Clueless (1995)

clueless-poster
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun high school comedy, relatively smart

Dated

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Clueless

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy/Romance

Release Date(s):  July 19, 1995

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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We’re looking totally fab!

Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is a normal girl…who just happens to live in a Beverly Hills Mansion, has a new Jeep to learn to drive, and spends most of her day maxing out her credit card at the mall.  Cher discovered her gift however.  Fixing up her teachers (Wallace Shaw and Twink Caplan), Cher and her friend Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash) love a project.  When they decide to help a transfer student named Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy), they might help Tai or create a monster.  As Cher tries to “help” she’s slowly discovering that she’s helpless herself and that her life needs new direction.

Directed by Amy Heckerling, Clueless is a modernization of the 1815 novel Emma by Jane Austen.  The movie was well received by critics and fans and is now often listed as one of the best high school comedies.  The movie was also spun off into a TV series from 1996 to 1999 and a series of books.

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Dang, the guys wear a lot of flannel in this movie…

I can recognize that Clueless is just a goofy teen romantic comedy, but there is something nice about it.  For me, the movie was out when I was the same age as the characters (though Indiana isn’t quite Beverly Hills…nor were any of the kids at our school like Cher and her friends).  The movie was one of those movies however that everyone was quoting and saying…Cher’s lingo was a modern version of Valley Girl (though she probably would off herself if she was believed to be a Valley girl).

The story is rather strong.  Watching it now over fifteen years later, I had forgotten that it often dipped into completely surreal with music and intentionally over-the-top acting.  The movie does better when it doesn’t dip too deep into these gimmicks (like Breckin Meyer’s “suicide” attempt…or a lot of his stuff).  In general, however, the movie has a nice flow.

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We’re the kids of America!

The movie can basically claim it success from the cast.  The movie really shot Alicia Silverstone to fame as the shallow, yet likeable Cher and gave more attention to Stacy Dash (who was already in her mid-20s when she played Dionne).  Brittany Murphy was really introduced by this film, but didn’t really start to branch off on her own until Girl, Interrupted in 1999.  Paul Rudd, who like Stacey Dash had been around for a while, started getting appearances after this film.  Jeremy Sisto, Donald Faison, and Breckin Meyer all also went on to various levels of success, and the adult supporting cast of Julie Brown, Dan Hedaya, and Wallace Shawn all brought some veteran skill to the movie.

Clueless still remains a fun movie, but now it is a flashback movie and feels quite dated.  Pagers, moderately large cell phones, and VHS tapes show the movie’s age and could hinder younger viewers.  Team this movie with something like Fast Times at Ridgemont High to see how teen have evolved and changed over the decades…or not changed at all.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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