HOLLYWOOD—When I heard a new “Mean Girls” remake or reboot was coming to the screen I was excited, the 2004 flick written by Tina Fey and starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams was iconic. It was a movie that captured high school and cliques in a way that has never been seen before and became an instant cult classic. Fast-forward nearly 20 years later and you have a remake of sorts, with some faces from the past, I see you Tina Fey and Tim Meadows, and then new faces in Renee Rapp (who is an absolute standout) as Regina George.

This 2024 version felt like a copy and paste of the original with musical numbers, but the songs are not memorable and the dance sequences if you’re not a musical fanatic don’t do much for the movie. That is perhaps the thing that annoyed me the most about this flick; it was a musical and the musical elements don’t provide songs that you hum during the movie or after the movie ends. I think the filmmakers suspected the musical numbers would deliver a spark to new generations who are NOT aware of the classic.

There is no variation of the 2004 and 2024 version except for different faces. Plenty of the dialogue is the exact same, a literal copy and paste. You remember those classic lines, “You think you’re pretty,” as uttered by Regina George. Rapp is the standout, is she as electric as McAdams was in the role? No, but I noticed her and she caught my eye and she was a highlight of the movie. She portrays a villain so well she is the type of character that you constantly want on the screen. She brings not just the charisma of a fun character, but she manages to hold the group of women who are part of her clique together.

I did love seeing Busy Phillips portray her too cool, ditzy mom who tries to fit in with her daughter’s pals instead of focusing on being a mom. The problem is the characters just fall flat. I mean Tina Fey portrayed the same character, but to me I felt like I was watching Tina Fey. Same with Tim Meadows, if you’re going to reprise a character in a classic flick it helps to bring something new or fresh to the role to add another layer to the movie.

The characters are so dull I don’t even remember caring what Karen (Avantika) or Gretchen (Bebe Wood) did in the movie as members of the Plastics. They were simply pretty faces filling a role. Angourie Rice is solid as Cady Heron, but she doesn’t burst on the screen the way that Lindsay did back in 2004. I will admit it is not a spoiler that actress Lindsay Lohan makes a cameo in the movie in an iconic scene; it would be greater if the actual cameo was not spoiled by the public.

Fey is such a comical and clever writer, I just expected a wittier, funnier and bolder take on the classic, but it is simply a rinse and repeat of the original that was so much better. “Mean Girls” is proof that sometimes a classic needs to remain a classic for a reason because you cannot outdo the original.