Earlier this week, I posted up the review on Emma for The Classics Adventure. You can check that out HERE if you missed it.
As normal, I went searching for the adaptations. Unfortunately all the actual adaptations wasn’t available on Netflix. The only one was Clueless. I’ve seen Clueless a ton of times but I like it a lot. It has been a few years since I revisited it though so I’m pretty excited to watch this again.
Plus, its a nice little break from the random Netflix picks. At least I’m sure a good bunch of you have already seen this or at least heard of it 🙂
Director: Amy Heckerling
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Elisa Donovan, Jeremy Sisto, Brecklin Meyer, Dan Hedaya
A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.- IMDB
Clueless was among one of the first chick flicks that I ever watched in my life. It was a good start because its also a very fun movie to watch. The reimagining of Emma into Clueless helped me a lot in reading the actual novel this time around. I could relate to the characters and even though there were little changes and differences to the source material, it still held a good part of the entertainment especially in the character of Emma who is now Cher in this modernized version played by Alicia Silverstone and let me add, in an flawless way to who I would imagine Emma to be in real life. The setting is now put into high school which we all know is kind of just like reality and our social life with different groups and classes, judgement passed on other classmates before knowing them and the likes of that stuff. You know, its high school. I’ve graduated from that part of life over 10 years and I can still remember it.
While Cher is spoiled and self-centred and thinks she is always right when she’s altogether ditzy and kind of ignorant, she does have a kind heart. She cares for her father and her friends and she genuinely does think that she is doing good to the people around her (even when she isn’t). And that is exactly the Emma I see in the novel. Alicia Silverstone does a fine job as I mentioned before but what really is great as well is Tai who is the opposite of Cher who lacks some class and poise. Brittany Murphy captures that role very well also as a girl who really doesn’t know this new world that she’s moved into and believes that Cher can lead her to be accepted by others even when matchmaking her to someone she convinces herself to like and neglecting where her feelings truly lie. What comes out of this is the theme of friendship and just being able to embrace who you (and your friends) are. Especially not trying to make someone like you because being different, even in all their silly and quirky ways, is what makes them who they are.
Jane Austen novels almost always like to address the whole social class theme and with the contrast of Emma and Harriet which is our Cher and Tai here, we can see it transferred perfectly in Clueless. While the match ups for the guys are the same and successfully capture each of the male leads as well. We have our Mr. Elton who is Elton here, with his particular emphasis on class and basically is a pretty snobby and fake person. On the flip side, we have the obvious choice for Tai who just jives well with her but Cher dislikes who is our Mr. Martin who is out of the pack of Cher’s group played by Travis. Then, we come to our final guy, our Mr. Knightley, who is Cher’s ex-stepbrother, Josh who remains close to her family, helping her father out and always around to give her some pointers on her choices (even when she doesn’t listen). I have to say, I totally forgot that Paul Rudd was in this until I watched it the last time and then I realized that he’s super adorable in this one and its hard to not like him. A side note would be that I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a lot of his other roles (in the limited ones that I’ve seen so far). To wrap this up, while not a love interest, I think its fair to say that I do like Cher’s dad here more than the one in the novel, just as a personality sort of difference and that he is more enjoyable to watch even in all his lawyer-ish ways.
Its a lot of compare and contrast for this review but that’s because I’m quite impressed at how Clueless does a decent job at adapting a classic set in 1800s to the 1990s. The characters are portrayed well and Emma is fun and funny because it does in a very sarcastic way, poke fun at the style and silly teens and all that sort of thing. It was just pure entertainment. I can’t say revisiting it now that I don’t see flaws but I still like it a lot.
Overall, Clueless is a fun little film that is very good adaptation of Emma while adding in a modern twist to it. The cast does a fantastic job at portraying their character with the exceptionally awesome performances of Alicia Silverstone and Brittany Murphy. Paul Rudd is absolutely adorable as Josh. Its just a fun trip down the 90s style and language. Although its pretty dated for the outfits and whatnot, its still stays pretty entertaining after all these years.
Have you seen Clueless? Do you think that it is a good adaptation of Emma?