So who here has seen Clueless? Everyone? All the humans who have ever watched a movie in their lives? Anyone who has blared “Rolling With The Homies” and believed in the magic of Cher Horowitz? Well, the time has come. Nine months after beginning Old Lady Movie Night, we are visiting this cinematic classic, and finally – FINALLY – descending upon Beverly Hills to bask in the warm glow of fake high school in 1995.
What took us so long? Well, frankly, I don’t know. Bad priorities on my part, I guess, but let’s move on and not point fingers because I have already apologized. To be honest, I really didn’t watch Clueless a lot when I was growing up, but that’s okay because what I missed from ages 10 – 13 I made up between ages 13 – 16. And then 16 – today (27). It’s a beautiful thing, this Clueless, and it’s inundated pop culture in ways we’ll never understand.
But let’s try to. Let’s try to understand with our minds and our hearts and the power of observation. Let’s put on our plaid outfits and our knee socks and call women “Betty” and men “Baldwin” and remind ourselves that it really wasn’t the worst thing in the world to rush home from school and watch Clueless the TV show which I obviously did because I was 13 in 1998.
Now let’s roll with the homies. Let’s roll like we’ve never rolled before.
1. Is this movie one of the greatest films in the world?
In a word, yes. I have literally been watching for less than a minute and “Kids In America” are playing, and there’s a reference to Noxema and AHH I AM MISSING ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL PARTS.
2. THE CLOSET AND CLOTHES-MATCHING PROGRAM
Wow, you guys. Remember? REMEMBER? Now, I’m not going to lie to you: I absolutely wasn’t allowed to see this movie when it came out because my parents were super-strict on the PG-13 rating, so it actually took me until later to embrace the wonder that is Cher Horowitz and friends. BUT, I read the book (which I took out from the library) (and which I was allowed to read for some reason) (kind of like with Titanic but that’s a story for another day), so I kind of understood what everyone was talking about including THE CLOSET and the CLOTHES-MATCHING PROGRAM which must be written in capital letters or what is even the point of writing this.
IF ONLY THESE EXISTED TODAY. And yes, I understand, they both kind of do. Rich people have actual walk-in closets, and thanks to technology and “the Internet,” we are able to mix and match clothes on the computer and blah blah blah none of it will ever be as cool as this because it is the most cool of anything ever in the entire universe. Are you taking notes, Mars? You’ll never be as cool as Cher Horowitz is. NEVER.
3. But I’m not into saying “Daddy” past a certain age like Cher is
I’M SORRY, OKAY? I understand that a lot of girls call their dads and/or fathers “Daddy” but I don’t and never have because I don’t know … it’s just not my thing. My Dad’s actual name is Richard James, so obviously I have shortened it to Rick James so obviously I call him that “or Dad” but “Daddy” just … I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW. I never called my Mom “Mommy” either (past age five-ish), but that’s different and also she gets “Mum” or “Mom” or “Dee” because her actual name is Danguole (what up, Lithuania). And there’s a few facts about me. Feel free to address cards to me and my family with the appropriate names attached.
4. Remember how teenagers used to be in movies?
I don’t know if any of you did this, but I used to watch these types of movies as a kid (and I will say “13″ as a kid because I WAS OKAY), and think “Wow when I get to high school it will be EXACTLY LIKE THAT.” Aaaaand how disappointing when high school was not. I may have told you this before, but my high school was a beautiful gorgeous combination of Dazed And Confused meets Mean Girls meets the way The Breakfast Club looked, so to go from wherever Cher and Dionne and Amber went to what I actually faced was essentially heartbreaking. Also, nobody drives. Nobody. Until the end of grade 11 or the beginning of grade 12 when everyone drove either their parents cars or the cheapest, most used cars in the world. And I say this from experience because my friend drove a 14-year-old van that actually blew up one day when it was parked next to our principal’s car. I got to leave class early that day and it was amazing.
5. I love you, Murray and Dionne
I do. And so do you. We all do. And remember how amazing it was when they were both in the TV series and we got to watch their romance continue? Amen to everything, women and children and boys and men. Also shout-out to the pagers that have already been referenced twice to three times in the four minutes I’ve been watching.
6. “Ugh, AS IF!”
Now I need to warn you: there’s no way I can include every quote that is involved in this movie. I JUST CAN’T. It’s impossible because there are so many. But I will leave you with this. I will leave you with “As if!” because maybe I STILL use that phrase when I’m actually enraged, and even more maybe (read: accurately/absolutely) I actually mean it. Clueless put indelible marks on our hearts and in our minds. And more specifically, it changed the way most of us spoke and screencapped forever (ever … ever… what-EVER).
7. The cellphones! The matching plaid! The report card pressure! ALL OF IT!
Like, wow. WOW FOR ETERNITY AND EVERMORE. Let’s not waste time. Let’s cut to the chase:
1) THE CELLPHONES. Remember when people actually talked on the phone? More specifically, remember flip phones? Even MORE specifically, remember how hard we laughed when we saw Cher and Dionne walk side by side in the hallway on their phones further cementing them as our personal heros and favourite actors?
2) Matching plaid = best friends. Please let the record state that Dionne and Cher’s friendship is quite possibly a gift from the gods to us, lowly mortals, who yes, have our own BFF equivalents, but were likely inspired by the kinship between two women named after singers of the ’70s who do infomercials now.
3) Report cards. Dear GOD. Well, amen, girls. I, also, feared showing my parents my report card until I just stopped caring and they knew there was nothing that could be done other than watch as I did not make it into post-secondary school. (Although I did, so … I don’t know. Wizards? Magic? It was 2002. Life was different.) But it was terrifying. It was terrifying to show your parents that you were doing sub-par and not attending class and maybe just not handing in assignments because you “didn’t feel like it.” But in Cher’s defence, she tried in debate … she just didn’t try about the right subject. (So half marks, I guess, which is further proof of why I should never enter the education system or be in charge of teaching others.)
8. See, but what’s important to address immediately is that CHER IS NOT DUMB
I think — no, I KNOW — that Cher and blonde women got the “Valley Girl” tag after this movie which makes ABSOLUTELY ZERO SENSE because not only is Cher actually book smart (98% in geometry which I could and will never achieve in my wildest dreams), she’s people smart and super-funny. She’s supposed to be what, 16? 17? Her delivery of jokes is astounding. Not only can she out-banter her college-aged step-brother (PAUL RUDD HELLO HOW ARE YOU) (ARE YOU THERE PAUL IT’S ME ANNE), her wit moves faster than any analogy I can come up with for comedic purposes. Cher Horowitz is not a dumb blonde. She is freakishly intelligent. Which is why she takes over the world.
9. Josh is… SO HIP
I mean, right? I hate the word “hipster” but I will say that he embodies everything a certain culture right now holds very dear including but not limited to Nietzsche, Ray Bans glasses, plaid shirts, alternative music, a James Dean-inspired haircut and an attitude about things that Cher likes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Gentleman, if you are reading this, Josh is a mega babe who I would very much like to date if he was real but ALSO maybe calm down with the “oh-so-cool” attitude as it is just never welcome under any circumstances. Luckily, we learn that Josh rules, so all of these factors are just part of a rich tapestry that add up to him being the bomb. However, if he was not the bomb, these could also be reasons why I would probably not get along with him very well if he was real but he isn’t HEY PAUL RUDD HOW ARE YOU. (Moral of the story: just be cool, fellas. Lay off the “hip” unless it’s genuine.)
PS. He is growing a goatee. Now THAT I can’t get behind I AM SO SORRY EVERYONE.
10. It kills me that it takes Tai and the skater guy so long to get together
Can I get an alleluia? HEARTBREAKING. They like each other right from the get-go and are obviously meant to be (at least for a few months) (or years WHO AM I TO SAY), but nooooo Tai has to go through the inevitable makeover and pretend that she’s better than everyone which is gut-wrenching for some of us to watch especially when she snubs King Of The Tardies (yes, I bypassed his McDonalds shout-out speech, but come on, I only have 25 points). I SHIP YOU GUYS. (That’s a thing that people say, right?) Or at least want you guys to end up together sooner than in the hour that I have left of this film.
11. I also really miss Brittany Murphy
We all do, right? Absolutely we do. There’s really nothing else to say other than let’s just watch Clueless and King Of The Hill and Girl, Interrupted to remind ourselves of how talented she was, so just assume that after we finish Clueless, we all go off and watch those things. It’s still just the worst.
12. And now I just feel really bad for Tai…?
My friend Judith and I have this saying and it goes like this: “I FEEL BAD.” Catchy, right? Basically, the more we age, the more we feel about things (guilt complex say whaaat), so case in point — when I were younger, I would’ve been all, “LOL Tai is so clueless” I am now watching, thinking “AHH POOR THAI.” Thai was totally comfortable being herself! She liked to draw and wear plaid and hang with Travis (aka the skater dude) and sing along to the Mentos song, and now she’s wearing clothes that aren’t her style and is being told who to talk to and what parties to go to, and UGHHH I FEEL BAD. I feel bad for Travis, I feel bad for Tai, I feel bad for Cher and Dionne because they think popularity is everything. I JUST FEEL BAD.
And I know everything works out in the end and this movie is magical, but please just join me on this “I FEEL BAD” emotional journey I have seemingly embarked upon. (I LOVE YOU GUYS.)
13. “Leave him wanting more”
AHHHHH OKAY. So now I don’t feel bad anymore (because come on, it’s Clueless and we are all having the best time of our lives), and maaaaaybe my friends and I still have pep talks like Tai and Cher’s pre-party version because … something is wrong with us? (NO.) I mean, COME ON. If you and your friends do not convene pre-event and turn into Jack Donaghey and/or Liz Lemon in front of the mirror giving their psych-up speeches I do not understand. Psyching up is important. Bruce Willis did it in Friends. My friends and I do it before going to an event or a thing or basically anywhere we need to make sure we act like normal, socially capable people. Cher did it with Tai. PSYCH UP, EVERYONE.
14. I hate the game suck and blow
I’ve never played it, but I hate it because I feel like that’s how you get the flu. Also, Elton, you freak.
15. ROLLING WITH THE HOMIES
I’m sorry, but does any other song in the world matter? Absolutely not. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Every other song in the world is the literal worst compared to “Rolling With The Homies” and its accompanying wave motion. Musicians of today: why is 100% of your time NOT dedicated to covering this song in various versions? Dear any person in a band who is reading this: please cover this song for me. For you. For all of us.
16. UGH ELTON NO I HATE YOU
I HATE HIM. I HATE ELTON. GET OUT OF HERE, ELTON. NOBODY LIKES YOU. (Elton John if you’re reading this, I am not talking to you.) Also, actor who plays Elton — I’m sure you are lovely. I don’t mean this towards you whatsoever. But Elton the character, wow. In addition to his attempted assault, he is just a creepy, pretentious terrible person. And he receives no consequences? Am I wrong? Maybe I’m forgetting something. But I would really have loved to see him arrested or suspended or put on an ice float where he can float on into the wild.
17. And Cher you are not alone in the Christian confusion
We have been together a long time, you guys (as in me and you), so it’s only fair that I tell you that I absolutely relate to Cher falling head over heels for a wonderful gay man because I absolutely spent my 20th birthday very drunk and begging this gentleman I liked to “turn straight” (I am cringing and face-palming while typing that sentence) because I liked him. So while Cher accepted Christian’s sexuality and they became friends, I had a meltdown and a morning filled with a very long hangover-and-remorse-fuelled phone call full of fun sayings like, “No, it’s totally cool! I get it! Let’s still be friends!” (Despite still being completely into him for the next eight months.) 19 to 21 were not the years it “came up Donahue,” everyone. In fact, you could say that I had a very very sad and terrible understanding of how life worked. But more importantly, he and I are ACTUALLY pals now, and it is also a birthday tradition for a friend to remind me of the night I sat on the curb outside of my house near tears saying, “WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME.”
Also, Christian is probably my favourite character in this movie next to Cher and/or Josh and/or Murray (they’re all tied). And remember when he says to Cher, “You’re my friend, right?” I want to hug you, Christian. You handsome sir.
18. Okay but seriously AHH JOSH YOU RULE
Feelings, everybody. I have them. So many feelings. I would like to hug the screen because he is the loveliest and most wonderful human, and THE WAY HE IS LOOKING AT HER. #Feelings #Love #RenAndStimpy (You know EXACTLY what scene I’m talking about.)
19. And who DOESN’T have a thing for Tony Curtis?
Christian has a thing for Tony Curtis and RIGHTFULLY SO, they are twins. Also, aside from Tony Curtis actually not being the greatest dude in the history of cinema, who can blame Christian. According to sources that do not exist, Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot hopped in a time machine and looked at the camera and said, “Anne Donahue, I’m doing this for you.” And then he winked, and the rest is history.
The majority of everything i just wrote is not accurate. But what is, is my understanding of Christian’s love of Tony Curtis.
20. Driving tests are the stuff of nightmares
Full disclosure: I failed my first driver’s test. Here in Ontario, the first test is written, and then afterwards, you take an actual driving test, and then a year later, you take ANOTHER one. Essentially, it is an evolution of doom. Even if you are the best driver in the world you become literally incapable of anything other than worrying about whether you’ll fail the driver’s test. So after failing the first driver’s test, I retook it the next day and horray I succeeded, but then when it came to the THIRD driver’s test, I managed to pass despite doing the following things:
1) I sped (I was told to “slow down” twice)
2) I yelled at another driver
3) I ran a yellow night
BUT IT’S OKAY BECAUSE I SUCCEEDED EVENTUALLY. And yes, I know this paragraph doesn’t have much to do with the actual movie (REMEMBER WHEN DIONNE DRIVES ON THE HIGHWAY), but just let me share.
21. “Obviously this boy is a complete moron”
Is the correct pep talk to have when someone doesn’t realize that you are the bomb, friends. Cher’s Dad? The most amazing father. And frankly, all fathers should raise their daughters to believe that they deserve the most awesome partner because THEY DO. YOU DO. WE ALL DO. In fact, if you like someone who doesn’t have the sense to like you back, bid them adieu! As Amy Poehler said in this week’s awesome Ask Amy, “every pot has its lid.” So AMEN, CHER’S FATHER. Amen empowerment speeches. Amen not wasting time on people who don’t want to spend time on/with you. (Now LET’S FOLD SCARVES.)
22. HELPING MONTAGE
There’s nothing like a ’90s montage. Seriously, try to find anything like it, and you won’t because they are the stuff of legends and wonder. Here we see Cher literally helping the world the best she can, and YES. It’s classic “I’ll show you what Elle Woods can do!” only about five years before. And if you remember when we all watched Legally Blonde, I have strong feelings about that phrase and montages where people work hard and succeed. (Read: I feel amazing about them.)
23. Ahhh and now everything is working out perfectly
EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING IS. To be honest, if you don’t like Clueless, I don’t think I can comprehend you as a human being. Yeah, it gets a reputation for it’s “whatever” and it’s “as if” but ultimately, it’s the perfect movie for these reasons:
1) Friendship (!)
2) Empowerment (!!)
3) Not changing for anybody else (!!!)
4) BEING A GOOD PERSON (!!!!)
Clueless, you go, Glen Coco. You go, and I KNEW I invested in watching so many seasons of the show that weren’t even close to as awesome as the movie we are all making high-pitched “EE!!!” sounds about right now.
24. NOW do you guys think it would be weird for Josh and Cher to explain their relationship?
Right? A LITTLE BIT, YOU KNOW? Like, they were step brother and sister (and I know “step” is INCREDIBLY important while dissecting this point), but do you think people are going to focus on that right away? No. They will not, they will focus on the fact that she used to play him off as her brother and TECHNICALITIES WILL BE OVERLOOKED. For the record, no they are not related. But also there will be a lot of them saying, “No really! We’re not related!” to anyone who knew them BEFORE they started dating.
25. But whatever they are at a wedding and it’s fine!
And for some reasons students have been invited to this teacher’s wedding, and people are actually excited to catch the bouquet (seriously I will say that catching the bouquet makes me anxious and I’m also pretty sure that at no wedding I’ve been to over the past two years has anyone tried and/or wanted to catch the bouquet) (usually just let the kids do it because for the rest of us it was like, “Uh… I don’t know. This just feels weird.”) BUT HEY. Cool! Cher won Josh $200 FOR catching the bouquet, and it looks like Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall are now Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall (but married) and CLUELESS EVERYONE. Forever and ever amen.