07 March 2009

get a clue

Clueless is on TV right now and I feel inspired to post on it.

Clueless is a 1990's modern take on Jane Austen's novel, Emma. Being an avid Jane Austen fan, you would think that upon hearing that Emma was being turned into a story about a snobby girl from Beverly Hills who has a revolving closet and says "like" more an encyclopedia of similes, that I would be completely horrified. Yet, I'm not. In fact, I think that this particular movie adaptation of an Austen novel is probably one of the better ones out there. Why?

What Clueless does that other Jane Austen movie do not always succeed at:
  • It does not severely deviate away from the basic plot and characters
  • It keeps with the spirit of the story
  • It remembers to not take itself too seriously. Jane Austen is FUNNY
  • The screenplay is actually well-written
I have no idea how accurate this movie is to the experience of a 16-year-old girl from Beverly Hills. To me, this movie seems like an exaggeration of the experience, mostly for humorous purposes. I think the comparison between Cher and Emma works very well though. Emma is a very rich 21-year-old woman who has nothing better to do but meddle in everyone else's business. Similarly, Cher meddles in her friends' and teachers' lives. She is used to getting her way simply because she's got money and cute face, which means people rarely deny her what she wants. Cher and Emma also have a simply character arc where they are humbled by someone pointing out their flaws. That recognition that they aren't perfect and they don't have an answer to everything is what makes their story irresistible, because there are times when you seriously can't stand them at the beginning.

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