On Wednesday 8 November 2023, the full trailer for the upcoming Mean Girls reboot was released by Paramount on YouTube. While we’ve already been able to get a glimpse at what the film is going to look like when the teaser trailer was first leaked back in October, this two-minute sneak peek gives us a much better idea of exactly what direction the highly anticipated remake has taken. See for yourself:
Okay, before I get into my qualms with the trailer, let’s at least take a minute to celebrate the few (and I do mean few) successes from the video. First off, Reneé Rapp is just *mwah*. I absolutely love her. I think that The Sex Lives of College Girls actress is going to make a fabulous Regina George. Something I didn’t want to see was an overly redeemable Regina because, at the end of the day, she’s a bitch—it’s part of her charm and part of the reason her character is as iconic as it is.
The same can be said for Regina’s mum. Busy Philipps is such a fierce actress and I can so easily picture her providing cookies and condoms for the girls after school. I have zero worries about the George family, that’s for sure. To be honest, I enjoyed the Regina-centric aspects of the trailer a whole lot more than I did anything Cady-related. I’m sorry, but who could ever replace Lindsay Lohan?
So, let’s dive a bit more into all of the stuff I wasn’t particularly obsessed with. First things first, who signed off on the highly cringeworthy “This isn’t your mother’s Mean Girls” statement that we get shown within the first five seconds of the trailer? I understand that this film is aimed at teenagers, but seriously guys, we don’t need to be so ‘on the nose’ about these things.
Next up was the absolute fiasco in regard to trying to include as many TikTok-coded moments as physically possible. I love Chris Olsen as much as the next queer person, but what exactly is his relevance to the story? There is a way to create media that appeals to a younger audience without having to shove an influencer in their faces.
Also, where was the music? I was under the impression that this movie was intended to be a musical, but we didn’t get any snippets of songs or impromptu flash mobs. I personally would be keen to see Rapp repurpose ‘Tummy Hurts’ in some shape or form. The remake is allegedly supposed to be based on the Broadway musical—I want to hear some pipes people! There are certain scenes that you can tell are going to include musical numbers, but it would have been nice to have heard some teasers.
Making a remake of anything is tricky business. But when you’re attempting to re-envision and remake a film as iconic as Mean Girls, I think it’s important to make sure the vibe of the film doesn’t feel forced. There’s nothing more unnerving than watching a film that, despite having been promoted and geared towards a gen Z audience, has so obviously been written and curated by men and women in their 40s who are trying to stuff as many buzzwords and trends into the dialogue as possible.
I also think that it probably didn’t help that we got gifted that iconic Walmart commercial recently which included the entire original Mean Girls cast. I could watch Amanda Seyfried play Karen every single day of my life and I think that the reunion of the OG cast really took focus away from the new lineup.
That’s not to say that I’m ruling the reboot out, it definitely still has the potential to turn around and change all of our opinions. But until it starts feeling more like a fresh relatable take as opposed to a cringe, overworked mess, I’ll stay sceptical.