of the iconic 2004 dialogues and one-liners to be repurposed to cater to a more politically-correct crowd. Borderline racist and sexist jokes are toned down or scrapped altogether. If you are a millennial who has never seen the Broadway musical and only has the 2004 film as a point of comparison, you'll most likely find this remake to be reductive, a subpar version that retains some of the original's charms yet fails to hold a candle to it.

Since I fall within the bounds of that Millennial crowd who has the tendency to gate keep the 2004 version, my appreciation for Mean Girls 2024 is rather limited. I thought that belonging to another potential yet niche target market (fans of the 2017 Broadway musical on which this is based) would make a difference. In my case it did not, but perhaps it has more to do with me not really being a diehard fan of the theater version. I remember it as an entertaining musical, but none of the songs really made it to my core memory.

As a musical, Mean Girls 2024 puts those song-and-dance numbers to good use as transition devices as well as a method of keeping a cohesive sequence of otherwise unrelated scenes by containing all of them in one song. Since musical showstoppers in film only tend to work when they are integrated into the scenes instead of being dreamlike sequences which is what happens here, the setlist eventually begins to feel gimmicky after half an hour or so. As for the acting, let’s be nice and just not go there.

0 creature(s) gave a damn:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Detector

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review