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Mean Girls (2006) 20th Anniversary Edition                               Mean Girls (2024)
                                                                   review by Bobby Blakey

In 2004 Tina Fey teamed up with Freaky Friday director Mark Waters for the comedy classic Mean Girls. The film ended up being a big hit that spawned a made for TV sort of sequel in 2008 and a successful Broadway musical that kicked off in 2017. While an official sequel was discussed for years it sadly never happened, but instead a film adaptation hit theaters with Fey once again involved in 2024. To celebrate the 20th anniversary the original film is getting a 4K release along with the new musical adaptation.

Mean Girls (2004) follows Cady Heron who must brave the wilds of high school where she is taken under the wing of the popular girls, The Plastics, led by the cool and cruel Regina George after living in Africa with her zoologist parents.

The film stars Lindsey Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Tim Meadows, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. There is no doubt the film has become a comedy classic but have to admit that I have never really connected with it. I am glad that I revisited it because I found myself enjoying it a lot more these days.

To my surprise the film held up well and was funny. The cast are all great and the smart way it is crafted helps it to stay relevant in its form and not dated. The real fun here is subtle moments for me that get me laughing more than anything and most of those hit from Meadows and Fey without it ever becoming dumb. It’s been around 20 years so everything that can has been said, but glad I gave it another shot and would gladly watch it again in the future.

Mean Girls (2024) follows a new twist on the modern classic. New student Cady Heron is welcomed into the top of the social food chain by the elite group of popular girls called “The Plastics,” ruled by the conniving queen bee Regina George. However, when Cady makes the major misstep of falling for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels, she finds herself prey in Regina’s crosshairs. As Cady sets to take down the group’s apex predator with the help of her outcast friends Janis and Damian, she must learn how to stay true to herself while navigating the most cutthroat jungle of all: high school.

The new adaptation stars Angourie Rice, Renee Rapp, Auli’I Cravalho, Jaquel Spivey, Avantika, Bebe Wood, Jenna Fischer, and Busy Phillips with Tim Meadows and Tina Fey both reprising their original roles once again. Knowing this is not so much a remake of the original and an adaptation of the Broadway version helps going in because there are lots of differences here. Sure, it is holding the same story and direction, but various characters and parts of the story have changed for various reasons.

I am not a big fan of musicals in general, but the context works fine here knowing where it is drawing its source material from. That said, I just couldn’t fully connect with this one. It’s not bad by any means but doesn’t have the same vibe as the original. It has some really funny moments, but I think a lot of it gets lost in the focus of needing to get in the next song or dance number. Some of the changes are understandable to update it they just didn’t all work for me.

The cast were all good and loved that some of the original Broadway people were here as well as plenty of nods to the original film. Not sure if it was the musical aspect or just the changes that fell short for me, but it just didn’t hold my attention well. I didn’t hate it by any means, but also didn’t much care. Where I would revisit the original anytime I have no interest in stepping back into this classroom for a song and dance.

Both versions look great in 4K. They each offer up plenty of bonus features including commentaries, gag reels, trailers, sing-a-longs, featurettes and so much more across both releases. Grab either or both films when the Mean Girls 20th Anniversary Edition hits 4K for the first time along with Mean Girls (2024) hitting 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on April 30th. In addition, they have also released a two-film collection currently available now on digital from Paramount Home Entertainment.  

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