Plot – Shallow, rich, and socially successful Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school’s pecking scale. Seeing herself as a matchmaker, Cher first coaxes two teachers into dating each other – Clueless.
Director – Amy Heckerling
Release – 1995
Loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 Emma, Amy Heckerling’s Clueless does two unexpected things for a teen rom-com, firstly to humanise a group of usually unlikeable stereotypical ‘California rich kids’ to a point where you not only find them likeable but also start to sympathise with their plights. This is especially true of the lead character Cher (Silverstone), who these days would be portrayed as vapid and unlikeable queen bitch in the vein of Mean Girls Regina George or Cruel Intentions Kathryn Merteuil, yet here, she is shown to be a complex figure than one initially assumes, sure she has moments where she’s shown to be a diva with daddy’s credit card, but also a loving and likeable character who always see the best in people and goes above and beyond for her friends and family.
Heckerling, who both wrote and directed the movie, keeps the story moving at a pace that keeps the audience interested in the plot despite the lack of antagonists or any real risks other than not finding love or wearing the wrong colour clothes, which when thinking back to to my own experiences in school, is a lot more realistic than many of the other school-based rom-coms of the era, where everyone has to have a quirk, adversary and outlandish goal that makes them special.
The movie also benefits from an abundance of witty dialogue that leads to more than one laugh out loud moment that makes the movie infinitely rewatchable and unlike most 90’s teen flicks, Clueless has aged like a fine wine and boasting a surprisingly diverse cast and featuring strong LGBT characters.
Overall, Clueless is a nice take on Jane Austen’s novel and remains one of the few romantic comedies that I can watch repeatedly without growing tired of. It’s the kinda film that transports you back to the heart of the ’90s and for 1.5 hours it’s pure escapism that will wash away any of life’s troubles.