Clueless (1995 Film)
About the Film
A US West Coast teen lifestyle parody centered around Cher, a popular high school girl who spends her days playing match-maker, helping her friends with fashion choices, and looking for a boyfriend.
Clueless is the classic modern adaptation of Emma, where Austen’s incompetent matchmaker takes the form of a stereotypical Valley girl named Cher. She likes clothes, popularity, and driving her Jeep really badly.
I like how they’ve updated the characters. Mr. Knightley is now an idealistic college student and ex-step-brother. Harriet is now a new student that Cher takes under her wing. And Robert Martin, Harriet’s unsuitable suitor, is now unsuitable because he’s a skateboarding junkie. My favorite update might just be Cher herself. She’s determined to follow in the steps of her lawyer father, including talking her teachers into improving her grades.
The movie also follows the plot of Emma more closely than you’d think. Emma painting Harriet turns into Cher taking a picture of Tai — and Elton asks for a copy. Cher thinks she’s interested in unavailable Christian (aka Frank Churchill), who rescues Tai from some mall punks (aka gypsies). It’s fun trying to match up different points to their novel counterparts, so I won’t spoil the rest.
Honestly, I struggled to find something I didn’t like. My one (definitely minor) nit is that they got rid of the Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax romance. Actually, Jane seems to be missing from the movie entirely. I’m guessing it was a time thing.
Overall, Clueless flawlessly earns five stars for its wit, humor, and faithful(-ish) adaptation.