‘Mean Girls’ musical anything but fetch

campus editor

On Wednesdays, we wear Elf products.  

Mean Girls was underwhelming to say the least. The 2004 comedy that has become the Mecca of pop culture references has returned to the silver screen, with less clothing and more singing. 

Cady Heron, played by Angourie Rice, did not eat. Her acting was borderline insufferable, and didn’t compare to Lindsay Lohan’s 2004 performance. While the 2024 musical adaptation was filled with great singing and random celebrity appearances like Megan Thee Stallion and Nia Soux from Dance Moms, the jokes weren’t funny. And the mean girls weren’t mean. 

In comparison to the 2004 movie, Renee Rapp, the actress who played Regina George, just didn’t have me convinced. She was blonde, pretty and not very nice, but she wasn’t nearly as mean and bratty as the 2004 Regina. Rachel McAdams portrayal of Regina George was catty, psychological and calculating. She kissed Aaron Samuels and meant it.  

Chris Briney’s interpretation of Aaron Samuels wasn’t convincing either. He didn’t give jock. It was clear that the casting director googled “white boy of the month” and decided to hire the first guy who popped up. His contribution was so minimal that it felt like if he wasn’t in the movie, it wouldn’t have mattered. Briney was like a prop, and while in some ways, that’s the point – it didn’t work this time around. 

I also didn’t like seeing all of the Elf products throughout. I understand that Elf is currently a trending line, but it just felt like I was watching an ad and not a movie. While there should be relevance, it should never be distracting from the acting or the plot. Current fads should be so seamlessly ingrained in the movie that it feels like you’re a part of what you’re viewing, not like you’re an observer. 

Cady’s mom, played by Jenna Fischer, also didn’t do much for me. In the 2004 film, her mom’s performance feels genuine, making her comments funny and relatable. Watching the 2024 musical just felt disappointing. 

In the 2004 movie, my favorite character is Janis Ian. She’s cool, witty and funny. She doesn’t care about what people think of her. In the 2024 performance, Auli’i Cravalho didn’t do her character justice. 

It just seemed like she was trying too hard, which is the opposite of Janis Ian’s persona. Ian is a bit judgemental in her own way, but is unapologetically herself. 

Cravalho had me convinced at some parts of the musical though, like at the end right before Regina gets hit by a bus. However, her bff Damian was pretty spot on. He’s really the only character that seemed authentic. Plus he was funny. 

I must say, I’ve never seen the Broadway musical. The whole time I felt like I couldn’t help but compare what I was watching to the 2004 movie. The fact that I spent two hours doing that says a lot. Going to see the movie in theaters was a waste of time and money. I don’t recommend seeing it. 

I thought hearing the iconic line, “On Wednesdays we wear pink” would put a smile on my face, but the experience was anything but nostalgic.