Thursday, April 28, 2016

894. Clueless

Clueless
1995
Director by Amy Heckerling









As my book blog readers may know, I am a huge Jane Austen fan.  I don't think I have seen a bad adaptation of her work yet.  I guess when the source material is so impressive, it is hard to fuck it up.  So one of my favorite movies based on one of my favorite novels.  Prepare for a rave.

Cher Horowitz and her best friend Dionne are the most popular girls at their Beverly Hills high school. While Dionne dates fellow student Murray, Cher insists that high school boys aren't worth her time (fair point).  Cher is superficial but kind hearted and wants to use her popularity for good (or, as her stepbrother Josh claims, to promote her own self interest).  She decides to take a new student, Tai, under her wing, because, as Cher says, Tai is totally clueless.

I wonder if I would have enjoyed this movie half as much if I hadn't read Emma (I wondered the same thing in my Jurassic Park post; this might be the first time those two movies have been compared to each other).  I got a thrill every time I noticed a parallel.  I particularly liked the Elton/Tai storyline, as it was modernized in such a clever way.  I also liked what they did with the Frank Churchill character.  I suspected he was gay in the novel; he seemed to care a little bit too much about his haircut.

If you haven't read Emma, I still think it is a fun film (but seriously, if you haven't, get it together).  It's absolutely hilarious; pretty much every line Wallace Shawn delivers has me laughing.  It's also brilliant in how it mocks the shallow, materialistic lives of 90s teens while simultaneously portraying them in an endearing light.

I could go on and on, but I will end it here by saying it is my favorite teen movie.  It's also directed by a woman, which is always a pleasant surprise.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Alicia Silverstone did not know the correct pronunciation of "Haitians" but Heckerling left it in, as she felt it fit Cher's character.

Paul Rudd auditioned for the role of Murray, as he assumed Murray was a white teenager trying to pass for a rapper.