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Business Spectacle: Lilys Hair Studio (video)
Business Spectacle: Lily's Hair Studio (video)
October 26, 2023

Plastics carry Mean Girls to be an appreciative film

Mean+Girls+released+in+theaters+on+Jan.+12+and+has+garnered+a+fair+share+of+criticism+due+to+its+perceived+lack+of+accuracy+to+the+2018+broadway+musical+adaptation.++The+Sidekick+entertainment+editor+Ainsley+Dwyer+thinks+the+movie%E2%80%99s+positives+outweigh+its+flaws+and+makes+for+a+fun+adaptation+for+fans+of+musical+theater+and+Mean+Girls+%282004%29.
Ainsley Dwyer
Mean Girls released in theaters on Jan. 12 and has garnered a fair share of criticism due to its perceived lack of accuracy to the 2018 broadway musical adaptation. The Sidekick entertainment editor Ainsley Dwyer thinks the movie’s positives outweigh its flaws and makes for a fun adaptation for fans of musical theater and Mean Girls (2004).

As soon as the first trailer was released for the film adaptation of Mean Girls, the Broadway musical, the theater kid inside of me was over the moon.

Some of my favorite show tunes come from this show, and I was thrilled to watch the musical in a form other than a bootleg filmed with a shaky 2018 camera.

My expectations were high, and to my surprise, half my standards were exceeded, and half were not met.

Overall, it is good. The plastics go above and beyond and always manage to bring out a laugh in the audience. However, some of the characters lack depth and charisma. The change in a lot of the instrumentals hurt the movie, but the songs by the plastics keep the movie afloat and, along with Janis and Damien, keep the film in the favorable range.

The plot is the same as the 2004 original movie. Cady Heron moves to the United States for high school and befriends the “freaks,” Janis Ian and Damien Hubbard, who tell her about “the plastics” Karen Smith, Gretchen Wieners and Regina George. When the plastics befriend Cady, Janis convinces her to try and infiltrate them. 

American singer Renee Rapp was set to fill the role of Regina George, once made iconic by Rachel McAdams in the original. Rapp played George on Broadway from June 2019 to March 2020 when she was 19. Rapp undeniably stole the show every time she was in a scene. 

My eyes were immediately drawn towards her. I am disappointed by how much she was advertised and marketed, only to barely be in the second half. Rapp grabbed my attention as soon as she sang her verse in “Meet The Plastics,” and she only stole the show even more when she sang “Someone Gets Hurt,” a performance that left me on the edge of my seat in disbelief.

Australian actress Angourie Rice fills the role of Cady Heron, made famous by American actress Lindsey Lohan. Though her acting is good, she struggles to stand out. She has comedic moments where her delivery is spot on for a lot of the jokes. It is clear that she is not the best singer, but she works well with what she was given.

Indian American actress Avantika, who plays Karen Smith, and Bebe Wood, who plays Gretchen Wieners, do a phenomenal job at sticking out in scenes without speaking. In every scene that Avantika is present, you can’t help but look at her and laugh. Wood works well with her facial expressions and her over dramatic acting that made every scene she is in phenomenal.

Auli’i Cravalho and Jaquel Spivey make the iconic duo of Janis and Damien unique to the movie, though similar to the musical. Their chemistry is natural, their voices compliment each other and their characters stand out with comedic delivery. The way they work off each other is authentic.

The music is arguably one of the best and worst parts of the movie. Angourie Rice struggles with a lot of the music. The music lacks the energy and anger that made them stand out in the Broadway soundtrack. 

The only songs that stand out are “Someone Gets Hurt” and “World Burn,” by Reneė Rapp, “Sexy,” by Avantika and “Apex Predator,” by Auli’i Cravalho. The remainder are pretty forgettable, and “Meet The Plastics” would have been amazing if they had performed the entire song rather than one verse.

Another factor preventing the music from being its best was how the songs were shot. It feels like a staring contest with how often the characters look into the camera. A lot of the songs feel like a music video, but not as much as the change in energy of the songs.

Many do not realize this is a musical, which puts a negative look on the film. People unaware the movie is a musical have said there was no need for a remake of the original movie and to turn it into a musical, not realizing the happiness the announcement of the movie meant to theater kids everywhere.

Though the movie is flawed and could be executed better, it is not bad. The negative reviews keep people from seeing a fun movie. It is 3.8/5 stars for me for one of my favorite musical adaptations.

Follow Ainsley (@ainsleydwyer) and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributor
Ainsley Dwyer, Entertainment Editor
Ainsley Dwyer is a junior and the entertainment editor of The Sidekick. In her free time, Ainsley enjoys theater, enjoys singing, playing the guitar and binge watching TV shows and her favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, Almost Famous, Scream, Maurice and more. She is typically found listening to Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Mamas & Papas, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, Deftones, Coldplay and Evanescence. She’s born and raised in Coppell. Both her parents and families are from Colorado, and she frequently visits them every year. She plans to attend the University of Missouri to double major in history and journalism. Ainsley has two dogs named Blue and Rouey who are part lab and part pointer. Her favorite place she’s traveled to is New York and would love to live there when she's older. She also dreams of traveling across Europe. Ainsley is a big soccer fan, and her favorite player is Luka Modrić so she loves to root for Real Madrid and Croatia’s National Team. Ainsley also has a deep fascination with pop culture from the 2000s as well as pop culture from the 1960s and 70s. You can contact her on 'X'  (@ainsleydwyer).

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