Mean Girls review: Not just a regular remake, a cool remake | Films | Entertainment


Twenty years after it was released, Mean Girls remains iconic and has generated millions of memes. So, it is not surprising that it is once again hitting the big screen. However, rather than an updated remake this is an adaptation of the musical spawned by the original film.

The story, based on the 2002 book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman, resonates with pretty much everyone. We’ve all experienced societal cliques and everyone has felt like an outsider trying to fit in at some point. This goes some way to explaining the endurance of the original film but not its huge popularity.

That is down to the creative efforts of those involved – not least Tina Fey who wrote the screenplay for the original film, the book for the stage musical and the screenplay for this adaptation. She also reprises her role as Ms Norbury, the school’s maths teacher from the original film. Also back is the hardest-working actor in America (seriously – he is in everything!) Tim Meadows as Principal Duvall.

But of course, the title of the movie is Mean Girls and if that casting is off then the whole movie doesn’t work.

Angourie Rice takes on Lindsay Lohan’s role as Cady Heron – the new girl who doesn’t fit in after being homeschooled her whole life in Kenya. She finds herself on the radar of The Plastics – Karen (Avantika), Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and their leader Regina George played here by Reneé Rapp. Regina is a particularly iconic character that was first brought to life by Rachel McAdams. Her catchphrases and philosophies are what the internet was invented for. There is even a drag queen in Ireland named after her. But…dare I say this… I think Reneé might be a better Regina than Rachel.

It is the songs in this adaptation that give her the edge over the original actress. Because, let’s be honest, nothing says Diva like a showtune. You can slow-mo the hell out of a dramatic entrance, but add a catchy signature tune and it is suddenly elevated.

While the entire young cast are fabulous, hugely energetic and give it their all, a special shout-out must go to Busy Phillips as Regina’s mother. She takes the “embarrassing mum” premise to a whole new level. There is also a jaw-dropping cameo that you may or may not have read about on the internet, but I won’t spoil it for you here just in case.

Also, if you’re not a fan of musicals — don’t panic. The filmmakers have cut a whopping fourteen songs from the stage version to shorten the runtime for the screen. As such it’s not all eyes, teeth and jazz hands and the story, which has been updated from the original movie to incorporate social media and mobile technology, has time to breathe in between the lavishly staged numbers. The songs are hit and miss with some being catchier than others, but they are all presented beautifully.

There are plenty of Easter Eggs for fans of the original although some elements haven’t aged well (the throwback fashions should perhaps have been left in the noughties). Despite this, it should appeal to old fans while making plenty of new ones.

I found myself tapping my toes and bobbing my head while waiting for the classic moment with the school bus – even if I did make the faux pas of wearing pink on a Thursday rather than a Wednesday at the screening.

This could easily secure the same cult status as the movie that inspired it and will surely generate a million more memes. Totally Fetch!

Mean Girls is in cinemas tomorrow.

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