The General Journal

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The General Journal

The General Journal

The Plastics Are Back: A “Mean Girls” (2024) Review

The new “Mean Girls” musical was released this January. See this review to know if it is worth watching!
Natalyn McCormack

The new “Mean Girls” movie is a musical remake of the original 2004 film with heavy inspiration from the “Mean Girls” Broadway musical. The movie released to theaters on January 12th this year and became available to stream on Paramount+ on March 5th. 

The musical begins with two songs called “A Cautionary Tale” and “What Ifs,” introducing us to three of the main characters. These songs aren’t my favorite, and they don’t really do well at introducing the story,.more context later in the movie tells us what’s happening.  Cady Heron (played by Angourie Rice), a homeschooled student who just moved to the United States from Kenya, starts going to high school. She meets Janis Ian (Auliʻi Cravalho) and Damien Hubbard (Jaquel Spivey), both outcast art kids. Immediately, Cady learns that her fantasies of going to public school are false, and everyone treats her very harshly. At lunch Janis and Damien end up taking Cady under their wing and teach her all about high school. 

As part of her introduction to high school, they meet Regina George (Reneé Rapp), Gretchen Weiners (Bebe Wood), and Karen Shetty (Avantika Vandanapu). These girls are known as the Plastics and they use their popularity to terrorize other students. Karen is the unintelligent girl of the group; her stupidity serves as comic relief for the viewers throughout the movie. Gretchen is insecure and does whatever she has to do (whatever Regina wants) to stay relevant. The most popular member, Regina, is known as the leader of the group. I loved the solo that Regina had to introduce her character. The way everyone stopped and watched her perform really demonstrates her reputation at the school. The lyrics “I’m the prettiest poison you’ve ever seen/that filter you use looks just like me,” also perfectly describes her attitude. The Plastics invite Cady to sit with them at lunch for a week, and Janis sees this as an opportunity to get revenge on Regina for bullying her. 

Cady meets Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), Regina’s ex-boyfriend, and starts to develop a crush on him. After many failed attempts of trying to talk to Aaron, he invites her to a Halloween party. At the party, Regina decides to kiss Aaron in front of Cady, resulting in Cady storming out of the party and going to see Damien and Janis. In this scene, we learn a lot about Regina’s character and just how far she is willing to go for a boy; even if it means destroying someone’s feelings. This scene includes the song “Someone Gets Hurt,” which has a very eerie tone as she manipulates Aaron into liking her again to show Cady who’s in charge. 

Janis and Damien comfort Cady and tell the story of why they hate Regina so much, leading to another song: “Revenge Party.” This song is very upbeat, but the lyrics, “A revenge party/a party that ends/With somebody crushed and alone,” are about how they want to get payback for what she did to Janis by making her miserable. Cady, Damien, and Janis finally dethrone Regina as the queen of the school after she face plants on the stage at the talent show. The school even starts to say that Cady is the new queen of the school. Cady starts to lose her personality, and with it, her friends. Regina finds out Cady had been sabotaging her and convinces the school that Cady wrote a book full of insults to everyone in the school.

Regina and Cady are both hated in school, and Cady starts to become herself again. Regina and Cady try to make amends with each other and everyone they’ve hurt. Cady wins Spring Fling Queen, breaks the crown, and shares it with everyone. The movie ends with everyone getting along, regardless of whatever clique they’re in. 

Overall, I loved the message of this movie, and I think it was pretty well done. The choreography and songs were very creative, and it was a really good blend between the musical and the original movie. I think it was very difficult to make something as good as the older movie that everyone loves, and they did great at modernizing it. I also think that Reneé Rapp was a perfect choice for Regina George because of her theater background. Other than a few casting decisions and scenes that I think could’ve been adjusted, I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw it in theaters, and you should definitely stream it now. 

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About the Contributor
Natalyn McCormack
Natalyn McCormack, Staff Writer
Natalyn McCormack is a 9th grade student at HHS. This is her first semester in Journalism, and she is very eager to be a part of the staff. In her free time, Natalyn loves to listen to music, spend time with her best friends, and make crafts out of random stuff around her home. She has one older brother and two dogs. Her phone is full of pictures and videos of her favorite dog, Jet. Natalyn has many interests and hobbies including drawing, growing plants, and baking. When she isn’t doing one of those things, she’s most likely on the phone with her friends. She was also a part of the HMS and HHS chorus classes. Natalyn is interested in having a job related to plants when she grows up, preferably gardening. After high school, she plans to attend UTC. Right now, her grades are her top priority, and she always tries to put her best effort into all of her classes.