Friday, January 12, 2007


Clueless (1995) is a wonderful example of how female direction can take a simple story full of stereotypes and clichés and turn that story into something much deeper for their female audiences. Amy Heckerling’s direction takes Clueless far beyond the expectations of her audience through her subtle use of detail. Use of themes, feminist ideas, and dialogue turn this simple film into a cinematic treasure. Although the story revolves around the somewhat shallow dramas of Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) and her high school friends, Dionne (Stacey Dash) and Tai (Brittany Murphy), the undertones of the plot have universal significance.
Clueless is surprising. Although it seems to be a “chick flick” one cannot help noticing the Heckerling’s social commentary. Yes, the film’s characters are caught up in the superficial aspects of modern life, clothing, cars, and social status, however, when considered outside the parameters of the movie itself these themes take on a whole new meaning. Heckerling is not simply poking fun at some spoiled rich kids in Beverly Hills; she forces her audience to consider their own role within this ridiculous society. She seems to ask, how far have we strayed, and how much farther can society go? Looking back, when I first saw clueless I was about ten years old, I remember being awed by Cher and her amazing computerized closet, I remember thinking how cool those kids were at the party in The Valley, and most of all I remember how much I wanted to be in high school.
Now, watching Clueless I cannot help but be appalled by how little society has changed. It remains obsessed by standards of beauty, wealth, and status that are seriously out of control, like those kids in Beverly Hills we continue to push the limits and take very little time to consider the consequences of our actions. Heckerling was commenting on the lives of American girls, it’s scary how little has changed in the last decade.


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