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The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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“Lackluster Performance”: Mean Girls Musical Review


I had the misfortune of subjecting myself to the abomination that is the new Mean Girls movie musical, and it was an utter waste of time and brain cells. From the moment the opening credits rolled to the final curtain call, I found myself cringing at every turn. When I wasn’t experiencing secondhand embarrassment, I was simply bored. 

The original Mean Girls sprang from Tina Fey’s screenplay adaptation of Rosalind Wiseman’s parenting guidebook, Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World. Fey’s screenplay evolved into the iconic 2004 film, Mean Girls, which garnered tremendous success. Despite this, the attempt at a sequel, Mean Girls 2, fell flat. In 2016, there was a renewed effort to bring Mean Girls to life, this time as a Broadway musical. In January of 2024, a movie adaptation of the musical hit the screens.

One of the biggest issues was the horrible casting. Angourie Rice as Cady Heron was a complete miscast. Not only could she not sing, but her lackluster performance drained the songs of any emotion or authenticity. Take, for instance, the pivotal moment in “Stupid with Love” where instead of acting out the lyrics, she simply recited them like a robot. The chemistry between Rice and Chris Briney as Aaron Samuels was sorely lacking, diminishing the impact of their relationship. It was painful to watch.

Perhaps the most glaring flaw in the movie was the characterization of Regina George. To put it simply — Regina George isn’t mean enough. The movie relies on Regina being unlikeable: she’s manipulative, doesn’t feel sorry, and uses power to hurt others. In the original movie, she’d compliment someone’s clothes and then insult them right after. In the 2024 version, the worst thing Regina actually did was make fun of Cady in high heels behind her back. Rachel McAdams played the two-faced, backstabbing character perfectly, something that Reneé Rapp just didn’t accomplish. 

Another disappointment was the constant breaking of the fourth wall. Characters constantly addressing the audience felt like a desperate attempt to be “edgy” and “modern,” but instead, it came across as forced and gimmicky. The charm of the original Mean Girls was its witty and incisive dialogue, not awkward asides that fell flat every time.

The blatant product placement throughout the movie was also an egregious misstep – it felt like I was being bombarded with ads for E.L.F. cosmetics. Every scene seemed to feature characters gushing over their latest E.L.F. products as if we were supposed to believe that high schoolers spend their days obsessing over makeup brands instead of actual high school drama.

The 2024 Mean Girls movie musical failed to capture the essence of the original film. Too soft to be truly offensive and too dull to be genuinely funny, it fell short of expectations. Tina Fey played it safe, avoiding any risks that might have made the adaptation more compelling. As a result, the movie lacked the biting satire and sharp wit that made the original Mean Girls a cultural phenomenon.

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Lizzie Perry
Lizzie Perry, People Editor
Lizzie Perry is the current people editor of the Polygon and a current senior. She joined the staff in her junior year as the photography editor as well as a staff writer. Her favorite articles to write are profiles, any piece exploring human interest stories. Apart from the Polygon, Lizzie enjoys doing puzzles, skiing, and spending time with friends. 

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