A photo displaying three variations of the 2024 Mean Girls movie.
A photo displaying three variations of the 2024 Mean Girls movie.
Photo via Printerval

New Mean Girls Movie (2024): Fetch? I Think Not.

On Jan. 12, 2024, Paramount Pictures’ movie adaptation of the iconic “Mean Girls” musical was released in theaters. Co-directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., the movie aimed to showcase the original-but-partially-overlooked-Broadway-musical cut-short-because-of-the-COVID-19-pandemic. But does the 2024 interpretation compare to the original? Or is it even better? Short answer: absolutely not. Please note: This contains a few plot spoilers!


Just to remind you of the original movie, “Mean Girls” (2004) is a teen romantic comedy about a teenage girl moving from South Africa to Illinois. She attends Northshore High School, where she quickly learns that public school differs quite a bit from her old homeschool life. She quickly meets and becomes friends with two of her peers, Janis and Damian. They begin to give her a tour and a “guide map” of the school, when suddenly, they encounter the Plastics, a group of the high school’s most popular girls, Karen Smith, Gretchen Weiners, and the one and only Regina George (we all know what happens from here). 


Poster of the original (2004) Mean Girls movie. (Photo via Printerval)


“Mean Girls” (2024) seems to add a modern and Gen-Z spin to the film by adding aspects such as cameos from popular social media influencers and incorporating more modern social media platforms. The social media bits were cute the first few times, but it got excessive. First off, these influencers (for the most part) are not actors. Simple cameos are fine, but after the bus scene, where Regina gets hit by a bus around the middle of the movie, it started to feel superficial. Though I was a fan of the central casting, some parts of the film almost felt like a generic TikTok ad and even forced. They overused common teenage slang to where it felt unreal. I liked the idea, but it just simply felt unnatural. Maybe using a platform where high school students discuss school-related topics, such as Instagram, might have been a better fit, considering many share stories of recent events that go on at school.


But this is not it; what I majorly disliked about the movie is how much of the original movie they revised and even left out. To be fair, the movie was not intended to be a complete remake of the original; even Jaquel Spivey (who played Damian) told People Magazine,, “We love it so much that we’re going to make something fresh because we can’t recreate it — it’s too iconic.” However, I expected them to leave in most of the infamous scenes and lines of the original film. 


I see the movie’s potential, and I do think they cast the roles well, but honestly, I expected more out of it. I was okay with them revising some of the original scenes to add a twist, but there were some things they should have kept in. 


They did leave in the iconic lines such as “On Wednesdays, we wear pink,” and “Get in, loser.” But the other changes they made were confusing and intriguing, to say the least. They left out the four-way phone call, changed the revenge plan, completely changed the infamous “Jingle Bell Rock” scene, and even left out Regina’s iconic, “They say that you’re a homeschooled jungle freak. That’s a less-hot version of me.” This whole situation is ironic, considering they tried to add cameos from TikTok, because many of these left-out lines are viral on the app. 


Poster of the new (2024) Mean Girls movie. The difference between the original and the modern displays the new modernity of the recent movie. (Photo via Printerval)


The entire movie was a bit confusing, including the confirmed affair with Ms. Norbury and Principal Duvall. As much as I enjoyed their happy ending, I was bummed not to see any of their development leading into it as the original version showed.. Many funny/exciting details are left out throughout the movie, leaving gaps in the story. The film was meant to be an interpretation, but questioning what happens to the characters is confusing to the viewers. 


As for itself, the film is pretty decent. It had its moments and was humorous. But to be an interpretation of the legendary “Mean Girls”? It’s a pass for me. Or, as Gretchen Weiners would say, “so not fetch.”


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