Clueless is a 1995 film starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, and Paul Rudd. It is written and directed by Amy Heckerling, and loosely based off the novel “Emma” by Jane Austen.
While the movie is based off of “Emma”, there are many liberties taken with the direction of the story. The Jane Austen novel takes place in early 19th century England, doting on the hubris and romantic pursuits of young women in the elite class. Naturally every reference to pop culture or modern style in Clueless is performed in the spirit of the novel and is not a direct quote.
Clueless follows the story of Cher, a valley-girl-esque high school diva living in a mansion in Beverly Hills. Cher is the most popular girl in her school, but her fortune changes when she decides to help out a less sociable girl, Tai, as a pity-project. Much to Cher’s dismay, Tai becomes more popular than her, initiating a deep soul searching process that ends with both Cher and Tai finding love. This turn comes as a big twist, as earlier in the film Cher theorizes that “searching for a boy in highschool is as useless as finding meaning in a Paully Shore movie.”
The film was a sleeper hit in 1995, but spiraled into such popularity that it produced both a spin-off TV show and a spin-off series of books. The stars of the film carried on to find more work and mostly more success. Paul Rudd is probably the most successful legacy of Clueless, finding consistent roles in popular Judd Apatow films throughout the 2000s.
Tragically Brittany Murphy, the actress who played Tai, passed away in 2009. A conspiracy theory claims she was poisoned. Being poisoned is totally not 90s.
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