The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Queen bees and “Mean Girls” movies

No matter which “Mean Girls” film you consume, whether it’s the original 2004 movie or the 2024 musical adaptation, one thing is pretty clear: both of them are so fetch. Although it’s to label one as “better” than the other since each film has its pros and cons, this article will decipher which film will be remembered for generations. So get in loser, we’re going to crown the queen bee of “Mean Girls” movies based on this criteria: cast, script, comedy and timelessness.

The Cast:

Right away, we have a tough category. Both films are filled to the brim with great performances that bring Tina Fey’s script to life in vibrant fashion. Rachel McAdams and Reneé Rapp steal the show as Regina George. McAdams, originating the role in 2004, plays Regina so fiercely that you can really believe that no one would mess with her. However, Reneé Rapp takes Regina George’s ferocity and turns it up to eleven. With Rapp’s performance, I felt afraid of Regina in a way that I don’t feel with McAdams’s.

On the other hand, 2004 has a better Cady Heron. Played by Lindsay Lohan in 2004 and Angourie Rice in 2024, Cady is a tough main character role. While Rice is fine as Cady, she ultimately pales against the powerhouse that is Reneé Rapp, while Lohan brought more charisma and charm that allowed her to go toe-to-toe with McAdams. 

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I could spend the entire article talking about the performances, but for now I have to say the winner of this category is the 2004 film since there is no weak link, unlike the 2024 version.

Script:

The main difference between the structure of the two films is that the 2024 version is a musical. So do the musical numbers strengthen or weaken the movie?

Both. Some numbers, such as “World Burn” sung by Reneé Rapp and group numbers like “Revenge Party” are really fun and add a lot of energy to the film. However, some songs like “What Ifs” and “Stupid with Love” feel like they slow down the pace of the film rather than using music to make the movie flow better. Though I would be lying if I said I wasn’t listening to the film’s soundtrack as I write this article and not skipping any of the songs…mostly. 

On the other hand, the 2004 movie has no dull moment, but does have some jokes and references that are dated. Specifically, some jokes use racist, ableist and homophobic language that are considered problematic today. While this is just a result of the time the movie was made, it is still worth noting. 

All in all, I can’t decide on a winner in this category, so let’s call this one a tie.

Comedy:

Both films are packed to the brim with laugh out loud moments. Of course, the 2004 has so many jokes that have made their way into our cultural consciousness. For example, some of my favorite quotes include:

  • “You go, Glen Coco” 
  • “Oh my God, Danny Devito, I love your work!” 
  • “It’s not my fault you’re like in love with me or something!”
  • “I can’t go out. cough cough. I’m sick.”

I also find myself saying “grool” and “fetch” all the time, unironically.

The 2024 includes most of the iconic lines from the original. Cady still misspeaks and says “grool,” Gretchen constantly says “fetch,” and Damian is still “too gay to function.” This is not to say that the film is merely a carbon copy in this department. The film uses its new medium as a musical to deliver new jokes and gags. For example, there are plenty of jokes that use social media and today’s technology and terminology. 

Overall, I would say that the 2004 movie barely beats the 2024 version in this category. While the additions to the new film are fun, none of them are as funny as the jokes that they replace. Special shoutout to Jaquel Spivey’s Damian singing the iCarly theme song in French, though.

Timelessness:

It’s tough to say if 2024’s “Mean Girls” will stand the test of time as well as the original movie. While the film included updates that make it relevant today, will social media be the same in twenty years as it is today? My instinct is that it won’t.

Therefore, I declare 2004’s “Mean Girls” the winner of the battle. 

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Aaron Chin, Arts & Culture Co-Editor

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