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Glen Powell – star of Hitman
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The new “Mean Girls” movie musical released on Jan. 12, 2024 has failed to meet its high expectations. The movie promised to follow the structure of the broadway musical while sticking to the plot of the 2004 original movie. However, many viewers were extremely disappointed.

“It felt like some of the songs were forced and all of the iconic moments that we love “Mean Girls” for were either removed or were forced, making them not funny” junior Hugh Higasson said. “Like Damien’s “She doesn’t even go here” line [which was cut from the new movie].”

The film forgot to add many of the moments that made the two different versions of “Mean Girls” so popular.

“I was very familiar with the musical version prior to seeing the movie musical version,” Clarkstown junior Sara Goldberg said. “If I were the director, I would have added/adjusted more songs, as many songs from the Broadway version were cut.”

While disappointing avid fans of the Broadway version, it also confused fans of the original movie, as the film wasn’t really advertised as a musical.

“I just don’t like musicals in general. They’re cringy and I just can’t stand cringe,” junior Louise Choi said. “It wasn’t really advertised as a musical, so I was originally going to see it.”

The new film was just titled “Mean Girls” like the original 2004 version, failing to acknowledge its musical structure to anyone who didn’t do any research.

I think some people might have been disappointed with the movie musical version since they didn’t know it was a musical,” Goldberg said. “I also think the movie musical version was closer in content/style to the Broadway musical version than to the original movie, so it could be a big adjustment if you were not familiar with the Broadway version.”

Although the movie entertained Broadway fans, it still didn’t meet their expectations as it left out some songs, dances, and key aspects of the beloved musical.

I was expecting a movie that was much closer to the actual Broadway show,” Higgason said. “I think Renee Rapp and Avantika Vandanapu both did great jobs playing Regina George and Karen Smith but overall, I was kind of disappointed by the movie.”

Despite their disappointment, many Broadway fans were pleased with the performances of some of the actors and actresses.

“Renee certainly did most of the main lifting with vocals and acting, as she played Regina in the Broadway version and had the most experience with the character,” Goldberg said. “I also think the actress for Janice, Auli’i Cravalho was excellent in her role, having prior singing experience in movies. Finally, I think Chris Briney deserves some recognition for his role. Although his acting was not superb, and he had no singing roles, he made the character realistic and enjoyable.”

So if most of the actors and actresses were great, why didn’t this film live up to Broadway musical fans’ expectations? First, many people were disappointed with the performance of star Angourie Rice, the actress who played Cady Heron.

“Overall, [Angourie Rice] kind of lacked the energy I was expecting from Cady” Higgason said.

Movie and musical fans alike were also disappointed with some of the decisions made by the directors.

“I saw this one scene where the main character had the camera right in front of her face,” Choi said. “It looked so goofy.”

The brand deals were also something that caught viewers’ attention.

“I would have made the brand deals a bit less obvious,” Goldberg said.

Elf cosmetics were advertised constantly, taking the attention away from the movie itself.

“Aside from a lot of the music not being very good, I saw stuff online about the insane amount of product placement and other things,” Higgason said.

Fans of the original movie and Broadway musical were disappointed with this adaptation overall. 

“Both the musical and the original movie take the same plot but approach it differently,” Higgason said. “I think [this new movie] was trying to imitate both at the same time [which is] why it didn’t do so well.”

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About the Contributor
Ashley Morrison
Ashley Morrison, Staff Writer
Hi, I’m Ashley. I’m a Junior at NVD and I’m so happy to be a new member of the journalism staff! I play varsity soccer, love reading, writing, and hanging out with my friends. I want to be an author when I’m older, so I’m excited to share my creativity with the Northern Star!
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