It’s “Not My Fault” the new Mean Girls movie fell flat

It’s “Not My Fault” the new “Mean Girls” movie fell flat

The original 2004 movie “Mean Girls” has produced a cult-like following for the film, holding some of the most quoted lines and memorable scenes in movie history. To this day, this film maintains its place as a staple in pop-culture. October 3rd is basically a national holiday. Then, just before it faded into obscurity, a “Mean Girls” musical was released in 2017, provoking another wave of superfans now composed of all generations and tastes alike.
After years of success and an iconic reputation (excluding the rightfully forgotten “Mean Girls 2”), you’d think they’d know when to stop beating a dead horse. Instead, they combined the two hits and somehow left out all the charm, releasing “Mean Girls” (2024). Unfortunately, Renee Rapp’s featured single “Not My Fault” playing when the credits rolled was the only “musical” part about this musical-movie-pop-culture disaster.
If you haven’t heard of the latest movie adaptation of the “Mean Girls” musical, you’re fortunate enough to save your ears from a soundtrack trying to appeal to both fans of the original “Mean Girls” and the musical version alike, while failing miserably on both ends due to heaps of autotune and an oversaturation of TikTok dances. The saving graces were Renee Rapp’s portrayal of “Regina George”, known for her previous role as Regina in the actual broadway musical, and Auliʻi Cravalho as “Janis”, but more well-known for her role of “Moana”.
Production wasn’t this film’s only weak point – they also were in desperate need of a new advertising team. The movie’s motto was, “Not your mother’s ‘Mean Girls’”, and that couldn’t be closer to the truth. Sure, the film follows the same plot and has the same characters, but it can hardly be advertised as a “comedy” film. The only time I heard the theater I was in actually laugh was when the first song of the movie came on. That’s right, some people went in not even knowing it was a movie-musical, only to even later find out that not only was it a movie-musical, but a movie-musical with a main character who can’t sing.
The biggest flaw? Angourie Rice plays “Cady,” the main character of the story. For a character meant to have depth and dynamic, Rice made Cady seem like she was just an extra. Her singing is robotic, her acting is timid, and most importantly, Rice lacks the unlikability yet relatability of Lindsay Lohan’s Cady that made her that much more lovable. In a cast of ex-theater-kids and talented dancers, Rice was the black sheep, and the producers knew it too. The overuse of autotune in her singing made it sound like her voice was made with artificial intelligence (just with less personality). Her performance in this film was like watching “Karen Smith” try to spell “orange”.
Yet, a movie filled with (mostly) high-end actors, flashy sets, and a decently sized soundtrack is definitely not cheap. While the 2004 “Mean Girls” only cost $18 million to produce, the 2024 film cost double. The irony here is that the 2024 version grossed $69 million worldwide since its release, and the 2004 version? $129 million in the first four months. Regardless, the 2024 version had to compensate for the expensive production costs somehow. Their solution? A swarm of advertisements, and they weren’t even trying to be subtle.
Makeup brand “e.l.f.” was the movie’s most prominent sponsorship. In one scene while Cady applies her “e.l.f.” lipstick, Damian asks what product she’s using, only for Cady to respond with not only the brand, but also the exact shade and full name of the lipstick. In the middle of a movie. Later on, Regina George is seen dropping her “e.l.f.” lip oil into the sink, which takes up the entirety of a frame for an awkwardly long five seconds. Nothing screams “cash grab” louder than feeling like you’re watching a two hour ad.
All in all, despite its flaws, this was a fun movie to watch. It didn’t take itself too seriously, and was colorful and fast-paced enough to keep most people’s attention. Let’s just hope this is the last time they try to make “fetch” happen.

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