Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Clueless stars Alicia Silverstone, (umm…. Batman & Robin?) as Cher, a manipulative plastic who’s obsessed with maintaining her outfit, her popularity, and her image of herself as a nice, generous, giving person, where outside her delusional brain she is anything but. Clueless has a smart script and snappy direction, both by the clearly talented Amy Heckerling, (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Gossip Girl) but left me feeling cold.
Look OK, I get it, I get why this film is so popular and there’s much that I like in the film. A very well chosen soundtrack with one of my favourite ever songs on it in Radiohead’s mopeathon Fake Plastic Trees coming up multiple times. Paul Rudd, (Ant-Man, The 40 Year-Old Virgin), is fabulous, and show’s a feather to his hat that up until now I hadn’t seen. The script is very witty and well written, and I laughed a lot, often at the cleverer lines that I felt went under the radar for most viewers as I was the only one laughing at them in the cinema, “if you ever did anything that wasn’t 90% selfish I might die of shock” “well that’s reason enough for me” being a standout, which I guffawed at into a silent room. Because here’s the thing. I hate the main character I mean I really hate her. She is a vile, manipulative, vacuous, image obsessed, selfish sociopath, and I wanted the film to go harder on her in the way that Mean Girls did years later. Then the last act happens and she has a cod-realisation that she’s a horrible person and she begins to do nice things, but because of how established her character is of being a vile excuse for a human being, it comes across more like she’s doing it so that she can still have an image of herself as a saviour of so-called ‘clueless’ others. She is a plastic, manipulative sociopath, and over the course of the film, she converts others to be the same way and the film says that’s OK and it’s really, really not.
This leads me to my second charge against the film, all the females in the film are like Cher, or become more like Cher as the film goes on, where as all the men are interesting, and likeable, and have quirks and depth and interesting character and they’re all, in one way or another, quite likeable, even if they have rough edges. However these rough edges lend these characters depth that the female figures don’t have in the film, and, well dang it for a film that markets itself as a chick flick, half the human population deserve better representation in the cinema targeted at them than this.
Fucking hell Mean Girls did it better OK, I know it came out afterwards but it went light years ahead in terms of my complaints of Clueless.
P.S. The sound mixing is abysmal and caused me to loose several lines