By Tab O.
The trailer says, “This isn’t your mother’s Mean Girls.” Nevertheless, it’s pretty much like the Mean Girls from 2004. Comedian Tina Fey wrote both screenplays, and it has the same story lines and characters. Even most of the dialogue is identical to the original! (So I guess Fey didn’t have to do too much this time around!)
The updating for today’s audience focuses on a more diverse cast, and the gossip around school is now done via Tik Tok videos and group texts. The remake shows how modern-day bullying and gossiping occur online. But other than that, not much has changed in the last 20 years.
The main difference between Mean Girls 2004 and Mean Girls 2024 is that the new one is an adaptation of the Broadway musical which was inspired by the original movie. Which means, of course, they added songs and raunchy dancing. They even had to include Megan Thee Stallion. Ugh! I’m so NOT amused by rude and suggestive content.
At least they didn’t change the Mean Girls plot at all. Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) is a teenager who moves from Africa to North Shore High School. She was homeschooled, so she is uneducated in the high school hierarchy. She befriends Janis (Auli’I Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), who take her under their wing.
Together, they scheme to get Cady into the most popular clique, The Plastics, to take down queen bee Regina George. Reneé Rapp, who had previously portrayed Regina George in Mean Girls on Broadway, reprised her role for the film, so she embodied the character perfectly.
Personally, I always liked red-haired Lindsay Lohan as the wide-eyed, fresh-faced new girl straight out of Africa and dumped into the middle of high school with all its cliques. Cady’s naiveté came across as so genuine in the original film. Perhaps her character had authenticity since Lohan herself was homeschooled.
In contrast, Angourie Rice wasn’t homeschooled and is from Australia in real life. I’m sure Rice is nice, but no one can replace Lindsay in her role. Sorry, I don’t care how many times they remake Mean Girls, and no matter in how many ways, it will never be like the original with Lindsay.
So imagine my delight to see Lohan return to Mean Girls in a brief cameo as the judge of the Mathletes Championship! I thought it was interesting that she ended up being the one and only cameo. It supports my belief that she was the real star of the first Mean Girls movie, more so than Rachel McAdams.
Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprised their characters of Ms. Norbury and Mr. Duvall respectively, 20 years after the original Mean Girls.
Incidentally, in the 2004 movie, Cady’s parents are research zoologists who worked in Africa for many years. Cady starts school at North Shore High School in Illinois after her mom is offered tenure at Northwestern University. In the 2024 movie, Cady’s mom is still a researcher in Africa who accepts a job at Northwestern, but strangely makes no mention of Cady’s dad or his whereabouts.
Mean Girls was one of the classic films of the 2000s. It was memorable because it was unique and original. Unfortunately, the 2024 remake doesn’t have that benefit. The best jokes are merely regurgitations of the best ones from the first Mean Girls.
Mean Girls has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for sexual material, strong language, and teen drinking.
Read my original Mean Girls review at http://homeschoolingteen.com/article/mean-girls