Clueless (1995) - Film Review
To me Clueless was such a well received film because it successfully captures a certain time period while at the same time capturing timeless characters that we all see, even today, in our educational sociological hierarchies. Cher’s character views the world and judges it because she regards herself as the “popular” type, and therefore we see a clear picture of the character’s present in the film. There’s the overprotective, yet warm-hearted and humorous father, who is constantly busy with work, but loves his children very much. Then there’s the best friend Dionne, who constantly is having issues of love and hate with her boyfriend. Then there’s Tai who is the “one who doesn’t fit in” in your friend clique, but you can’t help but know she’s a good friend. Then there’s the arch enemy Amber who struggles to keep you down. Josh represents that one guy that is kind and not really hip to the times, but kind of does his own thing, making him unique, and to add a little 90’s flavor they add Christian, the gay friend. Perhaps it was not aimed to be, but the film became a satire on common societal cliches, and that is why it is so widely received, because everyone can relate.
My favorite character had to have been Mel Horowitz. I’ve met countless of those dads while dating who love their daughters so much yet tend to act like a father figure to you too. His witty remarks and overall comedic play on the father type was brilliant and savvy. I couldn’t help but laugh anytime he said something. From the bit about the 45. and the shovel, to the part about how he calls his parents low lives, to the thing about his blood pressure and not being allowed to eat meat. I can relate mostly to Josh though because I am in college and I always strive to impress adults of high status in hopes that it would be helpful to me in the future for networking and in a way, to make myself feel more “grown up”. He also doesn’t want to fit into social norms, (even though he does) and wants to be unique and above others intellectually, and it made me think and laugh at myself for doing the same things basically.
Cher was basically so clueless because she thought for one that she could talk her way out of life, and avoid doing anything for real. Then she thought of herself as better than everyone else, and learned otherwise when Tai became the head of the popular circle. She thought she had it all figured out and believed that everyone should fit into their own social standing, but didn’t realize that everyone is an individual, and each life should be lived in the way that they perceive as best for themselves, and not for the benefit of popularity or fame. Perhaps a recent film choice that would fall into this bombardment of obnoxious social classification would be High School Musical. the characters all fit into a social standing. They have the jock stud, the girlfriend but intellectual, the best friend with an already established love relationship, the enemy, and the geeky friend. Another timeless classic that dates before this is All the Right Moves with Tom Cruise, having the jock, the girl, the friend, and the strive for something. Basically any film that uses cliche characterization in a youth setting would fit into this film or otherwise relate.