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Mean Girls dance their way back onto fans screens

A clear description of the discrepancies between the two movies.
Lily Bossoletti
A clear description of the discrepancies between the two movies.

Tina Fey’s musical adaptation of the original 2004 “Mean Girls” movie danced its way across theater screens Jan. 12, 2024. While the movie follows a similar plot line and all the characters remain the same, a few key differences made the movie frustrating to watch. 

The movie begins with an obvious change to Cady’s (Angourie Rice) character. In the original, she has two supportive parents, while in this adaptation, it is just her and her mother. This does not truly become an issue until the movie starts to wrap up. After all the drama from the burn book is resolved and Cady has dealt her consequences, it’s originally Cady’s father who let her out on her grounding but with the absence of his character, the story line shifts slightly in that matter. While not major, it is one missing element that leaves out the original connection that Cady had with her father. 

As the movie progresses, the relationship between Janis (Auli’i Cravalho), Damion (Jaquel Spivey) and Cady remains very similar to theirs in the 2004 movie. Although this seems constant, the dynamic between the original plastics is not the same. Regina, (Renné Rapp) is now much harsher to Karen (Avantika Vandanapu) and Gretchen (Bebe Wood). It also seems as if Karen and Gretchen are much more reliant on whoever is the group’s “leader” than in the original. In this adaptation, they ask Cady permission before completely telling Regina no, when she tries to sit down with them while wearing sweats, which does not totally track with their characters. 

It is also disappointing how Regina’s fashion style does not parallel the original. The 2004 Regina is a trend setter and is dressing almost ahead of what is trending in fashion. It’s the opposite of someone wearing fast fashion and something on brand for the time. Yet in the adaptation, she wears lots of garments that look like they would appear on a website like Shein or another fast changing website or store, something her original character would look down upon. She wore high fashion and even mentions Louis Vuitton in her song, but her character tends to just wear Dr. Martens. Secondarily, the E.L.F. product placement was done very poorly, especially in regards to Regina and all the plastics. The plastics, with the exception of Cady, would not be caught dead wearing “dupes” or using drugstore makeup products, it is not on brand for them. 

Aside from the separation in Regina’s character the 2024 movie failed to include the iconic “mouse” costume in the Halloween party scene. The mouse costume and line were not the only iconic parts left out from the 2004 movie. Quotable lines like “I’m a cool mom”, “It’s like I have ESPN or something. My breast can always tell when it is going to rain” and arguably most important “you know what everyone thinks about you!? That you’re a homeschooled jungle freak who’s a less hot version of me!” weren’t included. Also a classic scene where Janis’s attempt to humiliate Regina by cutting her shirt is replaced by the sprinklers being turned on everyone and Regina bringing back the “wet look.” 

The plastics, with the exception of Cady, would not be caught dead wearing “dupes” or using drugstore makeup products, it is not on brand for them. 

Overall, it just seems that many classic lines and scenes are altered to make it fit the mold of this generation’s perspectives. A prime example of this is that in the 2024 film, Coach Carr doesn’t sleep with a student. Things that are now socially frowned upon seemed to shape the movie a little too far from the mold of its original. 

On the other hand, Tina Fey’s spin on the relationship between Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) and Mr. Duvall (Tim Meadows) was fun and added a cute, fresh dynamic to the film. It was built off the obvious chemistry that Ms. Norbury and Mr. Duvall shared in the 2004 movie. It gave the audience a couple to root for and follow consistently through the movie as there is constant turnover in the Plastics’ love lives.

Another fun throwback to the 2004 movie was Lindsey Lohan herself being the moderator at the mathletes state championship. Her presence brought fans a sense of originality and comfort when seeing the original mathlete champion on screen again. 

Lastly, for those who aren’t usually big musical fans, this was an unpleasant surprise. The movie wasn’t marketed to audiences as one in fear that it would turn viewers off from going to see the film. Overall, the 2024 musical adaptation was a fine movie. Even though it lacked key elements that the first had making it such an iconic movie, it was in no way a poor movie, the casting was relatively spot on and the actors all played their part well to create a Mean Girls movie for the younger generations to relate to.

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About the Contributor
Lily Bossoletti, Sports Section Editor
Lily Bossoletti is a senior at Buena Highschool and this is her first year for Buena Speaks. She is a varsity wrestler and one of the few girls on the team. She likes to read, listen to music and bake.

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  • N

    NJan 31, 2024 at 6:09 pm

    Yeah this movie was super disappointing to me it missed the mark as a musical and even a remake of the og mean girls. It too itself waaay too seriously completely forgetting that our generation also grew up with these movies. Shoving the mistakes of the media from the last under the rug doesn’t fix anything and that’s what this movie tried to do with the more problematic parts. From a musical standpoint tho it was horrible it needed to be a little more silly and expressive a bit more loud and dramatic in some parts

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