On Digital

Mean Girls  (12) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Samantha Jayne/Arturo Perez Jr., US, 2024, 112 mins

Cast:  Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp,  Auli’i Cravalho, Jaquel Spivey,

Review by Carol Allen

Mean Girls is a film based on the Broadway musical, which is due to open in London in June this year.  The show itself is also a “based on”, in this case the 2004 film of the same title, which starred Lindsay Logan as the heroine.

It’s a high school movie and I will confess that, with a few exceptions (e.g. Cruel Intentions and Grease), I have a lifelong dislike of American high school movies, which always seem to be full of girls wearing too much make up and unsuitably sexy adult clothes and boys the size of a brick wall who are known as “jocks”, play a lot of sport  and seem to have no brains.   At the centre there will be a naïve newcomer, who is bullied by the ruling gang but prevails at the end.  Mean Girls is no exception.  For a really good comic take on the high school movie, see Spielberg’s reminiscent scenes in the last section of The Fabelmans. 

Cady, the Lindsay Logan role, played here by Angourie Rice, is the new girl at school, where the ruling gang, known as The Plastics, is a group of overdressed girls (see above) ruled over by Regina George (Reneé Rapp).  At first Cady’s only friends are fellow outcasts Janis (Auli’i Cravalho – interestingly weird) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey – delightfully camp).   But then for some reason Regina takes a fancy to her and gives her sort of honorary Plastics status.  Until that is Cady falls for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron (Christopher Briney) and the long and painted “scratch your eyes out” fingernails are ready for action.

Both Mean Girls films and the show are written by one of my favourite American comediennes Tina Fey, but much of her wit is drowned out here by the fact that the soundtrack on the film is DEAFENING.   The song lyrics are unintelligible, as is much of the dialogue. 

The choreography is spirited and rather good in a pop video sort of way, particularly one number featuring Plastics member Karen (Avantika).  But the dance numbers bear little relation to the plot and take it forward not one jot.  They are more like choreographic breaks in the action.  To quote Louis Armstong from a much better musical High Society, “End of story, beginning of song” – only this story grinds to a halt every time there’s a musical number. 

The performances are actually rather good.   As well as those already mentioned, Rapp as Regina really relishes her role as the bitchy bad girl, though the love story between Aaron and Cadey and Regina’s jealousy over it get a bit lost in the noise.  And there’s an awful lot of pink in the colour scheme.   In one scene where Cady visits Regina and the hostess’s mum (Busy Philipps) is behaving like one of the girls, I began to feel I was back in the world of Barbie.   

Mean Girls (2024) arrives on Digital March 18th 2024, and arrives on 4K UHD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD April 29th 2024

Bonus content is detailed below:

A New Age of Mean Girl** — Tina Fey, the cast, and crew discuss a new take on the Mean Girls story and how the drama at North Shore high would unfold in the age of social media.

Song and Dance** — A behind-the-scenes look of what it took to bring the big musical numbers of Mean Girls (2024) to life. We hear from the directors, the choreographer, and the cast about how they prepped and reimagined the classic film with musical elements.

The New Plastics— The new cast dives into their memories of watching the original film, their favorite moments/lines, what character they identified with, and what it meant to be cast in the musical.

Gag Reel— Some of the best moments happen behind the scenes!

Not My Fault– Music Video with Reneé Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion

Extended Scene**– I’m Having a Small Get Together at My House

Mean Girls Sing-Along with Select Songs***

bonus features vary by Digital Retailer
**only available on 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs 
MEAN GIRLS (2024) and MEAN GIRLS (2004) will also be available in a 2-movie collection on Digital on March 18, 2024.
Mean Girls (2004) also arrives on 4K UHD for the first time on April 29th 2024