I am a firm believer that you cannot beat the original, whether that be original films, TV shows, or even songs. I think things are directed, produced and edited the way they are for a reason. No, Bohemian Rhapsody does not need a techno beat, please leave Freddie alone. Not to say that all repurposed songs are bad – I would be a fool to ignore the wonders of the ABBA remixes in Mamma Mia, (well, maybe bar SOS, sorry Pierce). When it comes to the triumph of film remakes though, there is a little more possibility.

Recently there has been a great influx of remakes in film. Classic films from the early 2000s in particular are being remade into modern films which showcase the world we live in. However, all of this modernisation makes me feel rather old. The fact that films I watched in my childhood are now deemed outdated is quite a hard pill to swallow.

One example of this that I recently went to see is, you guessed it, Mean Girls. I watched it knowing it would be a musical and unashamedly quite enjoyed it. The film has the same plot as the 2004 – yes 2004 – film, but with a new cast, wardrobe, and, not to forget, songs!

Unlike the Diary of a Wimpy Kid remake casting in the film The Long Haul (#NotMyRodrick), Mean Girls 2024 did a fairly decent job. It was refreshing to see somebody else other than Jacob Elordi, as lovely as he is, playing the love interest. Christopher Briney’s portrayal of Aaron Samuels grew on me throughout the film, and I personally found him and Cady to be quite a sweet couple towards the end. Reneé Rapp was obviously superb, and has proven to be equally superb in her own music career which has recently taken off.

The film did feature some cameos from familiar faces. Shout out to Tina Fey and Tim Meadows who play Ms. Norbury and Principal Duvall, who now have a rather wholesome marriage in the new movie. Lindsay Lohan also makes an unexpected cameo, which I may or may not have audibly gasped at when seeing. To be able to recognise faces added a sense of nostalgia which is almost always missed in film remakes.

Certain story lines were preserved too. However, some of them I had expected to have been changed in the modernisation of the classic. One of these is Cady’s revenge for Regina where she gives her Kälteen bars to make her gain weight. I thought the producers may have conjured up something other than weight gain to be the ultimate punishment for Regina’s behaviour. But alas, I suppose you cannot have it all. I think overall, the new version does a good job at preserving the humorous story line whilst making it more relatable to a contemporary audience. If anything it is definitely, 100%, far superior to Mean Girls 2

Given all of the above, I think this remake was a fun film (in my humble opinion), but the original still trumps the remake. The trailer of the new Mean Girls movie claims, in big pink writing, “This isn’t your mother’s Mean Girls” which is harsh – I’m only 21! This is the reason the film, at least in my eyes, will and could never beat the original.

The new Mean Girls is not the film my mum rented to watch on Friday Movie nights with one pound’s worth of sweets (wouldn’t get a Freddo with that now). Nor is it the film I watched at my friend’s sleepover for their 12th birthday – yeah, it’s PG13, so sue me! It’s not the film which tried its best to make “fetch” happen or coined the “burn book”, but an imitation of what has come before. It is also not the film where a guy gets hit in the face with a stereo – thank goodness for the iPod!

When it comes down to it, no matter how well they are directed, how cool the actors are, or how catchy the songs are, film remakes will never hold the same nostalgia that the original films do. The actors in the original films will always be how I picture the characters to actually look. It is like reading a book, then watching a TV adaptation and seeing the characters portrayed completely wrong. It is simply jarring.

I am admittedly quite sentimental for remakes as they make me reminisce about the good old days, but maybe it is better to let remakes remind us of our childhood than to solely compare them to their originals. Perhaps this is how my children will feel about the 2024 version of Mean Girls. They will shudder at the 2054 remake which will include hoverboards and time travel. But that is a discussion for another time.