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I found Clueless's social system of high school to be way off, even for its time.



Welcome to the human race...
Also, that scene in Smell Of Fear only stands out, if it does, because it's parodying The Crying Game and the reaction many nice straight, 'I'm not at all gay and you mustn't even think it' men had when they found out they'd been fancying Jaye Davidson.
That would fit in with my comment about the film's overuse of film-specific gags but even knowing that doesn't make it any better.

I found Clueless's social system of high school to be way off, even for its time.
Maybe. I wasn't expecting it to be a particularly realistic depiction of high school, anyway.
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heightened reality?



Welcome to the human race...
heightened reality?
In the case of [i}Clueless[/i], it basically means exaggerating different aspects of the film for maximum effect. Case in point would be the fact that stuff like the slang and fashion were made up specifically for the film because rooting it in actual trends wouldn't work quite as well, thus making the film sort of timeless yet also very much of its time.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
#3 - Clueless
Amy Heckerling, 1995



Clueless is the the loosely-based-on-an-Austen-novel story of a Beverly Hills teenager navigating a variety of situations as part of her high school experience, often aiming to control and set up certain people for her own personal gain before numerous complications cause her to question her motivations.

This is apparently one of the key 1990s high-school movies and as such I was willing to give it a chance. All things considered, it's a fairly solid film. You can pick apart the various high-school stereotypes - the hopeless yet loveable burnout, the strict yet sympathetic teacher, the misfit who gets made over in the image of the popular kids, etc. - but they combine together in a way to tell a decent if familiar story. Protagonist Cher (Alicia Silverstone) makes for a sufficiently complex character beneath her "valley girl" exterior, while the various other characters get just enough development so that they don't come across as unsympathetic ditzes (though you could make a case for Jeremy Sisto's dickish popular boy being an antagonist, he doesn't really provide much of a conflict for the film as a whole). Actually, there's not all that much in the way of conflict in this movie; rather, it's a fairly straightforward coming-of-age kind of story for Cher as she learns the hard way that she can't control other people and also has a fairly predictable subplot unfold with her dickish yet likeable stepbrother (Paul Rudd).

While Clueless does serve as a worthy addition to the high-school sub-genre's canon, it ultimately feels like fluff. Pleasant fluff, yet still fluff. It's got a fair bit of sense to it and there are certain choice excerpts of dialogue, but as an overall cinematic experience it leaves a little something to be desired.

As If!!!!

I always thought Stacey Dash was gorgeous, still do. Her acting is terrible, but I'll put up with it.

Good luck man, it's an undertaking.
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



Right. So like you were talking about the social aspect of High School. What they basically did is take the tropes and cliques that we know in our culture and ramp it up about 5X. It works well for comedies because people basically become caricatures. I think it works well in the context of depicting teenagers as well because it may be how we remember the stoners or the preps. Even though in reality they were probably not ever as clearly one thing or the other as we think they were.

Basically I am saying I agree, this is not the High School experience I remember either. However, its not supposed to be. Make sense?



Ah, so it creates memorable characters by overdoing them.



You mentioned Highlander as a favourite, so I'm guessing you're au fait with overblown characters being memerable.
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Ah, so it creates memorable characters by overdoing them.
Yeah, and like you I don't always like it. For me its a fine line to walk. I think it works best in comedies though.



You mentioned Highlander as a favourite, so I'm guessing you're au fait with overblown characters being memerable.
Touche'





I wasn't really having a go, just that, as Sean said, sometimes it works for you and, when it doesn't, it's easy to pick at. If that's what you were doing.

Now I'm just questioning everything.



*Adds honeykid to hit list*



Barkeep, I'm not trying to start anything. I just want to have a beer, chat with my mates and have a fun time that will make me forget about my whore of a wife.



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I quite like Clueless but for 'Shakespeare goes to high school' I'd definitely plump for 10 Things I Hate About You which I've always kind of loved.

I only just watched Clueless for the first time in the last year or two so I don't have any nostalgia for it. What I do have some nostalgia for however is that spin-off sitcom that it spawned



I quite like Clueless but for 'Shakespeare goes to high school' I'd definitely plump for 10 Things I Hate About You which I've always kind of loved.
An excellent suggestion. I hear O is very good, too.



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#4 - A Christmas Story
Bob Clark, 1983



A Christmas Story takes place during the lead-up to Christmas Eve sometime in the 1940s and centres on nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) as he tries anything he can in order to acquire his most desired Christmas present of all, a top-of-the-line BB gun. During the film, he also goes head-to-head with a variety of pre-adolescent obstacles such as parents, teachers, bullies, friends, even his favourite radio program.

Long story short, this was on TV about a week-and-a-half before Christmas and I DVRed it with the intention of watching it in the interim but thanks to complications I only just got around to watching it after New Year's Day. Even so, I did struggle to like this film. The main conflict involving Ralphie trying all he can to ensure he gets his prized gun is tempered by a number of loosely connected vignettes - I wouldn't necessarily mind this fragmented approach to telling the story if said vignettes were actually entertaining, but...most of them weren't. The gags haven't aged well (especially the notorious flagpole scene). The narration by an older and wiser Ralphie adds some gravitas to relatively mundane scenes (such as the scene where Ralphie frantically tries to decode a secret message that's broadcast on his favourite radio program, which I'll concede was a good gag) but doesn't do much else of note. There's also the fact that so many of the jokes involve small children making various cacophonous noises - laughing, screaming, whining, whatever - and that just grates on the eardrums too much to be amusing. It's the cinematic equivalent of sitting next to a baby on an airplane. Even the sharper jokes, such as Ralphie's parents arguing over an ugly lamp or the extremely disgruntled people working as part of the familiar "department store Santa" set-up, don't quite work either. That's without getting into the staff at a Chinese restaurant singing Christmas carols, either.

Now, of course I'm willing to admit that maybe this just isn't for me. The simple nature of a lot of the gags complete with the most basic undercurrent of cynicism in certain sequences seems perfectly designed to appeal to kids in Ralphie's age bracket and keep said viewers hooked through nostalgia value. Unfortunately, I'm two months away from turning 25 and this is the first time I've seen this movie - at this rate, it'll probably be the last as well. It had its moments (the "you'll shoot your eye out" running gag was handled well) but overall it's a very flat film (and I don't think watching it before Christmas instead of afterwards is going to make much of a difference).