Friday, November 17, 2006

Clueless (1995)

I think this is very funny, especially for fans of Emma. It's a pretty good modern interpretation of that book: Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is privileged, popular, and well-intentioned, but she ends up causing various problems while trying to help others find love. Her lawer father is hilarious (to Cher's slick, smooth-spoken and cocky date, he says, "I have a .45 and a shovel. I doubt anyone would miss you").

Jon watched it with me. He hasn't said he hated it, and he laughed several times, so that's good. (I'm very grateful to have a husband who will watch chick flicks with me. And without making gagging noises or anything like that.)

One of the reasons Clueless works so well as a Jane Austen adaptation is that the high school is an excellent parallel to class in pre-industrialized England. In Austen's time, income, titles, and background meant everything; in high school, it's how you dress, talk and what you do for fun ("the loadies hang out on that grassy knoll"). Maybe it's easier to move between the "classes" in a high school, but I think the comparison works pretty well.

5 comments:

  1. I never really thought about high school being so similar to pre-industrialized England, but you're right. (Oh, how intelligent I feel writing pre-industrialized England.) I do like this movie. It's pretty funny. Now, what did you think of the modern Pride and Prejudice? It was funny, sort of, but also really dumb.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't even know if "pre-industrialized England" is a good phrase to use, but it seemed too hard to narrow it down further. I think the book takes place in the early 1800s or maybe even the late 1700s. So I called it pre-industrialized. Do you mean the LDS Pride and Prejudice? I thought it was pretty good. The whole marriage theme of P&P works really well in a BYU setting. Or at least it works in the stereotype of BYU: lots of girls who want to get married and/or think only about guys; the older, unmarried guy who is determined to get married by finding a girl who fits all his criteria; the older girl who hasn't married yet and looks to some like an "old maid." It works quite well, I think. Is that the one you mean? There is also a movie called Bride and Prejudice. I haven't seen it yet, but I want to. It's a Bollywood musical (Bollywood is the term for the "Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry"). Looks pretty interesting and I've heard good things about it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, I did mean the LDS version. I haven't seen Bride and Prejudice either. I think it would be fun to see a modern version that isn't such a spoof as the LDS one. One that is just about as serious (and still funny) as the Jane Austen time period one. Don't you think that would be fun? It may still have to be in an LDS setting in order to fit the marriage themes like you were suggesting. Man, we girls can never get enough of P and P. Can there be too many versions? :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. When the 2005 Pride and Prejudice came out, I thought, "Now, how could they improve on the 1995 A&E one?" But I am composing a long post about the Pride and Prejudice movies, so I won't get into it here. Bridget Jones's Diary is sort of a modern retelling of P&P. I've seen most of it (edited) on TV. But of course, the morals and values of the characters are drastically changed from the novel. Actually, that's another post I have to write--the Bridget Jones books. I should watch the LDS P&P again sometime. I remember really liking it; I don't remember thinking that it was too silly.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I forgot about Bridget Jone's Diary. I've seen most of it on tv also. I like it but I haven't compared it to P&P closely. Wish it wasn't so bad so I could rent it sometimes. I just have to wait for tv to air it again. I have the LDS P&P. You can borrow or have it when I see you next.

    ReplyDelete