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Bison Beat Online

The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

The Student News Site of Buffalo High School

Bison Beat Online

Mean Girls movie doesn’t match Broadway

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This January saw the release of an adaptation of the Mean Girls musical for the silver screen. The story follows the same as the musical and the 2004 movie: new student Cady Heron, played by child actor Angourie Rice, gets welcomed into the top of the social food chain by an elite group of popular girls called the Plastics, ruled by the conniving queen bee Regina George, played by her Broadway actor Renee Rapp.  

 While a fun watch, the new film pales in comparison to the musical and the original movie. 

 It’s best to look at this film as an adaptation of the musical and not a “reboot” of the movie, since it’s really not a reboot. But, even from that viewpoint, the film is not the best translation of stage to screen. The musical has a lot more to do with Cady’s upbringing in the African savannah, having characters sometimes act like wild animals similar to a scene in the 2004 film. The 2024 film removes “It Roars”, a song in the beginning that helps introduce viewers to the prominence of Africa in this story, and so the scenes in which characters are running around acting like monkeys and antelopes are much more jarring than they would have been had the song stayed. 

 The musical and film give the story a modern setting, the latter especially with costuming. Having every main character and every background character in the same sort of modern fashion, however, makes the Plastics not stand out enough. Personally, when I saw the film, I didn’t even know the actors playing two of the Plastics, Gretchen and Karen, were a part of the Plastics at all. This is even more clear with Janis, an outcast donned in black with messy hair and Cady’s first friend at the school. She’s much more toned down in this film, especially with costuming. She looks like every other teenager and not the loner artsy freak that audiences love her to be. 

Mean Girls (2024) is a good movie to turn your brain off to. But, if you’re looking for a faithful adaptation of the Broadway musical, you might be better off just seeing it on the stage. 

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About the Contributor
Ryan Brown, Editorial Team
I’m Ryan Brown. I’m a senior and have been in journalism for three years. Within journalism, I am a writer and editor of articles, I direct for broadcast, I run the journalism TikTok, I write for and am a co-anchor of the Bison Insider podcast, and I help with the yearbook. I also do UIL events (current events, social studies, film, and journalism) and theatre. In my spare time, I write and hang out with my friends. I am planning to major in journalism in college. I love music, especially rock and metal, and alternative fashion.