Clueless: Look who’s clueless now (hint: it’s Brandon)

Intro by Maria

The 1995 Amy Heckerling feature film named Clueless is a retelling of Jane Austen’s novel Emma. If you’re like Brandon and me—bad English majors—or if you are just a “regular” person, you probably haven’t read that novel, so that means hearing that the movie Clueless is basically a retelling of it does absolutely nothing for you. Luckily you have me to give you a brief summary.

Clueless takes place in Beverly Hills, California, and it stars Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz—a rich, seemingly snotty teenager whose penchant for meddling in the lives of others catches up with her as she realizes perhaps she should focus on her own life. On the surface, Cher is shallow and selfish, but as the witty dialogue in the movie drives character development deeper, we realize she’s not that at all. This is much like how Brandon prematurely judged this film before watching it, if you listened to the last episode. Brandon was literally clueless before watching Clueless.

To be honest, I think it’s this movie’s snappy dialogue that keeps me coming back. And it’s the dialogue, and the way people talk, that characterizes them. Which means this movie is just oozing with witty comebacks, one-liners, and zippy characters that are intelligent and funny. It’s this movie’s strength.

Now I know what you’re saying: “As if, Maria! This movie blows just as much as the game ‘Suck and Blow!’” But trust me, if you haven’t seen the movie, just go see it. Maybe it will leave you quoting it for years to come. Well, that’s what it did for me and my friends, so I have to assume that we are all the same and will react in the very same way.

Now let’s get started—I don’t want any of you to spend one second longer being clueless about what’s in store for our next episode of Peculiar Picture Show.

Maria’s Top 3 Clueless Quotes


Amber: Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn’t want me doing any activity balls fly
at my nose.

Dionne: Well, there goes your social life.


Josh: We might get Marky Mark to plant a celebrity tree.

Cher: Oh, how fabulous—getting Marky Marky to take time out of his busy pants-dropping schedule to plant trees. Josh, why don’t you just hire a gardener?


Josh: Be seeing you.

Tai: Yeah, I hope not sporadically.


M: The dialogue in this film and the cadence of the dialogue really work to help build these really deep characters that you might think are shallow at first or just one dimensional, but I think are really good and strong characters.

M: Sometimes I feel like that’s what I want my entire life to be—just a string of witty comebacks. And that’s almost what this movie is, and that’s what I strive for my life to be: A whole series of comebacks, or one long, witty comeback.

M: She’s 16 years old. Her mom is gone. She is taking herself, she’s raising herself, and she’s also raising her father and taking care of her father when her father should be taking care of her.

M: [There’s this idea that] marriage [is] the end all and the most negative thing for a man, whereas for women, it’s the best thing that could ever happen. And that is such a serious ingrained thing in our culture, and you could see that so clearly at the end, when we’re at the wedding, and the men are talking about this.

B: I totally misjudged this movie. This is not only a very smart movie, but it is a feminist movie. It is very empowering and has a lot to say about society in general.

B: Cher is described as shallow, self-centered and it’s implied that she’s dumb. And I don’t think she’s any of those things. If I were to describe her, I would maybe use the words inexperienced or naïve, but she is not dumb. She behaves very selflessly in a lot of places, sometimes misguided. And so the very same way I misjudged this movie is the way that Cher herself is mischaracterized by the world around her.

B: Without coming out and saying it, [Clueless] talks about how traditional femininity is looked at as shallow and dumb, and that’s one thing I loved about this movie. It celebrates both femininity in its traditional sense and feminism. And a lot of times society tries to pit those against each other. So without even coming out and saying it, [Clueless] is able to say those things very clearly, and that was one thing I was really impressed with.

B: The film is very non-judgmental in sexual choices. Tai has had a lot of sex, Cher is a virgin, and neither one of those choices is shamed. Both of them are equally valid.

B: I don’t think the solution to a lack of women in film is to have perfect female characters; I think it’s good to have strong female characters, but characters who also have flaws. And that is exactly what Cher was—she had a lot of great things that she did, a lot of great things that she was, but she also had her flaws, and she was great in spite of those flaws.

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