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The Plastics Are Back: Five Fetch Changes in the New “Mean Girls” Movie and Five That Belong in the Burn Book

Clara Hudson
“Mean Girls” opened last month to an estimated $28 million in box office, which exceeded the original film.

“Mean Girls” is a film adaptation of the trendy 2017 musical, following 16-year-old Cady Holmes and her journey through high school as a formerly homeschooled girl. She navigates friendships and fashion, along with feelings of loss, lust, and longing. The musical is based on the original 2004 Mean Girls movie, which was written and directed by Tina Fey. 

From coining new terms like “fetch” (meaning cool or hip) to displaying iconic scenes like the Burn Book, in which the titular mean girls write down insults about everyone in school, the 2004 release of “Mean Girls” was memorable and influential. Remaking this into a modernized musical is no small task, and it required a lot of changes – some of which worked better than others.

Here are five “fetch” changes in the newest release of “Mean Girls” and five that belong in the Burn Book.

Fetch! – Outstanding acting 

While the movie includes household names such as Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Jenna Fishcer and Reneé Rapp, it also shined a spotlight on a plethora of young actors and actresses, such as Avantika, Angourie Rice, Bebe Wood, and Auli’i Cravalho. Every actor did an excellent job making the character unique to their own person while simultaneously keeping the structure of the original characters. 

Burn Book – Where were the original songs? 

There were 10 songs that were not fully included in the remake, such as “It Roars”, “Where Do You Belong?”, and the full version of “Meet The Plastics”, which has intros for both Gretchen and Karen in addition to Regina. These songs were important and prominent in the musical, and although some of their dialogue was incorporated into the script, the songs’ points would have been much more effectively conveyed if they had been included in their entirety. 

Fetch! – “Not My Fault”

Since the movie cut so many songs, it was only natural for them to add some new ones. The best of the bunch is “Not My Fault”, which features a line of dialogue from Cady in the 2004 release of “Mean Girls.” Sung by Reneé Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion, this is the perfect ending song for the movie, featuring all the characters dancing at the Spring Fling.  

Burn Book  – “Someone Gets Hurt (Reprise)” removed from the soundtrack

The song “Someone Gets Hurt (Reprise)” could be considered one of the best songs in the musical, so I was puzzled as to why it wasn’t on the movie’s soundtrack, as it is one of the Broadway cast recordings. Taking place when Cady throws a party at her house and doesn’t invite Janis or Damian, this song covers the iconic scene when Janis calls Cady out for becoming “plastic” and Cady responds with, “It’s not my fault you’re, like, in love with me or something!” This is arguably the most important part of the movie, as it is the moment when Cady finally realizes that she has become the next Regina George. This version is sung by the incredible Auli’i Cravalho, who does a fantastic job capturing the rage and angst that this song provides to its listeners, but it should have been included in its entirety. 

Fetch! – Easter eggs galore 

The movie included many pop culture references, such as the popular makeup brand E.L.F, cutaways to Tik Tok videos about Regina getting hit by a bus, and even references to the original 2004 Mean Girls movie. In the beginning of the movie when Gretchen mentions the word “Fetch,” she claims it’s from an old movie, then takes a moment before saying she thought it was in “Juno.” During the Halloween scene, Karen pulls up a costume of Regina George’s cut up tank top. These little tidbits help make the film feel truly modern.

Burn Book – Pop music? 

This may be a modern take on the musical, but it’s still an adaptation of a Broadway musical. It should be dramatic! Many characters such as Regina, Janis, and Damian achieved this goal, but others lacked the Broadway essences of the musical. The best example of this comes during the “Stupid with Love” sequence. It seems like Cady is uninterested in what she’s saying during that moment when the scene is supposed to convey that she is head over heels for Aaron.

Fetch! – Cameos 

Lindsay Lohan’s cameo as a surprise judge during the mathlete scene was the perfect choice and moment to add a cameo. Since Lohan played the original Cady, it made sense for her to share the screen with Angourie Rice’s Cady during the climactic competition. Some other cameos included Jon Hamm as Coach Carr, Ashley Park (the original Broadway Gretchen Weiners) as the French teacher, and Jenna Fischer as Ms. Heron. 

Burn Book – Why didn’t Aaron sing? 

In the Broadway production of Mean Girls, the character of Aaron was featured on songs such as “Someone gets Hurt,” “More is Better,” and “Stupid with Love (Reprise).” But in the new movie, we never heard a note from the new Aaron, who is portrayed by Christopher Briney. If Aaron sang, it would’ve imbued his chapter with much more depth and energy. In addition, it would have given young men a chance to see that it’s okay to express your feelings in different ways.  

Fetch! – Ms. Norbury and Mr. Duvall 

Ms. Norbury and Mr. Duvall being married in this movie was iconic, and just the twist we needed for this movie musical. The scene in which they reveal their marriage to the entire high school was one of the highlights of the movie. While it was cool by itself to see both actors reprise their original roles, this twist took their roles to another level.

Burn Book – Not marketed as a musical!

The movie should have been marketed as a musical. While many theatergoers may have known that this was a movie adaptation of the popular musical, the lack of musical marketing led many to believe that this was a more modern version of the 2004 original. A different marketing style could have cleared up this confusion and perhaps even introduced viewers to the Broadway version.

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