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The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

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“Mean Girls” musical adaptation enters the Burn Book of film

Isabella Sanchez

Get in losers, because the Mean Girls are so back! With a modern twist, the film adaptation of the Broadway adaptation of the original movie released in theaters on Jan. 12th. However, the movie’s overall lack of direction reduces it to just another cash-grabbing remake whose most endearing point is witty one-liners tying back to the original iconic 2000s chick flick.

Following the original plot, ingénue Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) is introduced to public high school after homeschooling in Africa her entire life. Befriended by Regina George (Reneé Rapp), leader of “The Plastics” that controls the school, Cady climbs the ranks of her new environment. 2024’s rendition attempts to mash Broadway’s musical spin and Paramount’s original screenplay but lands squarely in the middle, lacking a unique identity.

“Mean Girls’” script lacks a cohesive vision, refusing to commit to being a musical in its trailers yet brimming with musical numbers. Instead of marketing the film accurately, Warner Bros Studios blurred the lines to prioritize profit. Despite topping the box office at $32 million dollars, audiences were left confused and cheated with the film sacrificing its artistic authenticity.

The 2024 film also shifts from the original film’s focus on Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) to queen bee Regina George, the “new face” of “Mean Girls.” Originally playing Regina on Broadway, Rapp’s portrayal is a film highlight, yet the movie waters down her character’s blunt, unabashed confidence by erasing original scenes that establish her as a villain — the premise of the movie. Regina is calculating, unafraid to impersonate Planned Parenthood or manipulate her friends, yet her worst crime in the 2024 film is kissing the boy Cady likes. Even the grandiose “Revenge Party” fails to justify the venom against Regina, with her vindictive nature being told through unconvincing narration, and Regina becomes a character to root for, instead of against. 

The fatal flaw of this musical, however, is its soundtrack. The essential, tone-setting “Meet The Plastics” spotlighted only Regina and countless songs were cut altogether. The new pop sound lets songs like “Someone Gets Hurt” thrive in the cinematic atmosphere, yet the soundtrack is mostly vacant, lacking the drama present in the Broadway rendition. The tone in “Stupid With Love” is apathetic, blending in with bedroom pop. Compared to vocal powerhouses Rapp and Auli’i Cravalho, Rice distinctly lacks conviction and energy, and the dreamy direction is glaringly out of place as Rice loses Cady’s unabashed teenage excitement, monotonously delivering lines like “calculust.”

When it comes to recreating a pop culture classic film like “Mean Girls” two decades later, finding the balance between the modern world’s expectations and the original script is a challenge. However, relying too heavily on nostalgia, lackluster songs, and cheap storytelling, the movie leaves much room to be desired. Despite some clever nods to its predecessor, “Mean Girls” was a story better left as an original.

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About the Contributors
Nandita Bussa
Nandita Bussa, Staff Writer
Passionate about writing and journalism, Nandita grew up reading a variety of books that inspired her to have the dream to someday publish her own. As a sophomore staff writer this year, journalism is a way to express herself and develop unique writing styles. She holds a special personality of being extroverted and a little nerdy. Her friends describe her as a friend who is non-judgemental, trustworthy, and a shoulder to lean on. In her free time, she loves to play volleyball, watch '90s Rom-coms and K-dramas, and listen to fun boy band music, such as One Direction, BTS, and Queen. She also enjoys watching all kinds of movies, such as Titanic, Mean Girls, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Breakfast Club, and Disney Movies like Hercules and Anastasia, while being interested in a variety of Greek Mythology. Adding on, she also likes historical musicals such as Hamilton, Newsies, and Six, and she has a fierce taste for food, loving spicy Indian food and Indochinese food.
Justin Le
Justin Le, Staff Writer
Justin Le is a current sophomore, beginning his second year on the Gamut staff. His interest in joining the staff came from the popular 2000s television show, Gilmore Girls, one of his personal favorite series. Since one of the protagonists is a member of their respective student-run newspaper, it only made sense for him to follow suit. Additionally, some of Justin's hobbies include binging TV shows, reading from time to time, and joining sports for about a 24-hour period before promptly quitting them. Although Justin may not be very dedicated to his life as a student athlete, he is certainly dedicated to The Gamut, so much so that he sacrificed his year-long pencil pouch for the sake of keeping a stack of GamSlam brochures from blowing away. Justin’s former Word Hunt addiction might also be pretty compelling, considering he has a total of 1858 wins, more than should be humanly possible. In addition, Justin stays involved here at Oxford, as he is SCC’s Activities Commissioner, as well as an active member of VSA, International Club, and ECO. So when he's not writing moving articles about Taylor Swift, he's got a plethora of other activities to choose from.
Isabella Sanchez
Isabella Sanchez, Staff Artist
Isabella Sanchez is a sophomore illustrator embarking on the beginning of her Gamut journey. An avid artist who enjoys drawing and animation, she’s excited to express writers’ ideas through art. Serving on the board of OA Spotlight, she’s continuously exploring her creative side. Taking this artistic aptitude to another level, Isabella enjoys crocheting stuffed animals and playing guitar. Reflecting her strong talents, her Pinterest feed features architecture, art, and crochet. If given the ability to create her dream room, it would be one filled with bookshelves and pops of yellow — her favorite color! And it perfectly suits her warm, bubbly personality. Isabella dreams of traveling the world someday and going even further above and beyond as an astronaut. Involved in Robotics, she’s taken an interest in engineering. Armed with her beloved Doc Martens, Isabella is ready for a year filled with new adventures.
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