Jane Austen’s Emma is reimagined as a fashion frenzied Beverly Hills high schooler named Cher, an ultra-rich, socially successful matchmaker looking for love in all the wrong places, until she finally realizes that her disapproving ex-stepbrother was right all along about how misguided she was…
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Bubblegum with grit. A genuinely sweet film that makes no great allusions to anything (apart from the Emma pastiche) and in doing so provides as gently sly a critique on vacuity, conformity and materialism as you're likely to find this side of Douglas Sirk. The gently skewered targets have only intensified in their horrors with the passing years. Jane Austen in Hollywood indeed.
At a recent screening of "Clueless," I watched as Cher's famous line "And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty!" brought the audience to enthusiastic cheers. As seemingly light and inconsequential as the film may seem, the moment was incredibly cathartic in the wake of the recent Travel Ban. Twenty years later, "Clueless" feels twice as smart and funny.
An essential read for those who love Clueless: it beautifully takes as its center the "make-over" theme that permeates the film from the Austen connection to L.A. as the center of the glamour (i.e. make-over) industry: here is Lesley Stern's lovely appreciation: http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-August-1997/stern.html
The cream of the crop for both "chick flicks" and high school adaptations of classics, plus a totally legit, witty good time—even if Pauly Shore references have dated and the film has now picked up a subtext of a culture careening towards economic collapse.
Sweet, colourful pop escapism that gently pokes fun at shallow valley girls. Refreshingly clever and unpretentious compared to the obnoxious John Hughes movies that came years before and the grating teen comedies its success spawned.