I remember watching Clueless for the first time when I was in 5th grade. It was immediately my favorite movie because I wanted all of Cher’s clothes, her electronic wardrobe and thought Paul Rudd was super dreamy.
18 years ago today, Clueless was released in theaters taking teen girls and boys alike by storm with its platform jelly sandals, slang and killer soundtrack. Loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, the film follows popular Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash) as they flit around Beverly Hills shopping, matchmaking teachers, making over classmate (and new best friend) Tai (Brittany Murphy) and dealing with guys from Dionne’s psuedo-macho but sweet boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison) to Cher’s annoyingly intellectual but hot stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd).
I still consider Clueless one of my favorite films and not just for the reasons above. First, Amy Heckerling is a greatly underrated director/writer (check out I Could Never Be Your Woman as proof). She’s also understands teen culture–the aesthetics and language of it–but always takes teens seriously. It’s a film that never gets old or feels dated and I always find new things to enjoy about it much in part to Heckerling.
When I watched Clueless as a teen, I focused on the budding romance between Cher and Josh. While it still makes me swoon, the more important relationships in Clueless are Cher’s female friendships. Her friendships with both Dionne and Tai are unwavering. They are loyal and devoted to one another–even if they mess up–they ultimately come back together in the end.
With a lesser director, script and lead actress, it could have been easy to write Cher off in her own words as “a ditz with a credit card.” Cher’s big heart, great one-liners and devotion to female friendships gave Clueless the soul to stand the test of time.
Check out Jace Lacob’s lovely ode to Clueless coming of age over at Buzzfeed Entertainment.
Watch one of the best scenes from the film below. Share your Clueless memories in the comments.