Who would've thought that 20 years after the original Mean Girls graced the big screen it would be getting a rebirth? Not only a rebirth, but a reimagining of sorts. The original Mean Girls was such a teenage-comedy powerhouse, firmly cementing itself into pop culture, that it was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2018. So of course it only made sense to then translate it back into a film in 2024.
Is this confusing? Let me put it this way. Mean Girls was a movie in 2004, became a musical in 2018, and became a musical movie in 2024. What comes after this new version I don't know, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The story of the new Mean Girls musical movie is the exact same of the original, but with a (mostly) new cast and of course musical numbers. We're still following Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) navigate the treachorous social hierarchy of high school after being home schooled for a number of years. In her new high school she meets some sympathetic students Janis 'Imi'ike (Auli'i Cravalho) and Damian Hubbard (Jaquel Spivey) who she begins to bond with. Meanwhile Heron works to infiltrate, or fit in, with the plastics, a group of popular girls led by the ruthless Regina George (Reneé Rapp).
One of the biggest obstacles for a remake is walking the fine line between paying homage to the original film, but doing something new and innovative to keep audiences intrigued. This obstacle can be enormously difficult to climb depending on well perceived the original is. Mean Girls was (and is) such a cultural phenomenon that you can imagine a remake having a pretty high bar. Don't even get me started on the remake of Road House coming out. I love Jake Gyllenhaal as much as the next person but we could probably have come up with something else don't you think?
Unfortunately for us, the new and musical Mean Girls doesn't stray far enough away from the original to be anything more interesting. The musical numbers are fun, carried by Cravalho and Rapp's tremendous stage presence and vocals, but they don't bring enough to the table.
Sure, a lot of the jokes are still funny but the problem was never that this movie wouldn't be funny, it's that they're the same old jokes. You still can't sit with us, fetch still isn't going to happen, that one girl still doesn't go to school here... you get the idea. These are the most popular lines from the original film so it makes sense to keep them in, but everything in between is too low to be brought up to these nostalgic highs.
Overall I wish there was something a little more unique to this production. There's already been a Mean Girls movie and there's already been a Mean Girls musical so you need to do something to set this new project apart from the other two. Turning this into a more Gen-Z affair by incorporating TikTok and more modern issues is a first step, but it still gets caught in the trenches of repetition.
Now this is the point where I say I did enjoy the movie because I'm not a robot. I'll complain about the same old jokes but I'll still laugh at them. Tina Fey and Tim Meadows can make me laugh with just about anything so having them back in their original roles was fun to watch. Other than that I would consider this Mean Girls revival to be just your classic no frills entertainment. It could've been something more, but it also could've been a lot worse.
As it is written in history, on Wednesdays we wear pink. So it has been and so it shall be. Therefore, we must also drink pink beer? Well at least beer in pink cans. Great Notion Brewing has introduced me to a great number of sours, even if I don't much care for sours. The main reason Great Notion has become one of my go-to sour spots is because they're like mad scientists over there. Tweaking and morphing their beers into wild milkshake sours, tart ales, whatever it may be.
That brings us to the Strawberry Fluff. This tart ale is abundant with strawberry flavors, that classic sour twist, but also flavors of vanilla and some cotton candy sweetness. While this may sound overpowering and cavity inducing, it is actually to die for. The sour backbone fends off the overall sweetness, and allows the other flavors to exist in harmony. Swinging an 8.5% ABV certainly doesn't hurt in making each sip taste better than the last, but this is a well balanced and delightful tart ale.
On Wednesdays we drink pink?
It just doesn't have the same ring to it.