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The Scroll

The Student News Site of Fargo North High School

The Scroll

The Scroll

“Mean Girls” brings music to a classic film


It’s not my fault that the new “Mean Girls” musical movie made over $85 million worldwide, however, it is my fault that I was 16 of those dollars.
The new “Mean Girls” movie was released on Jan. 8, and I only made it to the theaters at the end of January. The promotion for this movie confused some movie-goers, as the musical part was not as promoted as the fact that it was “Mean Girls.” I knew it was a musical, because I closely follow what Renee Rapp is doing, but a lot of people felt hoodwinked by the fact that it was a remake of the musical, not necessarily of the movie.
I’m not-so-secretly a musical girl at heart, so I was pumped to see this musical hit the big screen. The “Mean Girls” musical debuted on Broadway in 2018, doing 833 performances before shutting down due to Covid. As Renee Rapp said beautifully: “We made a musical of a movie that was already a musical based off of a movie.”
The promotion for this movie was what really garnered attention. Partly because the marketing plan was to just let Rapp say whatever she wanted, and it worked! She went viral on TikTok for being “unhinged” in her interviews and freely saying anything at any given time, and people loved it. She was featured as a musical artist on SNL, and she was also a part of a skit with Jacob Elordi. One of her lines was “I’ve been going absolutely off in every single interview lately, so now I need 40 hours of court-ordered media training.”
The movie itself was great. It got a lot of bad reviews on TikTok, and despite some of the songs not being the best, like “Stupid With Love,” it still was an amazing movie that brought these characters to life. With Renee Rapp taking up Regina George, who she played on Broadway in 2019, I was so pumped to see how this movie was adapted. Tina Fey and Lindsay Lohan were present in this movie as well, with Lohan making a small cameo and Fey being Ms. Norbury. However, most people on TikTok made fun of the movie, highlighting its more cringey aspects over its well made aspects. Many clips of “Stupid With Love” were shown, all criticizing the actress and her singing. There was a lot of backlash over this movie, despite it not deserving this.
Of course, being an avid fan, Renee Rapp is going to heavily feature in this article. She was the stand-out in this film, taking the songs and elevating them past their limits. “Someone Gets Hurt” was one of my favorites, the emotion and manipulation Rapp displayed enough to make me root for Regina, despite her being pretty awful. Her performance as Regina felt much more mean, while Rachel McAdams was a lot more subtly mean.
I enjoyed the fact that Renee was more snappy and mean, because in the movie, I rooted for Regina a lot more. Of course, this was the whole point of the movie, to point out how high school girls can be fake and awful, but I think Renee’s performance was an exaggerated version of this, highlighting the mean aspect over the fake aspect.
Auli’i Cravalho stepped into the role of Janis, and absolutely slayed it. Her voice meshed beautifully with Jaquel Spivey as Damien. She was an incredible actor in this, and displayed the attitude and energy of Janis perfectly. Avantika played Karen, with another amazing voice. However, she did play up the dumbness of Karen, exaggerating the lack of awareness.
I, personally, didn’t love this, as Karen is displayed in the original movie as a slightly air-headed girl, but she isn’t totally unaware of what’s happening in life. The full dumbing down of Karen’s character doesn’t add anything to the script, just makes her the comedic relief, despite her having a character arc in the movie (even if it wasn’t as extreme as the others).
The movie greatly differed from audience expectations, but I think that it was a great movie despite the let down for most. The musical was an exaggerated version of the movie, building upon the already heightened drama of Fey’s original masterpiece. The musical also does more work with the supporting characters. There’s a much more in-depth look at Gretchen and her feelings, and Janis is actually a lesbian instead of just Lebanese, which was a large part of the drama in the original movie.
Aside from the differences from the original movie, it also differs from its Broadway counterpart. There were many songs cut because of time, most notably “Where Do You Belong?” and “Fearless.” Obviously, there are things that can be done in a movie that are impossible in a live musical, such as the special effects during “Revenge Party” and the quick scene changes. This added a more whimsical and fantasy feel to the movie, showing Cady’s tendency to daydream.
The Broadway version does have the authenticity of live vocals and quick changes, and obviously the real version of any musical will be better, as every actor does their part differently. The movie had a smoother flow to it, but the Broadway musical will always be a classic.
Personally, I would’ve loved to see Sabrina Carpenter revise her role as Cady, but the musical couldn’t have two amazing blonde pop stars without exploding from the starpower. The remake, overall, was amazing. There were a few flaws, as there are with any movie, but in all, this movie was a great adaptation of the musical, and an interesting twist on the original movie. ⅘ Spartan heads.

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About the Contributor
Eliza Janssen
Eliza Janssen, Writer
  I am an avid reader and writer, and love learning about what's going on in the world. I love experiencing the community in Fargo, and talking to people around. The Scroll is a great place for me to put my thoughts and talents to great use! I enjoy talking with my fellow staff about what to put in the paper and what people want, and it has been a great time!
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