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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 31.25%
Average: 7.81%
Pretty Bad: 3.91%
Total Crap: 7.03%

4 reviews, 104 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Just like the title says, clueless."
1 stars

Director Amy Heckerling must really think she’s clever, and for a second, maybe she was. But what may have worked for her in 1982 as the director of the gigantically popular teen flick “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” she shows her lack of maturity in direction that has gone stagnant over the last decade. What should have been a clever movie disguised as a shallow one, it is in essence a shallow movie disguised as a clever one.

Here again we are introduced to a clique of rowdy upper-class, snobby, Beverly Hills 90210-esque teenagers. The movie’s main guise and would-be draw of cleverness is that it’s a modern retelling of the Victorian novel “Emma,” by Jane Austen. But if Austen were able to see how “Clueless” has defaced her work, she’d be rolling in her grave. Once you translate the storyline of “Emma” into the more “universal” version here in “Clueless,” the story concerns a young wannabe do-gooder, trying to fit everybody with their perfect match. Of course, while doing so, she ends up having an epiphany and finds love for herself.

Maybe a lot of the mundane and unoriginal morphed plot could be over-looked if the characters had possibly been interesting, but that’s too much to ask. Superficial is as superficial does. Just because the characters are portrayed as being that way doesn’t mean that it all needs to be like that. With the exception of Dion (Rachel True), the other characters lacked “life” and depth. They are written as shallowly as they are acted — almost every single one of them are nothing more than cardboard cut-outs, repeating their lines without only the motivation and inflection of a paycheck. (You would think the paycheck would eluctate a little more enthusiasm out of them than that!) Then, we’re taken sucker for, and asked to believe that our main protagonist, Cher (Alecia Silverstone) is this generous and brilliant young woman? First of all, for us to even buy this character as slightly believable or funny, they need to cast a convincing, and possibly even remotely talented actress, and that is something that Silverstone doesn’t resemble in the tiniest bit; she doesn’t fit the prescription. She lacks all acting ability, and was more than likely given the role based on her looks, of which are not really very flattering either. It isn’t fair to brand Cher as “brilliant,” inasmuch as in reality, we know that it’s some fortysomething woman putting her voice behind a character billed as being 16. Even for a 40-year-old that’s pretty lame.

The plot advancements are see-through and mechanical; like the movie itself, it plays as a manufactured “stupid” movie. It is designed to appeal to the teen populous en masse, and while it tries to be universal in scope, it tries too hard to please all of its audience, many times still underplaying the mentality of who’s watching. “Clueless” lacks any coherent scene compositions and tries to impress by its degree of size and color.

“Clueless” both overshoots and undershoots its target audience. Even with more recent teen movies than this serving as updated classics (i.e., “She’s All That” from “Pygmalion,” “Cruel Intentions” from “Les Liaisons Dangerouses” and “10 Things I Hate About You” from “The Taming of the Shrew”), those movies contain a far more enjoyable and clever take on the material it’s re-working. They’re light-hearted, but still contain enough serious nature that makes the teens who are watching it not feel like they’re being made fun of. If they take one lesson out of this to go into “teen movies 101,” let it be that the first step to success is understanding the teens before you comment on them. While Heckerling make think and feel like she still is one, she couldn’t be any more distant.

Final Verdict: D-.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/10/01 10:15:04
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User Comments

2/03/18 Suzanne Who knew his would be the apex for Alicia and Brittany? 4 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell dated but fun 4 stars
11/05/15 David Hollingsworth Still ahead of its time 5 stars
11/11/12 unknown very funny 4 stars
8/27/10 Boyd Definitive 90s teen comedy, insanely quotable; a true classic! 5 stars
4/24/10 doremimi Fun movie. By the way, Muskewitz, Dionne is played by Stacey Dash, not Rachel True. 4 stars
10/19/09 The Lurchprong Splitter Modernization of "Emma" works better than supposed non-modernization w/ Gwyneth Paltrow. 4 stars
10/09/09 Jeff Wilder Doesn't hold together as a movie. But has heart and some great lines. 3 stars
7/23/09 Cal Loved it when it first came out, LOVE it 14 years later. Truly a brilliant take on "Emma" 5 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. i wonder if jane austen would have liked this. 4 stars
6/28/07 gr117 I'm butt-crazy in love with this movie. /quote whore 5 stars
5/06/07 mb An empty headed movie for American teens to aspire to, which many do. 2 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca A lot of fun. Classic high school comedy. 4 stars
2/03/07 David Pollastrini Alicia looks hot in this movie! 4 stars
10/06/06 Jay is not good 1 stars
5/06/06 dionwr Wonderful re-do of Austen 4 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A Sorry, I dug it. A lot. 4 stars
5/02/06 William Goss Like, totally! 3 stars
5/02/06 David Cornelius As if. 2 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH the version you HAVE seen 4 stars
4/02/06 JRE funny 4 stars
11/25/05 cr a great teeny bopper and sexy alisa sliverstone, fun and entertaining 3 stars
5/03/05 Indrid Cold OK, but it's popularity has mainly to do with AS's charisma. 3 stars
3/22/05 jessica this is the best movie and has awsome clothes!!!! "you a virgin and you cant drive!" 5 stars
3/13/05 Ronin As much as I despise teen flicks I really liked clueless. Greg you are blind dude. 4 stars
3/08/05 Holly MIller I love it 5 stars
2/17/05 Daveman The film, fittingly enough, is more than meets the eye, one of the best of its kind. 4 stars
12/06/04 Grace Elizabeth Worth A very entertaining film however room for improvement 3 stars
10/24/04 Sammie J yea Yea !!!!!! Dis film rocks mi socks !!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/15/04 T. Maj Clever and sweet; one of the best teen movies ever 5 stars
6/05/04 Dean Rapp Not bad 4 stars
5/03/04 Franky this is the best movie my boyfriend and i just luv it 5 stars
4/22/04 sylvia awesome 5 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody I can't believe that Cher n' co are meant to be 15! Jeezus - very funny-Paul Rudd rocks! 5 stars
12/10/03 Samuel Silly, but in a good way... 3 stars
11/23/03 k LOVE IT 5 stars
10/13/03 Nikki Nelson GREAT MOVIE 5 stars
9/21/03 Darryl VERY funny movie! Shame that Alicia's career has gone downhill ever since. 4 stars
9/11/03 SUck My Balls you are a homosexual!!! fucin faggg 5 stars
8/11/03 Nicole One of my guilty pleasures 4 stars
7/23/03 Jovan This was one of the funniest and coolest movies Ive ever seen 5 stars
7/17/03 Emily I know every line in the movie!This is truely how the early 90's will be remembered! 5 stars
7/08/03 laura just an averaage teen movie with out any real change or any real dialogue 3 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby The satire stuff is tired, but its got heart and a sensational Silverstone. 4 stars
3/04/03 Clint awesome 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Best Teen Film. Ever. 5 stars
10/09/02 marta i loved this movie it was awsome and the part with JOSH KISSING CHER omgggggg 5 stars
7/22/02 Guy Fagerton This is my favorite movie ever! And I'm a guy! No, I'm not a homosexual. Fuck you, asshole! 5 stars
7/10/02 R.W. Welch Incisively scripted for a teen flick; engaging performances. 4 stars
7/07/02 hilarydsur awesome 5 stars
5/27/02 Nicole Great low-brow humor 4 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie was a real good chick flick. 5 stars
4/30/02 CAT This is a fuckin great film, and its more of a teen film then a chick flick.. 5 stars
4/24/02 Danielle Ophelia The vernacular's nowhere near a hilarious as they seem to think it is. 3 stars
1/14/02 Andrew Carden Beyond What You'd Think A Chick Flick Could Hold As Being Annoying. 2 stars
11/24/01 tennille this is a great movie and i am glad to have studied it at school 5 stars
11/16/01 John Much better than I expected 5 stars
10/22/01 Tam Sets the standard for bubblegum teen-comedies. Very memorable. 5 stars
9/06/01 Gary Occasionally way too perky, but this remains a funny and always enjoyable modern comedy. 4 stars
9/04/01 Henry Ginsberg Oh good,i'm not the only persion here who liked this film. 5 stars
9/03/01 Butterbean Thankfully remained high spirited, unlike Fast Times at Ridgemont High. 5 stars
4/25/01 Rachel Toler whatEVER if you didn't like this movie...quotable, made my parents laugh, good tunes(bowie) 5 stars
3/31/01 4 Skin One of the most wonderfully lighthearted movies ever. Alicia is perfection. =^) 5 stars
3/13/01 Kari Lee Nothing could be better than valley-girl idocy with a twist of charity. 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake Rudd was cool. Freeway scene was funny 5 stars
2/05/01 Ciara I really, really admire Cher not just for her sense of style but for her attitude! 5 stars
1/03/01 Jacqueline it was a really cute movies with a good plot 5 stars
11/27/00 hk truly captures the "valley girl" air 4 stars
11/05/00 Jon I thought it would suck but it blew me away... a great high school fantisy movie :-) 5 stars
11/02/00 stardust it was k 4 stars
10/22/00 Jed I have to agree with steve layne-sorry. 2 stars
9/20/00 Greg N. Weinstein Kinda funny... 3 stars
7/19/00 Tandi funny 5 stars
6/26/00 Baldwin One of best written movies in years. Alicia is sensationally beautiful and talented. Wow 5 stars
5/21/00 mellemel I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. 5 stars
4/08/00 Gremlin As hot as she is, Alicia Silverstone could not save this asswhip of a movie 1 stars
3/27/00 Lollie brilliantly funny and charming 5 stars
3/19/00 Lame-Oh better than that putrid Jawbreaker movie 5 stars
2/17/00 Bozo Kyle, you're a genius-these arseholes don't know what they're talking about 5 stars
2/11/00 Kyle Broflovski Pleasant surprise. They were SUPPOSED to be shallow & self-absorbed; DUH!!!! 5 stars
2/06/00 Steve Layne One of the most overrated movies of the 90's 2 stars
12/10/99 Paull Better then what I thought it would be. A funny movie for today, not another teen flick 4 stars
12/07/99 jill broderick alicia is dazzling; the Emma of the 90's 5 stars
11/04/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster Surprisingly okay, well it beats her other trash by a long way at least. 4 stars
10/08/99 bec best movie ever! 5 stars
10/07/99 Anne Morrissey This film is so cool!! If you feel like watching something totally predictable, watch this 5 stars
10/07/99 Amanda I loved the movie! It was a ton of fun and portrayed the teens of today. 5 stars
8/22/99 sugarstar cult teen flick 5 stars
8/11/99 Japtalian Great teenager flick. Love that Stacy Dash! 5 stars
7/24/99 Larry Flynt Alicia's such a babe. I want to hose her right now!!!! 5 stars
7/07/99 Duck Not too bad.... 3 stars
4/16/99 Brad I couldn't sit though all the way. it was so bad I had to take breaks. 1 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson pretty funny, kinda dumb 4 stars
4/12/99 Jennifer Brown Paul Rudd is so cute!!!!! 5 stars
4/12/99 Alonzo ( Pretty good, until the end. Not your average dumbed down high school flick 5 stars
4/10/99 Keith Calder Alicia Silverstone's only good movie. Very witty and smartly written. 5 stars
4/08/99 Daun Harner This movie is totally rockin'!!! 5 stars
4/07/99 Michael Grimm pretty good 4 stars
3/18/99 AMANDA I LOVE IT! 5 stars
3/10/99 Ah Dooey Loved the movie and the TV series. Hilarious indeed. 5 stars
3/06/99 Mike Rotch Truly awesome! 5 stars
1/28/99 donkey_dew Very, very funny. 5 stars
1/26/99 {{{OZ}}} Avoided seeing this for a long time... but it was damn funny. 5 stars
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  19-Jul-1995 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Aug-2005


  14-Sep-1995 (M)

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