So Fetch

‘Mean Girls’ trailer divides the internet

What sets the new Mean Girls movie apart from the original? Beyond some questionable fashion choices and some cringe-inducing Gen Z lingo, the trailer would have viewers think the remake is a carbon copy of the original. But that’s because the trailer leaves out one all-important element: this time, Mean Girls is a musical.

The new trailer, which hit the internet yesterday, showcases essentially the same plot (and punchlines) as the 2004 film, just shifted to be set in 2023. It’s all set to “get him back” by Olivia Rodrigo — an undeniable bop, but an odd choice for a movie that’s going to feature more than a dozen original songs.

This version of Mean Girls will be based on the Broadway musical adaptation, in which rising pop star (and bisexual icon) Reneé Rapp notably replaced the original actress for queen bee Regina George, a role she’s reprising for the movie.

But the trailer seems to be intentionally hiding the fact that the movie will be a musical. It doesn’t feature any of the songs or even a single shot of the characters dancing. This practice is strangely common: both the upcoming Color Purple film and the Timotheé Chalamet-led Wonka are musicals, but you wouldn’t know it from their promotional materials. This is only setting audiences up for disappointment, while also failing to bring in the theater kids who would actually be excited by the musical elements.

The Mean Girls trailer also features the line “This isn’t your mother’s Mean Girls,” a sentiment that quickly garnered eyerolls from across the internet. A 20-year gap isn’t enough for a full generation to elapse, thank you very much — though that didn’t stop millennials from feeling their age when they read that sentence.

Another key difference fans noted is that the selling point has shifted from transfer student Cady Heron to Regina, whose face (as portrayed by Rapp) takes up the first poster for the film. 

To be fair, Regina is not only a more iconic character, but one with much more star power behind her: Just as Lindsay Lohan as Cady was the biggest name in the original Mean Girls, Rapp as Regina is carrying this movie’s promotion on her shoulders.

She was so excited to promote the film, in fact, that she did so before the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike had officially ended. Whoops.

All these bizarre elements might turn off most viewers, but for the camp-obsessed queer community? It’s a recipe for a hit.

Mean Girls hits theaters on January 12, 2024.

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