January 8, 2024

REEL | 'Mean Girls' Makes Fetch Happen Musically

"Honey, I don't know your life."
Reneé Rapp Tina Fey Samantha Jayne Arturo Perez Jr. | Mean Girls Musical 2024
Paramount Pictures / Broadway Video
From comedian Tina Fey, screenwriter of the 2004 original film and its subsequent 2018 Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical adaptation, comes another film version originally inspired by the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. This contemporary, social media-centric Mean Girls feels just as polished and fun as previous incarnations.

Directed by first-time feature filmmakers Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., the new film stars Angourie Rice and Reneé Rapp (reprising her Broadway role) as Cady and Regina alongside a generally more age-appropriate and less famous cast in comparison to the original. From the opening musical transition set in the African plains of Kenya, this Mean Girls confidently expresses its cautionary high school tale of cliques and conflict through inventive choreographed song and dance numbers.

Auliʻi Cravalho and Jaquel Spivey co-star as Cady's outsider friends with such sarcastic glee. At the same time, Bebe Wood and Avantika Vandanapu as the other two "plastics," are hilarious in their comic delivery while singing. How Jayne and Perez smoothly direct scenes moving through a school year with casual ease and modern editing techniques highlights the comedic performances and overall show experience with songs by Fey's husband, Jeff Richmond.

Mean Girls remains topical and referential by updating its coming-of-age themes for contemporary audiences. Its surreal musical sequences only further heighten the film's playful cattiness. It zips through its story with an economical breadth. There are also just enough new elements and material to make this musical version feel fresh while still including most of the familiar hallmarks of the original, including trying to make "fetch" happen some twenty years later.

Broadway Across Canada's touring production of Mean Girls runs from January 23rd to 28th on stage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

More | YVArcade / CBC / Indiewire

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