Mean Girls: Life in Africa was a piece of cake compared to high school

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The high school classic Mean Girls, if we can call it that, is back in theaters. Many young people will see the musical film and almost the entire millennial population will probably be secretly jumping with impatience.

No, of course you don’t just admit the latter. Metro does, because we have already seen Mean Girls for the Film Review of the Week.

Real Mean Girls Day

It was 2004 when young people rushed to the cinema to see Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron and the Mean Girls, the mean girls of American high school. Last October 3, Paramount Pictures designated this date as Mean Girls Day. A day later, the old film was put on TikTok in 23 parts.

Oh, why October 3? Well… in the movie, Cady asks hunk Aaron “what day it is” to get his attention. You can guess the answer. Look, Mean Girls has helped half the world’s population on their way to love.

Story Mean Girls same

Is Metro now cynical? In the above case for a while, but otherwise it’s not too bad. After twenty years, Mean Girls 2024 is a nice remake, especially for the young target group. That’s why, according to Metro’s colleagues at NSMBL, today’s millennials have been ‘looking forward to it for years’ (and they should know).

The story of Mean Girls is basically exactly the same as it was back then. Cady Heron (Angourie Rice, then Lindsay Lohan) is new to an American high school after a childhood on the savannah of Kenya. She is unexpectedly admitted to the absolute top of the lunch canteen: the elite group of popular and tough girls called The Plastics. This terrible girl group is led by queen bee Regina George (Reneé Rapp, in 2004 Rachel McAdams) and her followers Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika). Cady makes a real blunder by falling for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), after which Regina turns on her. Cady tries to take down the group’s apex predator with the help of her friends, misfits Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey).

However that all plays out, life in Africa was a lot easier compared to that high school Cady ended up in.

Mean Girls queen bee The Plastics
Bebe Wood (Gretchen), Renee Rapp (queen bee Regina) and Avantika (Karen) as The Plastics. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Likes and online hate

Isn’t there anything different in Mean Girls? Of course it is. The smartphone now plays a prominent role, as do social media videos, likes and online hate.

Much of the same, of course. You will immediately think the popular stud is a bitch, with her lyrics ‘I’m rich and handsome and the whole school jumps on me’ and ‘I don’t care who you are’. You will immediately sympathize with the well-cast Cady – a math prodigy with no experience in love. The Australian Angourie Rice who plays her is 23 herself, but still seems like a teenager in Mean Girls. Rice is good, also in dancing, and has had an acting career that has spanned more than ten years.

Focus on the target group

You can easily say all kinds of things about Mean Girls: far from an Oscar candidate, clichéd, characters rather exaggerated and especially not explored, feeling things coming at you. But maybe we’ll do directors Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. therefore a bit too short. They have undoubtedly focused on the target group and why not?

Most of the characters are honestly quite fun. Like those Plastics girls because of their terribleness and especially the ‘too gay for words’ Damian. Moreover, the songs of this musical film are excellent and the song I’d rather be myself than be like you is even excellent.

Rating out of 5:3

Note: Mean Girls is not for everyone…

Mean Girls Tina Fey
Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury, the role she also played in 2004. Photo: Paramount Pictures

You can read Metro’s Film Review of the Week every Wednesday evening. New titles appear in Dutch cinemas on Thursdays, such as Mean Girls (sometimes on Wednesdays). Reporter Erik Jonk chooses one every week. Next week: Society of the Snow, when you have to eat dead people to survive. The preliminary film of the year?

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