Mean Girls: an unnecessary remake of a musical of a film?

"That's so fetch!" Twenty years after the original Plastics graced our screens, Hollywood has made a film adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the original film. Is Hollywood out of ideas?

Anna Nix
11th February 2024
Image source: IMDb
‘My name is Regina George, and I am a massive deal’, lyrics which had me in chokehold since the first time I heard them. Pink, high school, drama, Reneé Rapp and songs are the synopsis of the Mean Girls remake which recently hit the film screens all over the world. The movie has spiked debate over unnecessary remakes and what it means to be a musical.

The film, which is a combination of the Mean Girls (2004) film and the Broadway musical of the same title, has been met with some criticism. Two groups giving negative reviews took to social media, first criticizing the fact that the film is a musical, and second criticizing the fact that the film isn’t musical enough. People have been comparing the singing in the film to the singing on Broadway and were left disappointed.

One thing to understand is that theatre and film acting is completely different. Film actors have the luxury of close-ups and different camera angles and do not have to enhance and over-act their emotion as much as theatre actors do in order to convey an emotion to the audience. And the same goes for singing, Broadway actors have to be heard in the furthermost corner of a theatre hall, spanning numerous rows of patient audience. In contrast, films can simply put the volume up and the actor’s voice is heard at the back of the room effortlessly.

So, comparing film and Broadways musicals does not make any sense, as the core of them is completely different. And if you were expecting the actors to be belting out the songs like they do on Broadway, then you went in with the wrong expectations.

As for the idea of Mean Girls film musical itself, that does seem quite redundant. We have the Mean Girls film, and we have the Broadway musical, joining the two and creating a new piece seems like a lazy repetition of things done well in the past and makes me wonder whether pop culture will finally stop repeating itself. Mean Girls is just another one of the examples, that the film industry can’t produce anything new. And although the film is updated to fit newer trends and fit in with its audience in 2024, it is still essentially a copy of both the previous film and the Broadway musical.

With that said, the movie itself was good in my eyes. I had a fun time watching it and thoroughly enjoyed the musical part of the movie as well. I loved the addition of portrait camera angle which was used in a few songs as well as all the performances. Personally, I think it was well done and there were aspects which I enjoyed more than in the original film from 2004.

And towards the end, yes this movie is unnecessary and yes it’s not the same as a musical on Broadway, but if you push all of that aside you might just find that it is a lot of fun, which is sometimes enough.

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