Mean Girls Is Nostalgic Fun

I was in my 30s when Mean Girls came out in the early aughts, so I was definitely not the target audience. That didn’t stop quotes like “You can’t sit with us” or “On Wednesdays we wear pink”, “That’s so fetch,” and “You go, Glen Coco!” from becoming entries in my personal library of favorite movie lines.

The movie was so iconic, when one says someone is a “Mean Girl” we all know it’s someone who is a manipulative bully. The story resonated with teens and adults because many of us recognized ourselves in Cady Heron, a student who has to navigate a new high school and try to fit in. We all had to go through the complexities and challenges of being a teenager and all the drama and angst that came with the high school experience.

In 2017, Tina Fey’s movie was turned into a musical that had a successful run on Broadway from 2018 until the pandemic shut it down in 2020. If you are feeling any FOMO for not catching it on Broadway or because one of the touring productions hasn’t made it to your town, fear not, you can catch it in theaters this weekend!

Whether you’re a fan of teen movies or musicals, or both, you will not be disappointed with the theatrical version of the musical.

Lindsay Lohan originated the role of Cady Heron while Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried were the original “Plastics”, the Mean Girls of North Shore high school.

This time around, Angourie Rice plays Cady. You may recognize her as Betty Brant from the Tom Holland-led Spiderman trilogy and Kate Winslet’s daughter in Mare of Easttown.

Reprising her role as the Broadway musical’s Regina George is Renee Rapp, who has an amazing voice, made stronger in comparison to Rice’s more simple and subdued singing.

Another strong voice in the movie is Auliʻi Cravalho who plays Janis. I have to admit it wasn’t until midway through the movie did I finally recognize her as the voice of Moana. Her Janis and Jaquel Spivey’s fabulous Damian, the duo who help Cady identify the different cliques and encourage her to become frenemies with the Plastics, are the heart of the movie with their humorous interactions and musical numbers. Avantika Vandanapu is beautifully ditzy as Karen, while Bebe Wood plays Gretchen, the girl who tried to make “Fetch” happen.

Tina Fey returns as Ms. Norbury, the math teacher, as does Tim Meadows, the principal. Jenna Fischer, Jon Hamm, Christopher Briney, Busy Philipp and Ashley Park also join the cast.

I don’t know if there’s ever been a movie adaptation of a musical adaptation of a movie adaptation of a book, but if anyone’s going to be successful at it, it would be Tina Fey. Watch it for the nostalgia, the clever songs, and the fun surprises.

4 stars out of 5

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