I would have never been interested in Clueless were it not for the fact that it is a light adaptation of Emma. I probably would not have cared for it much either were it not for that.
Clueless feels a bit like Mean Girls, only set in the 1990s instead of the 2000s, though it focuses on popular girl Cher (Emma), who decides to befriend new girl Tai (Harriet), who she sees as a project.
First I’ll get my complaints out of the way. I know that this movie is just depicting teenage life, not necessarily condoning all aspects of it, but I really had a problem with the drug usage in this movie. There’s not a ton of it, and I know for most people it will seem overly sensitive of me to feel this way, but this sort of thing is exactly why I don’t read many YA contemporaries. I didn’t hang out with those kinds of people, and I don’t have an interest in reading about them/watching them on screen. I expected there might be some sex talk and language, especially within a crowd of popular kids, but I was surprised by the drugs. It’s something I would expect more from, well, the kids like Travis (Robert Martin), but even that bothered me. Anyhow, at least he was turning around in the end.
Also, stereotypical popular girl characters just annoy me in general, which is a reason why I don’t really like Mean Girls that much. I can appreciate the satirical writing, but I don’t connect with the characters. The same applies here with Clueless.
One last thing, does it bother anyone else that Josh (Knightley) is Cher’s ex-stepbrother? I’ve never had a stepbrother before, but that seems really awkward to be kissing yours a few years after your parents divorce, even if you were only related legally for a little while…
Though admittedly, Paul Rudd’s portrayal did win me over.
What I did appreciate was the journey Cher went on. Though she does start off pretty much the way you would expect based on stereotypes and cliches, she does grow through the film. As she learns to appreciate people for who they are and learns to think beyond herself, she really becomes a better person and friend, and I appreciated that. Her character arc and Josh’s character were really the main highlights of the film. And drawing the Emma comparisons, with some of the differences between the original and the film turning up a little surprising…
Clueless is also quotable and has some fun moments in it, but I definitely don’t have the same endearment for it as Emma Approved or other Emma adaptations. It’s still worth at least a watch though if you’re a fan of the original story and interested in the idea.
I hardly remember my thoughts on Clueless, so I think I should re-watch it. I did enjoy Mean Girls, so I’d probably appreciate this more. But it is a fun adaptation I think! I’m only halfway through Emma the book – I need to read faster so I can watch these adaptations! 🙂
Hope you’re enjoying Emma the book!
I think it is a fun, light watch. Don’t love it as much as Emma though, such a great book! Sadly I couldn’t get into Emma Approved though, much as I adore the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Oh no, sad you couldn’t get into Emma Approved! I didn’t think it started out as strongly, but they did a good job of tightening up the plot better than they did with LBD (like I’m pretty sure there’s a whole LBD episode about Lizzie’s dad’s trains…), which I appreciated,
I have a soft spot for the movie though I grew up watching the TV show that span off from it. I think it does a good job of transposing the character journey into a modern setting though if we’re talking 90s teen adaptations of classics my heart belongs to Ten Things I Hate About You.
Even though it seems like I should have seen all these 90s movies like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You, I didn’t! Maybe I was just a smidge too young, turning 13 in 1999. And I was a little sheltered. I might be interested in seeing 10 Things sometime…
This movie came out when I was a teenager, so I have a soft spot for it! I recognize the lingo, the clothes, the people remind me of the people I went to High School etc.
I do like them doing the “W” for whatever!
It not only bothered me that he used to be her step-brother but also that he seemed so much older than her. Though, I’ll admit Paul Rudd did not win me over.
In fact, I was never a fan of this whole cast, but then it came out and everyone was using all the lines and embedded itself in pop culture. There was kind of no getting away from it, whether I liked it or not 🙂
You’re right, he was a little old for her, considering she was in high school!
I like this movie, but only as an 90’s classic. I have a lot of gripes with it, and it’s pretty cheesy, but it’s still a fun movie. But if it wasn’t for my huge crush on Paul Rudd, I don’t think I would even like this movie much.