top of page


January 12, 2024

Starring: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auli'i Cravalho, Jaquel Spivey, Christopher Briney, Bebe Wood, Avantika , Tina Fey, Busy Philipps, Jenna Fischer, Jon Hamm, Tim Meadows

Directed By: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr.

New student Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) is welcomed into the top of the social food chain by the elite group of popular girls called “The Plastics,” ruled by the conniving queen bee Regina George (Reneé Rapp) and her minions Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika). However, when Cady makes the major misstep of falling for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), she finds herself prey in Regina’s crosshairs. As Cady sets to take down the group’s apex predator with the help of her outcast friends Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), she must learn how to stay true to herself while navigating the most cutthroat jungle of all: high school.

Written By Darren

Rating 4 out of 5

Mean Girls brings the Plastics back in all their glory to the big screen in this totally fetch musical adaptation of the beloved teen comedy, that with a talented cast each perfectly suited for their roles, wonderful musical numbers and a genius new comedic take from Tina Fey, Glen Coco once again gets four candy canes and still none for Gretchen Wieners!

Back in 2004, audiences first met the Plastics on the big screen in Mean Girls. With its instantly quotable script, unforgettable characters and laugh out loud comedic moments, Mean Girls quickly made its mark on cinema, cementing itself as one of the most iconic comedies of the century thus far. Every year on October 3rd, legions of fans still watch the beloved film in honour of the day that Aaron asked Cady what day it was (spoiler, it was October 3rd), and its popularity led it to become a Broadway musical. The musical opened on Broadway in 2018 and ran until 2020, when it was prematurely closed due to the pandemic, but with Tina Fey writing the book for the musical and her husband Jeff Richmond who composed the music with lyrics by Nell Benjamin, many of the film’s most memorable moments became show stopping musical numbers that generated as many laughs as the film did. While the musical is still touring North America and preparing for its debut in London’s West End later this year, Mean Girls is returning to the big screen, this time adapting the Broadway musical with Reneé Rapp reprising her role as Regina George. And after being hesitant for months that it would not live up to the legacy of the original film, I am happy to report that the new Mean Girls is hilarious and will win over fans of the original, smartly updating the original film for a new generation while having all the signature moments with great musical numbers, making for an enjoyable companion film to the original teen comedy classic.

Having seen the musical live on Broadway, with Rapp in the role of Regina, and with the original film being one of my all time favourite films, I am confident in saying that the musical film adaptation captures the best of both previous iterations of this story. It’s the same story you know and love, with the same story beats and many of the most iconic jokes from the original film being reused, but Tina Fey has a fun twist to make this version of Mean Girls stand on its own. There are some terrific new jokes such as updates on iconic moments from the original film, like new lessons in health class from Jon Hamm’s Coach Carr; playing on the audience’s love of the original by setting up a classic line then purposely not delivering it, or playing to current teenage antics and social media as the Broadway musical did. For the most part the jokes work, though there are some new ones that don’t measure up to the counterpart in the original film. This version relies heavily on the first act of the Broadway musical, the stage version’s stronger half, and relies more on the original film during the second act of the stage show, improving the pacing of the Broadway musical overall which results in a fun film that embraces its musical roots.

Being a musical, there are many songs throughout the film and for the most part they work very well. Many of the songs have new orchestrations from the Broadway show, leaning more towards popular music influences than the showtunes variations in the Broadway musical, and it works well in the film and will cater to younger viewers. The choreography in the dance numbers is great, while Bill Kirstein’s cinematography and Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.’s direction of the musical numbers makes each one feel like a fun music video within the film. At the same time, there were some musical changes that were tough to swallow. Cady’s first song “What Ifs”, written specifically for the film, is a poor replacement for the terrific “It Roars” which takes place at the same part during the stage musical version and is a far superior musical moment. The cafeteria scene where Janis and Damian educate Cady on the cliques at North Shore High and the introduction of the Plastics is far too similar to the original film, with the film sadly cutting the show stopping “Where Do You Belong?” song and removed the majority of “Meet the Plastics” that eliminated Karen and Gretchen’s portions of the song, which both could have made for a terrific scene that would have differentiated this version of the cafeteria scene from the original film’s scene. But for all the changes, the film perfects “Sexy”, “Revenge Party”, “World Burn” and “I’d Rather Be Me”, delivering four outstanding musical numbers that will have audiences dancing in their seats.

Without question, the biggest hurdle this film faced is the casting as the performances in the original film are so revered, but all of the casting choices are impeccable! Rapp steals the show as Regina George, giving a wickedly hilarious performance that reinvents cinema’s most infamous queen bee. During the musical numbers, Rapp sleighs with her powerful voice, especially during “World Burn”, and her comedic timing is brilliant, proving herself a true star in every meaning of the world. Angourie Rice is perfect as Cady, capturing Cady’s sweet innocence in the film’s first half while losing it in the second half and becoming just as cruel as Regina. Auli’i Cravalho is wonderful as Janis, while Jaquel Spivey is a scene stealer with some of the best laughs of the entire film as Damian. Avantika is phenomenal as Karen, effortlessly capturing Karen’s childlike stupidity with an earnestness that will have you laughing uncontrollably, while Bebe Wood makes for a great Gretchen. Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles from the original film, continuing to deliver great laughs with a few new twists to their characters, and Hamm is fun as Coach Carr, even if he feels underused. Busy Philipps is a riot as Mrs. George, one upping Amy Poehler’s iteration of the character from the original film, while Jenna Fischer is sweet as Mrs. Heron. Seeing Ashley Park cameo as Madame Park was a nice touch as she originated the role of Gretchen in the stage musical, and there is one other totally fetch cameo that comes at the perfect moment in the film.

But for me, the performance that surprised me the most in the best way possible was Christopher Briney as Aaron Samuels. Briney is terrific, capturing the wholesome boy next door in Aaron with an undeniable charm and great romantic chemistry with Rice. While Aaron feels underused in this version compared to the original, there is no denying that Briney outshines his co-stars in their scenes together, proving that this teen heart throb is more than just a handsome face, but a truly talented young actor who is bound to have a bright future on the big screen.

Get in losers, we are going shopping once again! Yet again, Tina Fey has proven the longevity of Mean Girls with this new musical adaptation that hits all the right notes in paying tribute to the classic teen comedy while making this new adaptation its own film, easily justifying this film’s existence. Never for a second will this version of Mean Girls replace the original, but it will make for a great double header with the original every October 3rd. Full of high energy and show stopping musical numbers, countless laughs both old and new, and a stellar cast with excellent turns from Angourie Rice, Christopher Briney, and Avantika with a star marking performance by Reneé Rapp as the notorious Regina George, Mean Girls once again makes fetch happen and invites you to sit again with the Plastics in the first surprise hit of 2024!

bottom of page