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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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COLUMN: ‘Mean Girls’ (2024), haven’t I seen this before?

Staff+profile+for+Drew+Coffey.
Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Drew Coffey.

First, let me explain.  

I know that “Mean Girls” is clearly not supposed to be intended for me to watch. However, that is no excuse for being absolutely uninspired and most heinously unoriginal.  

The film is a remake of the cultural phenomenon that was the 2004 film “Mean Girls” starring Lindsey Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey and many other famous actors from the mid-2000s. 

In this new outing, many of the same actors return. However, the core cast consists of Angourie Rice playing Lohan’s part and Reneé Rapp playing the vicious leader of the mean girl group Regina George.  

Now this film comes 20 years after the original and has the same plot involving a new girl starting in high school after being homeschooled her whole life.

As she tries to navigate her way through the social hierarchies, she finds herself befriending the nasty and socially powerful group of girls that make even the movie “Barbie” feel considerably lacking in pink.  

Oh, and did I forget to add that it’s a musical? Yeah, buckle your seat belts. It’s about to be a bumpy ride.  

I personally felt so emotionally numb during this movie because it felt like nobody cared. The acting is cringy, the music is uninspired and creatively nonexistent, and most importantly nothing was memorable.  

While films like “The Greatest Showman” or “Tick, Tick … BOOM!” were not the greatest musicals narratively, at least some of the songs were memorable.  

I felt like a lot of the songs came off as average attempts at the musical genre to justify the vibe being implemented into this remake.  

Frankly, I also think there are way too many songs as well. It felt like every minute we were getting thrown into a new annoying and audibly troubled song after the next.  

Maybe I am mistaken, but I feel like the best musical movies only have five or six songs so the story can have equal footing along with the music.  

But in this film, it is kind of hard to do that when there is no story. Well, there is, but it’s a painfully familiar story.  

I’ll get to that in a second.  

Back to the acting, I felt like the actors were trying their best with what they were given, which unfortunately was probably very little. Everyone came off as cartoon characters rather than actual people.  

Now, I know that is the exact point of these characters, but I felt like it got to a comically unfocused point where it completely took me out of the film. I even went to the bathroom, which is something I never do at the movie theaters.  

The fact that I would rather spend my time in the same vicinity as the AMC toilets speaks volumes of how crap, pun intended, this film was.  

The film was written by Tina Fey who also wrote the 2004 original, and I was honestly not impressed.  

I was actually baffled to see that the film follows every single story beat of the original down to even the sets. I know the objective of remakes is to take elements from the original, but what is the point when we’re getting the exact same film?  

If you heard a big “CHA-CHING” in your head, you would probably be right because this film feels like a shameful January cash grab.  

However, with all my stubbornness and pride set aside, I can admit the film’s cinematography looks amazing.  

During the musical numbers, the coloring, lighting and overall shot compositions were a lot more creative than I was expecting. Honestly, it saved a good number of the musical numbers from being completely mind-numbing.  

I think the film also does a great job of implementing different aspect ratios for each song to make it seem more cinematic. The extreme and emotional lighting also reflects the character’s inner feelings in a very intense but intentional way.  

Ok “Mean Girls,” you did something right.  

So, with all my shameless and pompous complaining, I’m sure you’re wondering. Is this film even worth a watch?  

I would say you would have a better time making fun of Will Smith’s wife to his face than watching this movie. At least with that, you would feel something.  

Overall, I think “Mean Girls” (2024) is an uninspired and saddening film that continues the frustrating and dreadful slew of remakes that make me fearful of the state of cinema. 

 Jordan Peele, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Damien Chazelle, Martin Scorsese, Greta Gerwig and Denis Villeneuve, if you’re reading this, please keep making original movies.  

Only then will I remain sane.  

Happy Oscars season. Oppenheimer for the win. 

My overall rating: 1/5 

 

Drew Coffey can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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