This is how “Clueless” got all its unforgettable slang, and as if
The ’90s have made a comeback. For those of us who remember the decade clearly, we’re totally mystified. However, we will never be confused by the resurgence of appreciation for the movie Clueless – one of the masterpieces not just of the era, but of all time.
The film, loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma, catapulted Alicia Silverstone into superstardom, and cemented the style and lexicon of ’90s teenagers.
Amy Heckerling, comedy filmmaker extraordinaire, wrote and directed Clueless.
Allow us to point out that, despite the film’s fun, fast-paced use of slang, not ONE LINE in the whole film is wasted.
Every line, every word, serves a purpose.
With each viewing, we’re more impressed with Heckerling’s skill as a writer.
Turns out, that kind of flawless writing takes some effort.
She said, "I compiled a dictionary. The thing is, every time you have to say, 'Oh my God, I love that!' or 'It's amazing' or 'It's wonderful,' that adjective tells you what social strata you are in, what year you were born, where you live. That goes on constantly. It has evolved and changed, because a lot of stuff is texted. And because of television. There is a flattening out, it is less local. Still, it exists in any group of outcasts, whether Cockneys, in prison or a girls' school. They always have their own separate stuff. If you have a few friends, you develop phrases and words."
An entire dictionary? That’s impressive. And though teen slang has changed through the years, the film’s dialogue withstands the test of time because of how meticulously Heckerling composed it.
When you put Clueless under a microscope, you see how exquisite a film it is. Basically, it’s the opposite of a Monet. From far away and up close, it remains a masterpiece.