4K UHD Review: Mean Girls | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024  

Mean Girls [4K UHD]

Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment

Apr 25, 2024 Web Exclusive Photography by Paramount Home Entertainment Bookmark and Share

What more is there to say about Mean Girls (2004), a film that has been (and will likely forever be) one of the most defining comedies of the 21st century, if not the most defining comedy? After all, it’s a film whose popularity has lasted generations, whose dialogues and catchphrases have successfully integrated into modern vernacular. Attempts to replicate the film’s magic–notably, the Mean Girls musical and its recent film adaptation–have been commercially successful, even if extremely flawed. In a sense, it’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the film was first released in cinemas because it still feels so fresh, so relevant and (not to be that person) so fetch.

In case you haven’t seen it, Mean Girls follows Cady (Lindsay Lohan), a homeschooled teenager forced to attend school for the first time when her family moves back to the United States from Africa. Navigating the chaotic, cliquey and unforgiving world of high school, she quickly befriends two social outsiders, Janice and Damien (Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese). Things quickly change when thePlastics’–the school’s most popular, three-member clique led by the all-powerful Regina (Rachel McAdams)–take notice of Cady, inviting her to join their friend group. After scheming with Janice and Damien, Cady agrees to spy on and eventually sabotage the group. As she ventures deeper into the clique, though, her personality quickly becomes more similar to those of the group she’s trying to undermine.

20 years later, the comedy of Mean Girls still has not lost its flair. Tina Fey’s script is light and kinetic, moving from joke to joke at a nearly disorienting speed, and continues to hold up. Her ability to oscillate between different comedic styles—using not only dialogue to relay the film’s humor, but also physical gags and even light stunt work—adds much-needed depth to the story, often capturing and profiting off how absurd each situation in the plot is. Some of the jokes haven’t aged well. Based on how the film’s musical renditions (also written by Fey) change the composition of several of the film’s most well-known jokes, it’s clear that Fey knows that. But, the original film’s energy, narrative momentum and quick pacing make each revisit feel fulfilling and rewarding.

It’s funny Mean Girls has become such a representative figure of 21st-century comedy because, in many aspects, it belongs exclusively to the 2000s. It’s wild to think that, because American culture has changed in the two decades since its release, certain elements of the film—going shopping at the mall as a group outing, conference calling and teachers using overhead projectors, to name a few—have essentially become outdated. And, because of how the comedy film has been sidelined in popular cinema culture (moving from a cinematic, in-theater experience to a streaming service exclusivity), it almost feels odd to see a comedy of this scale—filled with developed humor, an incredible ensemble and an actual story at its helm—remembering that this used to be the standard for the genre.

Mean Girls first-ever release on 4K UHD Blu-ray is extremely welcome, marking the perfect occasion to discover or rediscover the endlessly watchable film. Along with a pristine version of the film, the new edition is stacked with various extras. Among the best: a commentary that includes Mark Waters (the film’s director), Fey and Lorne Michaels, a giant number of deleted scenes, a blooper reel and a featurette of Fey and the cast of the 2024 musical remake (which includes Renée Rapp and Avantika) discussing the original film.



Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.