Sunday, July 19, 2009

Clueless DVD review

As I posted before I joined the All Jane Austen Challenge. Here is my second challenge (the last item on my alternative list) A review of Clueless.

Okay first off, for those of you who don't know Clueless is a modern retelling of Emma. Rumours are buzzing that there is indeed a sequel in the works with original cast members returning (it could be argued that the tv show that came from the film is a sequel in itself) Just as Jane Austen was a pioneer for women writers and her novels the foundation of most romances, Clueless broke down barriers for trends, language and status. (cell phones were still a fresh thing when this movie came out, now they're so common you don't even think about it.)

I think what made this movie such an iconic piece was that it was infact a remake of Emma, but did not scream that it was. When it first came out at the cinema in 1995, there was no admitting that it was in deed a retelling of a Jane Austen film, even thought there was a Jane Austen revival going on at the time (Two other versions of Emma were in the works. One starring Kate Beckinsale (1996 tv) and one starring Gwyneth Paltrow (1996 cinema) ) it was not until it was released on video did people who were not Jane Austen fans find out. (The cover box claimed it as being a retelling of Emma)

Plot: High school student Cher is trying to make her life and the lives of her friends more connected to the world at large by playing matchmaker for her teachers, and fellow students. In the process she falls in love herself.

Adding clothing that looked like Regency styles was genus (the high empire waisted dresses, the corset cut tops, the extended use of hats, feathered collars/cuffs)
Making the character of Christian gay (the Frank Churchill character ) and removing the secret girlfriend was pure genius. This way his character could still flirt without becoming the bad guy so many feel he has been otherwise.
Tai's boyfriend (Miss Smith character ) being a pot smoking slacker with an addiction to Marty the Marson was very slick, very subtle. (Mr. Martin character was a farmer)

This is another one of those movies that no matter how many times you have seen it, you still get caught up in it. I admit, I have seen this film about a hundred times (saw it years ago at the cinema when it came out, and my sister used to have it on VHS) and watching it the other night on DVD I got so caught up, I forgot to take notes on it.
I am actually looking forward to seeing what they come up with for a sequel.


  1. I also enjoyed "Clueless." I thought it was a very funny retelling of "Emma." Glad you are enjoying your challenge! Thanks for your review.

  2. I recently watched "Clueless" for the first time. I was very excited to see how the movie would manage a modern retelling of "Emma", and I thought the movie did a really great job. Good luck with the challenge!

  3. this is great. i like the connections you made. when i first watched this movie i was clueless in that i didn't know it was based on emma. in any case, i loved the movie. with my rewatch of it i can see your comparisons and enjoy it even more.

  4. This was the first thing I did for the challenge. It was the first time I really watched it trying to compare it to Emma. I love how everything in that movie has come and gone, but the boys are still wearing those gawdawful pants!