Director: Amy Heckerling
“The film works best as a sharply funny satire on twentieth-century teens, complete with its own language (good-looking men are ‘Baldwins’ – a nod to the handsome acting family led by Alec and Billy), blistering asides (‘searching for a boy in high school is like searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie”), and well-aimed jabs at contemporary L.A. culture (Cher points out that she doesn’t need to practice parking because everywhere she goes there is valet parking)” (Joanna Berry, 847, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)
While Clueless is supposedly based on Jane Austen’s Emma you would have to look hard to find any tangible evidence or link to said novel. Alicia Silverstone is so brilliantly shallow and materialistic. She has no idea that the guy she’s pushing Tai towards is actually hung up on her. The film is narrated by Silverstone as Cher keeping up a relentless stream of vapid comments throughout. Brittany Murphy is wonderfully kooky while still being pretty innocent as the alternative new-comer Tai. And while being one of her earliest film roles it hints towards the bright future she would go on to have in the industry. The whole cast is actually pretty good with people like Paul Rudd, Dan Hedaya, Breckin Meyer and Donald Faison (now forever known for his role as Turk in Scrubs) providing the ensemble to Silverstone, Murphy and Stacey Dash’s trio.
The film is so a product of the 1990s – the colours are extremely vibrant and the fashion … well what can I say? The outfits are completely outrageous and yet (sadly) people actually wore stuff like that! I defy any girl to even try to deny that she wouldn’t kill for Cher’s computer that selects her outfits. It’s pretty much the only aspect of the film I like (or will admit to liking anyway!) There is a definite guilty pleasure feel to this film – it’s the sort of film you put on after an extremely difficult day when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and slob out. I mean how can you take a film seriously when it has a line like ‘The correct term is hymen-ally challenged” in it?!