Things We Learned From Clueless


cluelesscover We were delighted and bemused to see several articles celebrating the 18th anniversary of the release of Clueless (which, as apparently some people don’t know, is really a fairly faithful adaptation of Emma, though set in 1990s Beverly Hills). We have loved Clueless from the first time we saw it, mostly delighted with its intelligence and humor and Amy Heckerling’s obvious affection for Emma. We don’t think she could have done such a masterful job of adapting the novel for a modern audience if she didn’t love it; or at least she respected the heck out of it, which is good enough for us.


We re-watched the film last night, and realized the film is not just amusing but educational. Herewith, Things We Learned From Clueless:

  • It does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty.
  • Tolerance is always a good lesson, even when it comes from nowhere.
  • When your allergies act up, take out your nose ring.
  • It’s one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is another to be fried all day
  • Hamlet did not say, “To thine own self be true.” It was totally that Polonius guy.
  • Searching for a guy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.
  • Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there’s no point in taking it out of shows that need it for the entertainment value.
  • Anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good.
  • Ren and Stimpy are way existential.
  • When a boy comes over, you should always have something baking.
  • Getting off the freeway makes you understand how important love is.
  • Paul Rudd makes a totally awesome Mr. Knightley. Totally. Also, he’s kind of a Baldwin.

We heard that Amy Heckerling and Alicia Silverstone were thinking about a sequel. Can we offer a possible treatment, based upon another Austen novel?

It’s time for Bronson Alcott High School Class of 1996’s 20-year reunion. Cher and Josh got married, of course (it IS an adaptation of an Austen novel) and maybe have a kid or two, but got divorced, oh, eight years before. (A number we just pulled out of the air. *cough*) He is an environmental lawyer. She is a party planner.

Dionne and Murray also got married, and have some kids, and fight a lot. He tends to go off and do his own thing and leave her with the kids. Mr. Hall and the former Miss Geist are still around, and actually have become friendly with Josh. He stays with them so he can see his kid(s). He becomes interested in a younger woman.

Elton is trying to get in with Cher again, but she still thinks he’s kind of creepy. Travis Birkenstock is still broken-hearted over the death of Tai, but also develops an interest in Cher, who is kind to him, but doesn’t really share his romantic interest.

Well, you can probably tell where we’re going from here. Amy, darling, call us?


Elsewhere on the web, BuzzFeed has a tribute to Clueless, and Jezebel had a gif party! (Be aware, there is one shot of Stacey Dash on the page that is not work-safe.)

10 thoughts on “Things We Learned From Clueless

  1. Thanks for all the links today. I hadn’t heard about Metropolitan, so I’m looking forward to seeing it. Definitely like the idea for the sequel.


  2. Barb Millett

    I agree, Clueless is masterful. One of the highlights of the 2004 AGM for me was meeting Amy Heckerling. I only had about 45 seconds with her before being interrupted by another Clueless fan, but I managed to tell her she was the only filmmaker to get Jane Austen’s sense of humor right.


    • Ha! I said something similar to Robin Swicord (director of The Jane Austen Book Club) at the 2007 AGM–“Thank you for remembering that Jane Austen is funny!” It’s interesting, in Netflix the Paltrow Emma is the only Austen film listed under “Comedy.” Which sounds about right, but it’s a shame more of them aren’t approached the same way–as a more-intelligent-than-usual romantic comedy.


  3. And you saved the best for last!!!! :). From bad news to thanks for those that are among the best memories. You have me ROTFLOL with the list to be learned from Clueless.

    I really wish Amy Heckerling would read your ideas for a possible Clueless sequel, they are magnifique, of course we know you are going to a title which begins with P and ends with n (10 words) 🙂


    • You noticed I posted in reverse order of what (in my opinion) is interesting. Clearly others disagree…sigh. The Almighty Darcy wins over all, I guess. Maybe the BBC isn’t that stupid after all.


      • How could I not have noticed! Of course I did. Yes, of course others disagree, but that is to be expected, we are becoming members of the long-time ranks, who long for the golden 1990’s, plus we are also among those who, although we can appreciate Darcy, thoroughly belong to other Austen gentlemen :).

        But on the brighter side, we have now the Stillman project to look forward. *squeeee* 😀


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