Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Happy Clue-Day

Today, I am late in mentioning, was the 10th anniversary of the release of Clueless. Amazingly there appears to have been only one article about one of the smartest "teen" movies ever made. It's also the best entry in that strange sub-genre, the modernized adaptation of a classic work of literature. (Amy Heckerling captures the essence of what Emma is all about far better than the Coen Brothers captured The Odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou?) So in honor of ten years worth of "as if"s and "whatever"s, let me quote some of my favorite lines from the film:

"Mr. Hall? The buzz on Christian is that his parents have joint custody, so he'll be spending one semester in Chicago and one semester here. I think it is a travesty on the part of the legal profession."
"Thank you for that perspective, Cher."

"It's just that, we've been shopping all day and I still don't know what to do about Mr. Hall. I have tried everything to convince him of my scholastic aptitude, but I was brutally rebuffed."

"You're too good for him."
"If I'm too good for him, then how come I'm not with him?"

"What's with you, kid? You think the death of Sammy Davis left an opening in the Rat Pack?"

"She's a full-on Monet. It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess."

And the film's equivalent of the scene where Emma insults Miss Bates and is chastised by Mr. Knightley, which manages to preserve the fundamental point of class snobbery (Emma abusing her position to casually insult someone of lower social status) in a modern setting:

LUCY: He your gardener. I don't know why you don't tell him.
CHER: Lucy, you know I don't speak Mexican.
LUCY: I not a Mexican!
CHER: Great, what was that all about?
JOSH: Lucy's from El Salvador.
JOSH: It's an entirely different country.
CHER: Oh, what does that matter?
JOSH: You get upset if someone thinks you live below Sunset.
CHER: Oh, OK, so everything is all my fault? I'm always wrong, right?
JOSH: You're such a brat.
CHER (V.O.): I had an overwhelming sense of ickiness. Even though I apologized to Lucy, something was still plaguing me. Like Josh thinking I was mean was making me postal.

Jane Austen would have loved this movie. Or at least she wouldn't have slept through it, which is more than I can say for most Jane Austen flicks. Happy 10th, Clueless.

Oh, and great as the youthful cast is, my favorite performance in the film is still that of Dan Hedaya as the heroine's father, a bug-eyed man who delivers every line like on the verge of his third heart attack.

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