Clueless

Review Haiku

The nineties were rad

Because the fashion was bad

Clueless, as it were

Rating: 3.5/5

High school and romance

What is it about high school romance movies? I’ve watched three in my life: Mean Girls, Easy A, and now Clueless. The common identifying factor, other than their general genre, is that they are all good movies. Look at these posters:

This has got to be the most obvious case of judging a book by its cover in the history of things that aren’t actually books. I look at the Mean Girls poster and I immediately think that the movie isn’t for me; in reality, it was a very good movie that made me laugh a lot and revealed very early on why it’s such a cultural staple among people my age. The Easy A poster looks a little more like one I’d see – mostly because Emma Stone is the shit and because the green background makes it seem less directed toward tween girls – but it still looks like a crappy teen romance. The Clueless poster sins the most out of all: it has three high school girls gracing nearly the entire length of the poster, complete with a kitschy nameplate and a repulsive tagline reading “Sex. Clothes. Popularity. Is there a problem here?” in a Curlz MT-esque font that would make any self-respecting person back away immediately.

THESE ARE ALL VERY GOOD MOVIES. Does this mean every time I see a poster of this type I should check it out?

NO

Satire

There is a reason, of course, why these movies are good – they have very smart people directing them, and talented actresses who know how to play the tongue-in-cheek role brilliantly. Satire is one of the highest forms of comedy and a movie like Clueless is dripping with it. The movie skewers Beverly Hill overindulgence, pokes fun at the newly developed lexicon of Generation Y (like, what-EVER), and mocks everything about being “cool” in school. The themes and characters make up for a restlessly uneven story, which sees Cher (Alicia Silverstone) jump between priggish and likable from start to finish. But I digress. The script had flaws, but the movie was still very enjoyable.

Cher and her friend Dionne (Stacy Dash), brilliantly named after “great singers of the past that now do infomercials,” want nothing more than to go shopping and find the newest, trendiest clothes. Cher, though, has this admirable desire to help other people. Methods be damned, she will help Tai (Brittany Murphy) become the coolest girl in school! Even if it means stomping all over Travis the pothead (this is where her goals became a little bit confusing), trying to force Elton to love her, and many other nefarious schemes. Ultimately, Cher becomes a very charming presence, but it’s kind of hard to tell at first. Maybe that’s just how we all were in high school.

Again, this whole plot plays off of the idea that high school drama is laughable. Cher’s character is so preppy rich white girl she couldn’t adhere any more to the stereotype if she tried. The high school is stereotypically divided into popular kids, stoner kids, smart kids, and preppy kids, and it’s funny as hell.

Scripting

Like the two movies I mentioned above, Clueless has a script that defies everything you’d expect by just glancing at the movie poster. Once again, I watched a high school romance with clever lines and funny dialogue. These movies are legitimately funny, guys.

Mel: Where are you?

Cher: I’m just having a snack at my girlfriend’s. [Helicopter flies by]

Mel: Where, in Kuwait?

Cher: Is that in the valley?


Cher: Do you prefer “fashion victim” or “ensembly challenged”?


Josh: You look like Pippi Longstocking.

Cher: Well you look like Forrest Gump. Who’s Pippi Longstocking?

Josh: Someone Mel Gibson never played.


Christian: Do you like Billie Holiday?

Cher: I love him!


Cher: Daddy, this is my friend Tai.

Mel: [shouts] Get out of my chair! (out of context, it may not seem funny, but in the movie it made me laugh the hardest)


Cher: Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.


Cher: Christian had a thing for Tony Curtis so he brought over “Some Like it Hot” and “Sporadicus”. – This was probably my favorite quote in the movie. It plays off of an earlier scene where Cher tries to introduce the word “sporadically” into Tai’s lexicon.


Final Thoughts

Paul Rudd is a time demon: This is not up for debate. It’s been talked about in the media for a while now. Paul Rudd is some kind of supernatural being. On the left is Paul Rudd in Clueless, which came out in 1995. On the right is Paul Rudd at the Ant Man premiere, which occurred out literally 20 years later in 2015. Whatever sorcerer he pays, I want in.

 

Sure, a few wrinkles here and there but come ON…this isn’t fair.

A list of the most 90’s things this movie had to offer:

  • Pagers
  • The Cranberries
  • Tapes
  • Ridiculous clothing with over-the-top designs and colors (see primary photo)

Along with the following words/phrases that really no longer exist:

  • “As if!”
  • “I’m Audi.”
  • “Way harsh, Tai.”
  • “What-EVER!” in the most spoiled rich girl voice you can imagine
  • Cake boy (someone who is gay)
  • Jeepin’ (apparently slang for banging in a car?)
  • Surf the crimson wave (not sure if this is a 90s thing but definitely one of the more interesting ways to describe menstruation)

Conclusion

This was a strong entry in the RomCom Challenge. It made me feel nostalgic for the 90s, and made me laugh more than most of the movies I’ve watched over the last month. And, as I expected, I can easily see why it’s so popular among millennials. Clueless is the most 90s movie I’ve ever watched and it obviously had a large impact on pop culture.

This movie was so fetch, guys.

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