‘Mean Girls’ movie review: Regina George’s back 20 years later... and not much has changed

A soc-med update with loads of jolly singing and dancing finds Cady, the Plastics, the math nerds and geeks in a somewhat fun space

February 23, 2024 06:55 pm | Updated 07:08 pm IST

A still from ‘Mean Girls’

A still from ‘Mean Girls’

This is not just another teen movie. It is a movie based on the musical, Mean Girls, which in turn was based on the 2004 movie directed by Mark Waters, starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams as Cady and plastic queen Regina George respectively. Twenty years and a musical treatment later, the teen movie has changed... and yet, remains the same. 

Mean Girls  
Directors: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr. 
Cast: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auliʻi Cravalho, Christopher Briney, Avantika Vandanapu, Bebe Wood
Story line: Home-schooled Cady Heron moves to United States from Kenya and has to negotiate a new kind of jungle 
Duration: 112 minutes 

The mean girls are meaner and smart phones have upped the game, as the 2024 version follows the beats of the original movie. Cady (Angourie Rice) is 16 when she returns to the U.S. and joins a new jungle called high school. She is helped negotiate the said wilderness by artistic Janis (Auliʻi Cravalho) and flamboyantly gay Damian (Jaquel Spivey). 

The Plastics (“cause they’re shiny, fake and hard”), queen bee Regina (Reneé Rapp), Karen (Avantika) and Gretchen (Bebe Wood) are on top of the food chain. There are other groups including the math and theatre nerds and jocks. Cady loves maths and goes to calculus class where she commits the cardinal sin of falling hard for Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron (Christopher Briney).

A still from ‘Mean Girls’

A still from ‘Mean Girls’

Math teacher Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) is impressed with Cady and then not so impressed when Cady fakes not understanding calculus for a chance to chat up Aaron. The burn book, the wild party, the protein bars that Cady convinces Regina will make her lose weight, the dance and the mathlete contest (with Lohan as moderator — awww) are all there.  

There is a great deal of singing and dancing complete with background dancers, that all of us who have grown up on Nasir Hussain and K. Raghavendra Rao films will greet with counterfeited glee. Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles from the 2004 movie while Jon Hamm has a blast as the physical education teacher Coach Carr. From the musical, Rapp reprised her role and Emily in Paris’ Ashley Park, who played Gretchen, is the French teacher Madame Park. 

The film is mildly funny and entertaining; that is about all one can say about it. There does not seem any real reason for this movie apart from the fact that Hollywood could, so it did. And incidentally all iterations of Mean Girls are based on Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002 self-help book, Queen Bees and Wannabes. What goes around comes around with a vengeance.

Mean Girls is currently running in theatres 

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