Clueless: Austen Revisited

Clueless is a coming of age comedy film directed by Amy Heckerling, loosely based on the Jane Austin novel Emma. The plot sees teen socialite Cher (Alicia Silverstone), Queen of her high school, take the new girl Thai (Brittney Murphy), under her wing.

I have heard a lot of people talk about this film for a while, it has a real strong cult following, so I decided to check it out for myself. I was naturally comparing it to the other adaption of Emma, the more recent adaption from this very year.

I found this to be the better of the more recent American Emma adaptions, it had that lively spirit and wit that I feel the 2020 version was lacking.  I always enjoy when they modernise classic tales and give them a newer twist, like the Leo Romeo and Juliet film from a while back.

I thought that all of the characters felt warm and had a good amount of rootability, though Cher did nasty thing it never reached a point where I didn’t like her as a character, she never felt cold or mean spirited.

The one thing I would flag up is the icky main romance. They changed a lot of things from the classic story for this film so why they kept this in is beyond me. In the film Josh (Paul Rudd), is Cher’s stepbrother, to add to that he is in college (University for non-Americans) and Cher is in high school she is 16 years old, both of these factors make for a deeply troubling romance, that honestly shouldn’t happen.

Overall, a quirky fresh take on an old classic. The characters felt warm and the humour landed even if the odd nearly incestuous age inappropriate relationship didn’t.

Pros.

A fresh take

The humour

Fun rootable characters

Cons.

A few things were lost in translation

The main central romance was deeply troubling

3/5

Reviewed by Luke

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