Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

I Don’t Want to be a Traitor to My Generation or Anything, But…

When we were kids Aunt Mary used to take us on movie marathons. We
would go to a movie theater, sometimes in our pajamas, pay for one
movie and stay for two or three. Often times this was a birthday
celebration, sometimes it was just a declaration of our independence
from overpriced theaters. One thing it always was, loads of fun. So
in July of 1995, for Brian’s birthday we all went on one of these
movie marathons. I’ve said before the movies that really effected me,
I can always remember the setting in which I first saw them. This one
is no different. I remember we saw A Kid in King Arthur’s Court,
which I only remember because I had a crush on the lead kid. I forget
what the second movie we saw was, but the third movie just happened to
change my whole generation. It was Clueless. That’s right, now can
you see why I don’t tell everyone what my actual favorite movie is? I
mean, it’s a little embarrassing when you’re having a discussion about
favorite movies and people are naming The Godfather and I come back
with Clueless. So sometimes I say Almost Famous. So yeah, here we
go: Why Clueless is the best movie ever? Or How Julia became aware
of the power of film.

I’ve been working on a theory for quite some time now. The theory is
something like, if you take anyone, but mostly women, between the ages
of 21 and 28, they all have a similar way of talking, a similar way of
communicating, many similar gesticulations, they have some very
glaringly obvious similarities, and sure some of them come from
growing up at the same time and thus having the same cultural lexicon
to communicate with, but it’s more than that. My theory is that
Clueless actually changed the way we all talk, communicate, and act.
I know, I know, this is a big claim, but think about it (especially
you in the demographic I’m talking about). You probably remember very
vividly this movie coming out. You remember wearing the school girl
clothes with the knee high socks-no Britney Spears was not responsible
for this. Sure she slutted it up (shocking, I know), but she didn’t
popularize it. You remember dressing like this at the school dances,
running your hands through your now straigtened hair, like Cher did in
the scene with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I definitely wanted a
Jeep for years after. We all started listening to No Doubt after
Clueless. Like, as a way of pausing mid-sentence, became part of our
language. As if. I mean, I’m not saying that we still use the same
exact vernacular as they used in the film, what I am saying is that,
much like Shakespeare, Clueless opened up our collective minds to the
fact that we could actually make up our own words. How do you think
words like Gi-normous, or creep-tastic or bootylicious crept in to the
language of todays youth? It was Clueless. I mean, it’s not like
we’re totally buggin’, we just realized that we didn’t have to adhere
to the conventions of proper English, at least when we’re speaking.
So that’s my theory, maybe in 20 years I’ll finally have done some
actual research and I’ll write a book on it…if there are any
linguists in the crowd, feel free to steal, I just want Story credit.

Alright so I guess there are worse movies that I could like, love,
than Clueless. I mean, it is, perhaps, the best film adaptation of
Emma that’s ever been realized. And where better to modernize Jane
Austen than the halls of Bronson Alcott High School in Beverly Hills,
CA. I mean please, Jane Austen is nothing if not the 19th Century
version of 90210 in its heyday. I have to give Amy Heckerling credit
for the fact that she rocked the shit out of updating that material
and made it pertinent and poignant for the youth of 1995.

The thing that’s easy to forget about Clueless when we watch it now is
that it was satirical when it came out. Kids weren’t walking down the
halls at school talking on their cell phones, they weren’t having
those conversations where they start on a cell phone and then you run
into each other and continue the conversation while hanging up the
phone, no hitch in the conversation. This was not happening in
regular society in 1995. It was hysterical…now it’s just real.
Hmmm, prescient too. I guess there’s more to this movie than rich
teenagers in Beverly Hills.

It was also the first real portrayal of gay teens in the mainstream,
and what sorts of traits should set off the gaydar. I mean, now, it’s
not shocking to find out that Christian is gay. He certainly dresses
better than I do, what would I bring to the relationship? Christian
was when we girls of 1995 first learned that being a disco dancing,
Streisand ticket holding, oscar wilde reading, friend of dorothy were
all OGT’s (Obviously Gay Traits). We also learned that your gay BFF
could be your best shopping buddy. That’s where we got our education
about our gays before Sex and the City.

Not only was Clueless educational but it was also just damn funny. I
mean the freeway scene, I’m sorry but nothing on screen now can even
compare to how funny that scene is. Which actually brings me to my
next point. Clueless always just got better the older I got. It’s
the kind of humor that you get as you get more worldly. When I first
saw it at the age of 11 I never got the joke that a then chubby
Brittany Murphy utters, “You guys got Coke here?” Cher Answers,
“Yeah, this is America.” My 11 year old self thought, of course they
have Coca-Cola…where’s she from that she doesn’t have Coca-Cola.
Cut to three years later…’wait, is she talking about Cocaine?’ Oh
that’s hilarious. And there’s a whole new layer that comes when you
move to Los Angeles. When Cher’s dad claims that she should be home
in 20 minutes because ‘everywhere in L.A. takes 20 minutes.’ It’s a
sort of subtle joke that is so L.A. because theoretically everything
should take 20 minutes…and you’re still not where you should be 2
hours later.

So yes Clueless is my favorite movie. Now you know. And knowing is
half the battle.

Peace, Love, and Happy Thanksgiving,
Julia

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November 22, 2007 - Posted by | Gay/Lesbian, High School, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movie Reviews, Movies

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