Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of January 8, 2024

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of January 8, 2024

Mean Girls
Rated PG-13 for teen drinking, strong language and sexual material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71% at the time of writing
In Theaters

Typically, January theatergoers are catching up on the holiday films they missed and the awards movies they want to see before and after the trophies are handed out. Rarely is there a good new release to be found until usually March and sometimes even April. So it’s understandable why I would immediately assume that the film I was about to see was not worth my time and effort in doing so. And in this case, I would have been wrong. Similar to The Color Purple (which you need to go see if you haven’t), Mean Girls is the musical version of the now 20 year-old comedy about a sweet new girl who gets accepted by the horrific popular girls, only to find herself turning into one of them. In 2017, creator Tina Fey turned the musical into a smash Broadway hit, and now, in 2024, we have this classic teen film’s modern evolution. While many of the great musical numbers are gone (the stage show was actually guilty of having too many songs, so I was okay with that) the ones left are really well-done and add a nice bit of guilty pleasure to the already campy movie. Acting-wise, there are some unexpectedly terrific performances, especially those of Reneé Rapp, who plays the queen bee Regina, and Jaquel Spivey who plays her secret close friend Damian. While our heroine Cady, played here by Angourie Rice, is a good enough actor for the part, her voice isn’t nearly strong enough for the role and is overshadowed by her cast-mates. But her crimes are easily excused as the film still manages to entertain, and at times really make you laugh, even with its occasional flaws. But what it manages to do best is point out how toxic petty hatred and meanness can be, and to help us better appreciate that we all need to, especially now, be better people. B+