Cher in yellow plaid


Title: Clueless
Released: 1995

Fix: 1990s, teen comedies, rom-coms, Paul Rudd, Jane Austen adaptations, nostalgia
Platforms: Amazon Prime

Prime Summary:

Cher’s world unravels with the sudden appearance of two hunks: a sexy new classmate and her square but cute ex-stepbrother. Now she’s learning that when it comes to love, she’s Clueless.

FYA Summary:
Cher has it all: a big house in Beverly Hills with columns that date all the way back to 1972, the coolest friends who look like they’re staring in a Noxema commercial, a mechanical closet that chooses designer outfits for her, and a dream car she can’t legally drive. Since her life is perfect, she spends her time trying to bring others happiness too, playing matchmaker with her friends and teachers, and bringing new girl Tai under her wing for a whole life makeover.

When a cute new boy arrives at school, Cher realizes that maybe she doesn’t want to wait until college-or-Luke-Perry to date. But suddenly, all of her tried-and-true methods at getting people to fall in love are backfiring when applied to herself, and Cher’s perfect life begins to feel like it’s unraveling at the (designer) seams.

Familiar Faces:

Cher looking Clueless

Alicia Silverstone as Cher

While all of the elements of this movie converged at the perfect time and place to create a cinematic masterpiece, Alicia Silverstone as Cher was its nucleus. She toed the line between materialistic popular girl and well-intentioned sweetheart with aplomb. Her doe eyes and pouty mouth offset the intimidation factor brought on by her perfect, rich girl hair and computerized closet. It would have been SO EASY for Cher to seem like a bitch, and thus, not easily rooted for, if the casting hadn’t been just right.

John looking in love in Clueless

Paul Rudd as Josh

My crush on Paul Rudd developed approximately 25 minutes into my first viewing of this movie and it has had me by the NECK ever since. Thankfully for me, he’s only gotten better with age.

Dionne smiling in Clueless

Stacey Dash as Dionne

As an adult, I can now see that Dionne was sort of a toxic best friend, but it’s possible that my view of Dionne is muddied by my view of Stacey Dash.

Tai with braided pigtails in clueless

Brittany Murphy as Tai

Brittany’s transition from sweet, clueless new girl to teen queen monster was executed so seamlessly! So flawlessly! She deserved awards for it, tbqh. We have her to thank for maybe the most iconic line delivery of all time – one that nestled itself into our collective vernacular till the end of days: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”

Donald Faison as Murray

Murray was the poster boy for Guy You Dated In High School. Like we ALL knew this guy, even if we, personally, did not date him. It’s what makes the character so iconic.

Travis giving two thumbs up in Clueless

Breckin Meyer as Travis

Two very enthusiastic thumbs up for Breckin Meyer as the world’s biggest Marvin the Martian fan. Travis was the prototype for stoners with a heart of gold, and I would go to all of his skateboarding competitions if I had the opportunity.

Wallace Shawn as Mr. Hall

There is something about Wallace Shawn in general, but especially as Mr. Hall, that scratches an itch in my brain. Like all the parts fit together perfectly to create this character – and watching him find love with Miss Geist/Twink Caplan will never get old to me.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Generational Unification

This movie caused a cultural reset when it came out. Every cool girl at my school had a pen with a little feather puff on the end. Target was selling yellow plaid skirt/blazer suits as recently as last year. Clueless invented 2021 Sexiest Man Alive Paul Rudd. Half of this movie is quoted regularly more than 25 years later. And it wasn’t like Clueless disappeared for 20 years and is having some sort of Renaissance. This movie has STAYED relevant. Love of Clueless spans from Gen X through Millenials and into Gen Z. It’s, like, the only thing we can all agree on.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: What Are They Smoking?

My introduction to Clueless came in 1995 when I was in the 5th grade and a girl in my class took a group of us to go see it in the movie theaters for her birthday party. Her mom sat in the row behind us, audibly huffing and puffing at most of the movie’s not-safe-for-fifth-graders content. And when we got to the Val party scene and Cher’s friends pass around a joint, my friend’s mom had had ENOUGH. She made us get out of our seats and took us across the hall to watch the second half of Tall Tale, which wasn’t nearly as cool and was also kind of confusing because we didn’t see the first half.

The irony of this is that at the time, I thought my friend’s mom was really upset about Cher and her friends smoking cigarettes and didn’t realize until much later that they were smoking something else.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Required Viewing

All this and I haven’t even touched on the fact that Clueless is one of the all time best Jane Austen adaptations ever made. Every time I watch it (which is regularly) I am amazed at the way they perfectly captured the vibe of Emma while placing it in a different era and continent. It speaks to the storytelling genius of both Jane Austen and Amy Heckerling.

Honestly, at this point, I would be shocked if a person reading this website had NOT seen Clueless, but it never hurts to remind you that it’s available to stream whenever you need some comfort viewing.

Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband and cocker spaniel. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. She is a brand designer who loves tiki drinks, her mid-century modern house, and obsessive Google mapping.