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Easy to like
FlickJunkie-211 February 2001
Director Amy Heckerling knows a thing or two about high school flicks, having directed the highly successful `Fast Times at Ridgemont High'. Heckerling put her talents to work thirteen years later for the next generation of high schoolers, writing and directing this hilarious satire of life at Beverly Hills H.S. Heckerling takes a different approach from `Fast Times', which found its comedy in the absurdity of reality, depicting situations into which teenagers really get themselves. Here Heckerling's comedy mostly comes from mocking the superficiality of the high school `in-crowd'. While this is not the first time this has been done, few have ever done it with such blistering wit. This film became the standard for a spate of 1990's high school flicks set on the west coast that borrowed many of its elements.

The story focuses on Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), who is the most popular girl at Beverly Hills H.S. Cher seems to be a superficial airhead, but this belies her conniving and manipulative skills at getting what she wants. Superficial yes, airhead no! In a plot derived in part from Jane Austen's `Emma', Cher works behind the scenes to arrange love matches between various students. She even orchestrates a relationship between two teachers to improve their moods so they don't grade so harshly. Like Emma, she is a master of love for everyone but herself.

Heckerling does a fantastic job of presenting what seems on the surface to be a cotton candy story with lightweight characters, but really runs much deeper revealing subtle truths about human nature. Her direction of the fledgling cast is superb, milking every ounce of comedy out of each scene.

Silverstone sparkles in the role, which is probably not far from a reality with which she is very familiar. She actually attended Beverly Hills H.S. with co-star Breckin Meyer, although she didn't graduate due to career commitments (she received a G.E.D.). This film catapulted her to teen prominence with two MTV movie awards and an American Comedy Award as funniest actress in a leading role. She plays Cher with both arrogance and vulnerability, and her comic timing is impeccable. She also has a knack for physical comedy, with a broad range of contorted facial expressions and amusing use of body language. The rest of the teen cast is also great, especially Brittany Murphy as Tai and Breckin Meyer as Travis. Dan Hedaya is also priceless as Cher's work obsessed attorney father.

This film is easy to like. It is a light and funny spoof, but it still has nuance. I rated it an 8/10. For those who enjoy high school comedies, this is required viewing.
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Clueless: An near-perfectly updated classic
Flagrant-Baronessa17 August 2006
"Isn't my house classic? The columns date all the way back to 1972."

When romantic high-school comedy Clueless (1995) was released, it was immediately vaulted into cult-status and firmly stapled as one of the most original teen-flicks of the 1990s. 'Original' is perhaps a term wrongly applied since it is based on the queen of romance Jane Austen's Emma (1815) . But what Clueless did was update the classic story by coating it with high school drama, teenage girls and shopping and sprinkle it with heavy doses of humour.

Emma is no longer Emma; she is Cher (Alicia Silverstone), a spoiled rich girl walking around in her Beverly Hills mansion in a bubble of stereotypes and teen-clichés -- but with a great big heart. So big-hearted, in fact, that she takes on the lost goofy new girl in her school to find her love and popularity, knowing full-well that it could destroy her own reputation. Clueless thus sees Cher and her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash) on a mission to do good. Real good.

All the detours this mission entail are captured brilliantly in the film, taking the form of love-interests, parties, shopping and misunderstandings. From Cher's grumpy lawyer-father (an hilarious Dan Hedaya) and her nerdy step-brother (a likable Paul Rudd) to her eccentric group of friends at school, Clueless is a superb ride of teenage comedy camp. Only just over 10 years old, it is still extremely dated today. But no matter, because the 90s clichés like skateboarding, Marky Mark and the catch-phrase "As if" just make it so much more contemporary and fun to watch.

What elevates Clueless (1995) above generic high school comedy is its use of stereotypes. In most films they are unintentionally there to create a subconscious effect, but in Clueless they are made fun of to a much higher degree -- they are overblown and glorious. It brutally satirizes rich kids and their 'problems' and juxtaposes them with a classic, heart-felt love-story. The kind that only Jane Austen can write.

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An Excellent Modern Teen Adaptation Of Austen's 'Emma'
Chrysanthepop11 August 2008
Just the other day I watched Heckerling's wonderful romantic comedy satire 'I Could Never Be Your Woman' and I thought I'd revisit 'Clueless'. The last time I saw it was 10 years ago and today I enjoyed it just as much. Heckerling's adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Emma' may appear like a fluffy teen flick on the surface but there is a lot more to it. It works on multiple levels and 'Clueless', in a way, is a social commentary as it reflects a reality that still exists in today's society. First of all, the teen life is very realistically portrayed albeit with a sarcastic tone (such as the striving for high grades, obsession with image and partying). It somewhat reminds me of 'Heathers' (another excellent teen satire). While 'Heathers' is a much darker film that looks at teens in the 1980s, 'Clueless' looks at the adolescents of the 90s. Moreover, Heckerling brilliantly uses different kid of comedies through one-liner and dialogue, situational, and slap stick.

Then the class distinction too is cleverly demonstrated through the eyes of Cher. The characters too work on multiple levels. Cher appears to be a popular stuckup bimbo type lass but once Hecklerling allows us to dig a little deeper, we see that she is unintentionally manipulative and knows how to use her strength (her power of persuasion). Yet, she is good at heart and even though her initial intentions of getting the two teacher together was to get an A grade, she's happy with the outcome of her matchmaking and the acts that follow are with more sincere purpose. Tai too appears to be the dumb new girl but she is far more experienced than Cher and when opportunity strikes she makes a place for herself in 'society' (i.e, highschool).

Alicia Silverstone plays the part as though it was made for her. She has the right looks, age, excellent dialogue delivery and is a total natural in performing. 'Clueless' was the film that made her an overnight star and a very promising actress however, unfortunately, her following movies have been disastrous and the actress rapidly vanished into oblivion. She is supported by an equally great cast that includes a goofy Breckin Meyer, a weirdly fashioned but still gorgeous Stacy Dash, a naive Brittany Murphy, a laidback Paul Rudd, a hilarious Donald Faison, a bitchy Elisa Donovan and a fire breathing Dan Hedaya.

For me 'Clueless' is among the top teen films along with movies like 'Heathers'. Those who childishly dismiss it as a fluffy chick-flick don't know what they missed. I was watching '10 Things I Hate About You' which is an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'The Taming Of Thew Shrew' and while that film failed to engage me for the most parts, 'Clueless' succeeds in all departments because it's much more than just another teen flick. It's a highly entertaining satire and it's a nuanced teen comedy with a subtle social comment.
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A refreshing change from the John Hughes/"Breakfast Club" generation
moonspinner5523 December 2001
Silky-smooth, vanilla-coated pleasure about matchmaking in modern-day high school. Far from the insufferable smugness of all those '80s teen-flicks, "Clueless" is bright--in both senses of the word--clever, funny, fanciful and yet grounded in reality (a rich one). Alicia Silverstone is adorable, but the supporting cast is affable and seemingly carefully-picked (they all get their share of funny lines, particularly Dan Hedaya superb as Silverstone's father). Seems more inspired by Jane Austen's "Emma" than based upon it, with a few mean-spirited lines but plenty of lightly innocent laugh-getters. **1/2 from ****
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Cluey in spite of its cluelessness
Spleen22 January 2001
"Let's set 'Emma' in a modern high school!" Does this sound the obvious kind of movie gimmick that everyone uses nowadays? Perhaps, but it's an inspired idea all the same. Jane Austen's characters, and her readers, and the society in which her novels are set, like Jane Austen herself, are HEAVILY conscious of class and social standing. No atmosphere quite so snobbish exists in the modern world. EXCEPT, that is, in the corridors and courtyards of the right kind of high school. And where else in the modern world would you find so many people who seem to spend all their time calling on one another?

I was reminded of how well Heckerling moulded "Emma" to fit a modern setting when I saw the idiotic 1998 version of "Great Expectations", adapted by someone who somehow failed to notice how important all the stuff about class and snobbishness was. It's clear that Heckerling understood her source. She isn't afraid to make changes - even radical changes, if the modern setting requires as much - and no character exists MERELY because they have an analogue in Austen's novel. (The most crucial thing is that the Emma-equivalent be sufficiently charming; and so she is.) The result is a film which is winning and satisfying, whether or not you know anything about the source material.
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Clever spin on Austen's story with good satire and performances
MovieAddict201631 August 2005
Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is a popular ditz at her local high school in Beverly Hills. She's a spoiled, pampered little princess with all the right social connections and endless wealth. However she has yet to find a man in her life - all the Baldwins (as she and her clique of friends call guys they like) have been taken.

When Cher receives a foreign exchange student, she takes her under her wing and decides to try and find her a boyfriend - ironically without having her own yet. Predictability ensues.

I read "Emma" in early high school as I'm sure most kids did, and the movie puts a clever spin on the tale. Alicia Silverstone is surprisingly good in her role, perfectly playing a blond bombshell without a brain but a good heart - only Reese Witherspoon has done such a good job recently at portraying the west coast bimbos. (No offense to the west coast bimbos out there.) The movie's director, Amy Heckerling, has always been rather reliable on the whole and her direction is solid here - she could have turned "Clueless" into a crude, unfunny sex comedy with little wit or brains, but instead she takes a rather dubious idea for a film and transforms it into a well-made, well-acted, funny, inspired, lively, witty satire.

Much better than expected.
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Joyous and sparkling teen comedy
Catscanfly8 May 2005
This movie is way above so many of the others of its' kind. It's consumately likable, funny, sweet and sharp- the script is a killer, and the acting is fun and enjoyable.

Part of the success of the film is due to the fact that it appeals to several different audiences, and on multiple levels.

I first watched this movie with my mom, who loved the link it has to Jane Austen's Emma- all the main characters and the plot are direct modern equivalents to the novel. For instance, the famous passage in Emma inwhich Harriet burns all her "mementos" of Mr. Elton becomes the scene where Tai does so infront of Cher's gasfire. From this perspective alone, the movie is so fun and sharp to watch- even if your forte isn't usually American Teen High School comedy!

But this movie works on a really dumbed down scale too- let's face it, not everyone is big on English literature. The movie has an awesome soundtrack, Paul Rudd is unbelievably cute as "Mr Knightly" or rather Josh- and my boyfriend leads me to believe that the same is true of Alicia Silverstone- who still sparkles 10 years later as a mid-nineties teen queen with good intentions, Cher. Her performance here is impossible not to warm too, unless you have some sort of grudge against Valley girls, inwhich case you might not like it so much. Seriously though, this film is a must see for anyone who likes some real quality comedy- I'm so fond of this film personally that I would suspect basically everyone would enjoy it.
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My brief review of the film
sol-29 March 2005
A generally quite well made, enjoyably stylish and interesting matchmaking tale aimed at teen audiences, the film manages to incorporate a number of very clever parallels to Jane Austen's matchmaking novel 'Emma' while also providing a good satire on high school life. The idea is somewhat simplistic, the plot is sort of predictable, and the young performers all look too old for their teenage characters, but these are all minor vices against this strong entry for the teen flicks genre, with a surprisingly very realistic and actually almost heartfelt performance by Alica Silverstone to top it all off.
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A Classic
pinokiyo8 August 2020
Reading the recent reviews, I can't believe dumb kids these days who can't appreciate this classic film... clearly, they have no taste in movies, fashion sense, or any sense at all.

This is a cult classic. I'm a guy and I'm not ashamed to admit I love this movie and one of my favorite movies. Easily one of the best "teen" movies ever made. It is 90's GOLD.

Alicia Silverstone was PERFECT for this movie. You cannot cast anyone better for the part. She is gorgeous, likable, and just plain out gorgeous. Everyone wanted to be like her.... Barbie/Girl Next Door

The story is interesting, pacing is great, music is great, cast (with many stars that later ended up being big as well).

Yes, the ending is a bit creepy but that fits perfectly that she is clueless. Nevertheless, it's a feel good movie.

Don't forget to check out the music video "Iggy Azalea feat. Charlie XCX - Fancy" that pays major homage to this movie; it's sooo well done.
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Clueless review Warning: Spoilers
: Catching up with the recent Emma. made me even more resolute in rectifying a huge void in my pop cultural catalogue and finally getting round to watching Amy Heckerling's Clueless. Based loosely on Jane Austen's novel 'Emma', it came at the beginning of that run where the high school movie was coming back in fashion with the likes of American Pie, and where it was co-opting classic literary narratives to freshen the brew - 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' for Get Over It, 'Pygmalion' for She's All That, 'Twelfth Night' for She's the Man, and 'The Taming of the Shrew' for 10 Things I Hate About You.

What registers about Clueless is how absolutely assured it is of its own sublime sense of satire. It has this delightful level of disconnect like a pantomime, and if it wasn't live action it could almost pass for a literal cartoon - it is that flamboyant, wacky and colourful. It's almost like some pop art masterwork - from the '60s-style title sequence, to the crazy choreographing of the classroom scenes and the pool party, to the supremely sharp dialogue and Alicia Silverstone's droll voiceover.

And talking about Silverstone, my only (slightly underwhelming) reference points to date have been her limp cameo in Batman and Robin and in the long-forgotten time-travel comedy, Blast from the Past. The air of vapidity about her and the slowness of her drawl is so right for the Beverly Hills princess with just enough self-awareness to redeem her from totally fulfilling the airhead stereotype. She is adorable here and actually quite touching; just the like the film itself.
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This is a very well done picture that is an absolutely must see
kevin_robbins9 May 2022
Clueless (1995) is a movie my daughter and I recently watched on HBOMAX. The storyline for this picture surrounds Cher, a upscale high school student with good grades, looks and lots of money. As she looks for love she's also happy playing match maker for her friends and a particular new student. As everyone starts finding love she finds herself starting to get jealous.

This movie is directed by Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and stars Alicia Silverstone (Batman & Robin), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Stacey Dash (Moving), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn) and Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride).

The writing for this picture is excellent with fantastic characters, dialogue and circumstances. The cast is perfectly selected and Silverstone delivers her character to perfection. The soundtrack is also good as is the comedic content. The terminology is good and the teachers matchmaking, driving scenes and couples conversations all made me crack up.

Overall this is a very well done picture that is an absolutely must see. I would score this a 9/10 and strongly recommend it.
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"We might get Marky Mark to plant a celebrity tree."
utgard1416 August 2014
A fun teen comedy from Amy Heckerling, the director of the woefully overrated Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the first two Look Who's Talking movies. Clueless is the best thing she's ever done, in my opinion. It put Alicia Silverstone on the map. Well, that and Aerosmith videos. Silverstone is pitch-perfect as Cher, the role of her career. It's impossible not to like her in this movie. It's also pretty much the best thing Stacey Dash and Breckin Meyer ever did. Not to mention the first big role for Paul Rudd. As most everyone knows, it's based on Jane Austen's "Emma." For a teen comedy, it's refreshingly smart. The story may not be all that but there's lots of good dialogue rather than a string of F-bombs or Stifler-like characters. One of the few memorable '90s comedies.
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Funny, charming and innocent
skhitles14 November 2000
This movie is another one of those feel good pictures you can't go wrong with. It's light and breezy like cruising the boulevard with the top down and it offers lots of laughs to boot.

Amy Heckerling has brought us another winner with a great supporting cast. A young teenage girl coming of age in of all places, Beverly Hills. The lead character, "Cher" played brilliantly by Alicia Silverstone, is a self centered high school girl in the beginning of the picture who's only interests include clothes, cars and credit cards. As the film progresses, she begins to mature and actually begins to care about other people, not to mention her environment. It's worth renting anytime. Just like "European Vacation" it doesn't matter how many times you see it, it still makes you laugh and that's worth it all.
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A pleasant surprise
Travis_Bickle0122 August 2005
I wasn't expecting much of this movie, until I started seeing it. It turned out to be quite entertaining. "Clueless" is about the shallow and rather stupid rich girl Cher Horowitz, who only cares about herself and how popular she is. But then she starts this kind of 'project', together with her best friend. One of the aspects of this project is about making a new silly girl of their school look as 'cool' as they are. This 'silly' girl is very well performed by Brittany Murphy. I hardly recognized her!

The lead role is for Alicia Silverstone who gives an excellent performance as well. Furthermore there is another great performance Paul Rudd (who we also know as Phoebe's boyfriend in "Friends"). Also Dan Hedaya and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip) are funny.

Funny and very entertaining movie from the director of "Look Who's Talking (Too). Definitely worth watching!

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So Much Fun
atlasmb25 May 2020
Based on the novel "Emma", this is the story of a privileged teen who attends Beverly Hils High. Cher (Alicia Silverstone)---and her coterie of friends---have the nicest cars and clothes. And they unabashedly accept their economic advantages, making them instruments for lampooning the Beverly Hills way of life.

But Cher is also caring, introspective, and loyal. Like Elle in "Legally Blonde", she has a lifestyle that sports the trappings usually associated with a shallow character (plus she verbalizes in Valspeak), but she is a good person. And like a female version of Ferris Bueller, she has a superhero vibe, because she always seems to rise above the above the fray and to emerge unscathed from circumstances that would entangle others.

Cher is a creation of director Amy Heckerling, and her supercool persona drives the film. As a result, "Clueless" is, at times, funny, joyous, romantic, and clever. It is also aided by a strong cast, featuring Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Dan Hedaya, and my favorite character actor, Wallace Shawn. It also features a great soundtrack.

This is one of the best teen movies of all time. I will continue to rewatch this film even if I have to spend major ducats.
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A forgotten gem.
mrglenngrant28 April 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Watched this with Indy from the 1000 book and was sooooo pleasantly surprised.

I'd never seen it before...really!...and was all prepared to be underwhelmed but it was a cracker. It smashed the 6 laugh test and was brisk and biting and sweet ... and wonderfully 90's.

Lovely story...based (very loosely) on 'Emma', apparently. Paul Rudd wasn't the Paul Rudd we love today but you could see the charm there. And whatever happened to Alicia Silverstone!? My theory is Batman and Robin killed her career ... which is a true shame.

A highly recommended 83/100.
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Funny And Cute
donna-szostak18 July 2020
Cher is a high school virgin who nonetheless professes to all matters of love, relationship, fashion and even wades into her father's law practice. She was named after a former singer who now does infomercials.

That is where the story begins and it is a feast for the senses. There are genione funny moments, clever lines with all sorts of cultural references and the girls act all preppy an fashionable, and they are, but are not as well organized and in control as they appear.

I really like the fact that they know their fashion and styles and are well put together and I really like how they make fun of slobs and people who have no sense of trying to make an effort.

Watch this one.
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Fun satirical chick flick, loosely based on Emma.
TheLittleSongbird10 June 2009
I really enjoyed Clueless... I found it fun, charming and easy to like. It is loosely based on Emma, and while some of the book's issues are put across here, like social standing, the story was updated to make it appealing for teenagers, and it ticks almost all of the right boxes. A perfectly cast Alicia Silverstone positively sparkles in the title role of Cher, and she is further advantaged by a funny well-written script, a classic heart felt story, and very good performances from her co-stars, such as Brekin Meyer and Brittany Murphy. The direction by Amy Heckerling was also spirited. The film looks lovely, with very nice costumes and locations. My only two criticisms are that the film is a little long, and once or twice only when the story almost falls into predictability. Overall, a fun, engaging and well acted film, that I would definitely watch again. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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As If.
SnoopyStyle26 December 2015
Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is a Beverly Hills teen. Her father (Dan Hedaya) is a tough defense lawyer. Her stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) is coming to stay with them. Her best friend is Dionne (Stacey Dash) who keeps fighting with boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison). She loves to meddle. In a scheme to raise her grades, she puts two teachers together. Tai (Brittany Murphy) is a new student. Cher sees her as adorably clueless and makes her the next project. Tai likes slacker Travis (Breckin Meyer) but Cher disapproves. Cher tries to put Tai together with Elton (Jeremy Sisto).

Writer/director Amy Heckerling loosely based this on Jane Austen's Emma. It's loads of fun with a charming young cast. It is a clever light satire on the modern materialistic teen world. It's full of fun catch phrases and hilarity. The future star power is brilliant. Silverstone is perfect and Murphy is a shooting star. It rises above a simple teen movie.
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Classic 90's teen comedy
darkwizard40427 November 2018
I decided to give this movie a watch out of curiosity since I wanted to see how it feels to be a 90's teenager in Southern California. I was so amazed at how beautifully this film showcased the 90's high school life. The fashion, the environment, the teen language and the characters were perfect and accurate. I feel all good after watching this movie.

Alicia Silverstone looked very gorgeous in this movie. Her character was beautifully written and she was able to portray the character of the rich and carefree teenager very well. This movie will make you fall in love with her if you haven't already. Paul Rudd was awesome in his role. Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy were also amazing as the two best friends. Their respective comic timings were on point. Movies like this make me enjoy teen comedies. The 90's were such beautiful times when people actually spent more time outside interacting with each other rather than on gadgets.

Overall it's a beautiful movie and definitely one of my all time favourites. It's a nice take on Jane Austen's novel and I enjoyed every bit of it. It is one of those movies I can watch over and over again. It is a portal which will take you back to the 90's and make you forget about all the terrible things in your life for 1.5 hours. This movie makes me miss my high school days and because of that it will always have a special place in my heart! It's really sad that they don't make movies like this anymore.
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An iconic film of the 90s
cricketbat10 July 2018
Clueless is an iconic film of the 90s. This adaptation of Emma does a good job of bringing Jane Austen's ideas into the modern world. This movie is very well cast and each of the characters hold their own. It's is highly quotable and highly entertaining.
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greatest chick flick ever!
jenniinajjanette30 December 2018
Iconic teen movie <3 brittany murphy is amazing in that movie, and alicia silverstone is gorgeous!
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offers some clues about the future
lee_eisenberg10 November 2006
Teen comedies are quite common, but "Clueless" has going for itself the fact that it transposes Jane Austen's "Emma" to mid-'90s Beverly Hills and plays with stereotypes there. We see how air-head Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) may not have a clue about the rest of the world, but her heart is always in the right place - maybe a little too much. And of course, who can forget how the movie introduced to national dialogue phrases like "as if".

Overall, the movie functions as a sort of look at how the future would become. Maybe our society has gone too far in being like Cher. But anyway, it's just a great movie to watch. Also starring Dan Hedaya, Stacey Dash, and Brittany Murphy (happy birthday, Brittany!).

Spa-rat-acus...I bet that culturally devoid people probably would say that.
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Having finally watched the entirety of Clueless just now, I found it quite charming despite the now-dated references
tavm13 June 2013
Well, after nearly 20 years of only seeing certain scenes in this movie (I was working as an usher when this came out and snuck in some movie-watching time in between shows), I finally watched the whole thing with my mom just now on Netflix disc. In short, this was quite a funny movie about teens in the '90s with many of the now-dated references and cultural fashions not too much of a deterrent of a still-enjoyable story inspired by Jane Austen's novel Emma (though I can't believe those below-the-butt styles of today was actually quite the style then as well). Alicia Silverstone is both at her prettiest and charming in the lead role of Cher, the shallow teen thinking she's all that but also good at heart. Brittany Murphy is also great as Tai, the new girl who blossoms under Cher. Too bad her life was cut short a few years ago. And director Amy Heckerling, already an expert on depicting high school situations having previously helmed another classic called Fast Times at Ridgemont High, outdoes herself here as a writer as well with the material the cast is given. So on that note, Clueless comes highly recommended.
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