So… Clueless is probably my favorite movie. Of course, there are movies that are more cerebral, more groundbreaking, and more visually stunning, but judged on the simple basis of staying power and pure joy it elicits, I’ve gotta hand it to Alicia Silverstone and her minions. Collectively or apart, they are just delightful… period.
I’ve recently discovered something about myself – I will quote this movie, on average, once per DAY. Without trying. These quotes come forth organically. And I don’t mean something as commonplace as “As if!” or “Whatever…” I am consistently spouting phrases that are recognizable as Clueless quotes. Assuming my listening audience is at least 25% as intimately familiar with the movie as I.
Yesterday’s quote, as I unwrapped a new purchase from Zappos? “It’s a dress(!),” with an air of sweet defensiveness. The day before, as someone asked if male team member Kelly was ever confused (on paper) for a female? “Billie Holliday? I love him,” I paraphrased. “Wow, you guys talk like grown-ups” has been used more than once. And I have definitely reminded people that “It does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty.” (Even though I’d never attend a party she was throwing).
So what is it about this 1995 fluffy summer flick that leaves such a legacy? The smart, clever, quick, dialogue from Amy Heckerling (who directed the similarly iconic Fast Times at Ridgemont High), for starters. The Austenian roots. The rotating series of fabulous outfits, my favorite of which is the pink tunic, plaid leggings, and wide pink headband that Cher wears to Travis’ skateboarding competition (spoiler alert?) Mmm … Starbucks product placement.
Let’s not discount a fresh-faced Paul Rudd in his pre-Apatow career, charming up the joint? But most indelible is the spot-on performance from Alicia Silverstone, who somehow makes the character of a gorgeous and spoiled teen seem sympathetic and immensely likable. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again… this gal should have Witherspoon or Jolie levels of success. She’s ready for her close-up (and you heard it here first). Thank God to Stephen Tyler for bringing her into our collective consciousness.
Finally, it’s a reminder of a simpler time. A portrait of largely innocent high-schoolers, optimistic, engaged with life, and unsullied by the trappings of whatever killed Tai Frasier at 32 years old. I saw it in the theater for a simpler time myself … I was still in college, life loomed large ahead of me, and my best friends that summer were my brother and his best friend. Sometimes it’s a fun escape to sink back into the world of Cher, Dion, Murray, Christian, and the rest, and remember a world when your biggest tragedy is being a virgin who can’t drive.
In closing, what-ever. What’s your favorite Clueless quote?