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Mean Girls (PG-13) ★★★½

By January 28, 2024February 1st, 2024Backstage Pass


It’s been 20 years since “Mean Girls” starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Amy Poehler, Rachael McAdams, Tina Fey, and Tim Meadows debuted. The original screenplay writer, Tina Fey, based the film on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. The new 2024 film is also based on the book and the Broadway musical of the same name. The cautionary tale centers on the destructive force of high school popularity and its downfalls. I found the musical version both refreshing and comical. The opening scene, when Regina (Reneé Rapp), the Queen Bee of the ‘Plastics’ clique, is introduced, is worth the price of admission, as the upbeat musical tone and energy of the film is front and center.

Rapp reprises her role from the Broadway musical in which she starred. The musical opened in Washington D.C., New York, traveled to other cities in the U.S., and is scheduled to open this June at the Savoy Theater in London. With the success of the stage musical, writer-producer Tina Fey, with music by Jeff Richmond, returned it to the big screen for yet another film adaptation. Directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. and starring Rapp and Angourie Rice, “Mean Girls” once again follows the poor, clueless, homeschooled teen Cady Heron as she moves from the wild animal life in Kenya to the mean girl pecking order of North Shore High School.

It’s so great to see Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles as teachers and principals. Lindsey Lohan is in the film, although I’m keeping her cameo role as a surprise. The musical adaptation is lots of fun, with energetic choreography and filming special effects that enhance the musical experience. The film is hilarious, and I found myself laughing out loud at times. Fey has knocked it out of the park with this new film, as it’s entertaining and has great messages for all. I viewed the original film after my screening and enjoyed comparing them. I appreciated that many of the scenes are similar, although the 2024 version is updated.

Directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. created an updated film for the next generation to ponder. Composer Jeff Richmond, Fey’s husband, and lyricist Nell Benjamin reworked their songs from the stage musical, while Richmond also composed the film’s score. I highly recommend seeing the movie in a theater as it’s a popcorn-munching great time.

Sarah Knight Adamson© January 18, 2024