“Mean Girls The Musical” Is Less Mean than the Original

Mean Girls The Musical courtesy ParamountPlus

Directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez, Jr., “Mean Girls The Musical” came out in January, earning $104.3 million worldwide.

Based on Tina Fey’s hit 2018 Broadway adaptation of the original 2004 film, “Mean Girls The Musical” has the same storyline and dialogue from the original 2004 film, also co-written and produced by Fey. Popular mean girl lines from the original such as, “You can’t sit with us” and “So you agree, you think you’re really pretty” appear in the 2024 film, including the catchphrase, “That’s so Fetch!” said by Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) in the original 2004 “Mean Girls.”

In reference to Chabert’s use of “Fetch” in the original movie, Fey told BackstageOL “When we went to do the Broadway show, Lauren Michaels’s daughter, who was maybe in college at the time, said people don’t really say fetch anymore. Fetch is kinda old. Fetch is from the movie. We made it up. We can say it if we want.” Fey’s observation shows her desire to retain the iconic line but for a contemporary teen audience.

The soundtrack consists of thirteen songs from the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, including “Someone Gets Hurt” and “Stupid with Love,” and new songs such as “What ifs.”

Lindsay Lohan, who played Cady Herring in the original 2004 film, makes a cameo as the mathematics judge in the remake. The original teen movie helped launch Lohan’s career. Notably, Lohan filmed her cameo while she was pregnant.

In the musical, Regina George is played by Renée Rap, who reprises her role from Broadway for the 2024 film. Rap expressed to E News the honor she felt in playing the character that Rachel McAdams brought to life in the original 2004 film. Rap said, “She’s like one of my favorite actors, ever. She’s actually so talented, it’s insane.”

Rap plays a kinder version of Regina. Towards the end of the movie, Regina gives Cady a wink, suggesting their rivalry was a ruse and they were really friends all along.

Another update is the Winter Talent Show, with the updated song, “Rockin’ Around the Pole Again” by Nahscha, in place of the classic, “Jingle Bell Rock,” from the original movie.

The use of social media such as TikTok and Instagram Live as in the 2024 movie did seem done too often and at times made the plot meander as if needing to get a social media joke or message across was more important than making the film progress smoothly. As an example, in place of the scene when Cady cuts holes in Regina’s shirt as a form of revenge, in the 2024 film, Regina gets sprayed with water, causing her makeup to run. The girls in the school are inspired to have their makeup run and post on social media while singing the song “Revenge Party.”

The highlight of the movie is Renee Rap’s performance; her singing steals the show.

“Mean Girls: The Musical” is available for streaming on Paramount Plus and Apple TV.