Before I even talk about Clueless though, may I just say that, in my opinion, the only way teen movies are ever good is if they're based on classic literature (OR written by Tina Fey, obviously. Mean Girls? Hell YES). I mean, look at it objectively- apart from Clueless, there's 10 Things I Hate About You (based on The Taming of the Shrew, and probably my absolute favourite teen movie [HEATH!]) and Cruel Intentions (based on Dangerous Liasons) and I suspect that Easy A, based on The Scarlet Letter, is a cut above your average teen movie, but I haven't actually seen it yet. I guess this should be kind of obvious- that a film is basically going to be good if there's an awesome writer behind it (does it get much more awesome than Shakespeare and Austen?) but I think it's good to remember that we basically owe all of our good teen movies to our very best writers.
Anyway, Clueless. It's so much fun. Alicia Silverstone plays Cher, our Emma for all intents and purposes, and she is perfect. A good mix of superficiality but also some kind of inner goodness, so that, even while you're rolling your eyes at her airheadedness, you can't hate her at all because she knows not what she does, but also because, she does what she thinks is best. I get my kicks from this film by fully comparing it to Emma though, and I really love the adjustments that have been made from the book to make it relevant and applicable to the modern day. For example: Frank Churchill has become Christian, who is unattainable to Cher not because of his prior engagement to another woman (Jane Fairfax fails to show in this version, probably because someone so meek and sweet possibly doesn't exist in Beverley Hills in the 90s) but because he's gay. Well done modern twist! And then, instead of giving Cher a brother-in-law, because, let's face it, she makes so much more sense as an only child; she has an ex-stepbrother to capture her heart. Amazing!
Tai is also the perfect Harriet for this setting- seemingly poorer than the other students, and if not that, then at least far less refined (but also a lot more honest- I like her character a lot) and yet again Cher ruins her romantic chances by pushing her away from a guy who's perfect for her, into the arms of a dickhead (Elton- who's played by that guy who was the evil husband in Waitress who I HATE FOREVER!) And then there's all the little things that are different that I seriously enjoy- like, how Elton keeps a photo of Tai in his locker, because Cher took it (remember the painting of Harriet Elton displays because Emma painted it?) and the fact that Cher's mother died when she was a baby 'during a routine liposuction'. Amazing (I'm assuming here that Emma's mother died in childbirth, but I'm not actually sure about that... do we ever find out?) And, I enjoy that we get to see Cher matchmaking two of her teachers, which I assume parallels the relationship with Mr and Mrs Weston that we actually never get to see happen in the book, so yay for that, even if Cher is acting totally selfishly!
Basically, Clueless is awesome, for both its parallels with Emma and apart from that. This obviously applies only to the film because the TV series, although I used to watch it quite a lot, really wasn't as good as this great homage to Emma, and the critique of LA any time, ever. Watch it if you haven't already, and if you have then watch it again. And also relive the fabulousity of the theme tune to the TV show: