Clueless (1995)
A review by Shlomoh Sherman
June 8, 2021

Clueless (1995)
Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy
Clueless (1995) on IMDb  
Plot Summary: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale. Seeing herself as a matchmaker, Cher first coaxes two teachers into dating each other.
Plot Keywords: virgin - high school - valley girl - blonde girl - female protagonist
Taglines: Sex. Clothes. Popularity. Whatever. As if.
Genres: Comedy - Romance Motion Picture Rating (MPAA) Rated PG-13 for sex related dialogue and some teen use of alcohol and drugs
Parents Guide: See below
Country: USA
Language: English - Spanish
Release Date: July 19, 1995 (USA)
Also Known As: I Was a Teenage Teenager
Filming Locations: 5148 Louise Ave, Encino, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office:
Budget:$12,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $10,612,443 - July 3, 1995
Gross USA: $56,631,572
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $56,631,572
Company Credits: Production Co: Paramount Pictures
Awards: See below
Technical Specs:
Runtime: 97 min
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
Color: Color


Has anyone seen Alicia Silverstone lately? You just know that she cannot be as gorgeous as she was in 1995 when this movie was released. Well then, she was 19 and now she must be 45 or 46. So - you know, long in the tooth.

The first I ever saw her was in The Crush (1993 in which she plays a really mean young girl who does everything to make the audience hate her.

So it was with pleasure that I got a new image of her as Cher Horrowitz, a high school sophmore who only wants to do good deeds, especially helping Tai, a new student become popular and find a boyfriend.

As for Cher, her romantic life is null. That is, until her step brother, Josh, moves in to help her father with his legal business.

Cher and Josh have been friends for many years and then they discover that they are in liove with each other. The scene in which they share their first kiss is followed by a wedding scene. And we hear Cher's charming overvoice: "As if! I'm only 16 and this is California, not Kentucky.

The wedding is that of two of her teachers whom she arranged to start dating.

Rightly put by the webpage at IMDB, "[Cher's] external demeanor at first seems superficial, but rather it hides her wit, charm, and intelligence which help her to deal with relationships, friends, family, school, and the all-important teenage social life.

That is, she is a real MITSVAH girl, a good-deed-doer; what is called in Judaism, a TSEDEKET, a righteous person.

Thge first time I saw this movie in the late 1990s, the fact that Cher is Jewish went completely over my head. I mean, her family bane is Horrowitz. And there is even a scene in which she points out that the bacon she eats is turkey bacon. I warmed to Alicia's performance.

Tai is wonderfully played by Brittany Murphy whose December 2009 untimely death saddened me. Having seen her in too many films in which she portrayed sad, neurotic females, it was a pleasure to see her play a happy teen.

Paul Rudd, whose films include Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40, Ant-Man, and Captain America, cheerfully plays Josh, Cher's love-interest.

Having acquired a copy of Clueless, I watched it for a second time last week. If you haen't seen it and you want to see a feel-good movie, borrow it from your local library.

As usual, I append to my own review, that of one review found at IMDB. Here are several excerpts from reviews on IMDB

From the February 26, 2021 review by bapgoi.

Brother/Sister and Father/Daughter
They all have good chemistry and are interesting characters. The brother/sister romance is not consummated so the ending is a little disappointing. Therefore, only 8 stars instead of 9 or 10.

From the December 30, 2018 review by Jenniina J Janette

Greatest Chick Flick Ever!
Iconic teen movie; Brittany Murphy is amazing in that movie, and Alicia Silverstone is gorgeous!

From the February 21, 2001 review by FlickJunkie

Easy to like
Director Amy Heckerling knows a thing or two about high school flicks, having directed the highly successful `Fast Times at Ridgemont High'. Heckerling put her talents to work thirteen years later for the next generation of high schoolers, writing and directing this hilarious satire of life at Beverly Hills H.S. Heckerling takes a different approach from `Fast Times', which found its comedy in the absurdity of reality, depicting situations into which teenagers really get themselves. Here Heckerling's comedy mostly comes from mocking the superficiality of the high school `in-crowd'. While this is not the first time this has been done, few have ever done it with such blistering wit. This film became the standard for a spate of 1990's high school flicks set on the West Coast that borrowed many of its elements.

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KUDOS to Alicia Silverstone as Cher. See below for info on her forthcoming movie
KUDOS to Brittany Murphy as Tai. I miss her.
KUDOS to Paul Rudd as Josh, a role that could have been played by many other cute, young actors.
KUDOS to Dan Hedaya as Mel Horowitz. I used to think that Dan was Arabic but no. He is Jewish. His parents are from Syria.

Alicia Silverstone (Cher) actually did not know how to correctly pronounce "Haitians" in the classroom scene. Director Amy Heckerling told the crew not to correct her because she liked it so much and wanted it to be in the film.
Paul Rudd auditioned for the roles of Murray, Christian and Elton. Rudd assumed that the character of Murray was a white teenager trying to act like a rapper.
Alicia Silverstone did not have to audition for her role in this movie.
The film's writers sat in classes at Beverly Hills High to get the flavor of the students.
Plot, characters, themes, and values are all based on Jane Austen's novel "Emma".
While filming, Paul Rudd was mugged and had his backpack stolen, which held his script for the movie.
According to "As If!" a book by Jen Chaney celebrating the twentieth anniversary of this film, though many people think the costuming budget must have been high for the film, it was actually quite modest for a big blockbuster film. Costume designer Mona May wanted the girls to look like mall rats, not models, so her 63 outfit changes only cost $200,000. The biggest costume expense was the plaid Jean Paul Gaultier outfit Alicia Silverstone wears in the opening scenes, an outfit that she got to keep, along with all her outfits from the film which, as she told Entertainment Weekly magazine, she gave away to charity.
One of the promotional items distributed to tie in with the film was a booklet called "How to Speak Cluelessly." In it was a lexicon of many of the invented terms used for the Clueless (1995) world, some of which became part of real teen lingo at the time. An example was a "Baldwin" being a very handsome male, as in the famous sibling actors.
At one point Tai (Brittany Murphy) insults Cher by calling her a virgin who can't drive. Murphy confessed later that at the time of filming, she actually was a virgin who couldn't drive.
Clueless (1995) was ranked at #7 on Entertainment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006).
Stacey Dash was the oldest cast member among those who played students. She was 29 and portrayed a character almost half her age.
Although with many obvious modernizations and adaptations having been made, Clueless (1995) actually does still dovetail pretty closely to the original plot and central set of characters found in Austen's novel "Emma." In terms of the cast, for instance, Cher is Emma, Josh is Mr. Knightley, Tai is Harriet Smith, Elton is Mr. Elton, Travis is Robert Martin, Christian is a loose and much more sympathetic version of Frank Churchill, and Dionne could feasibly be Mrs. Weston. Although it is also possible, given that Cher attempts to play matchmaker with the two of them, that Mr. Hall and Miss Geist could also be Mr. and Mrs. Weston, who, likewise, Emma claims to have matched.
Actors who auditioned for this film included Reese Witherspoon for Cher, Terrence Howard for Murray, Jeremy Renner for Christian and Josh, Zooey Deschanel for Amber and Cher, Owen Wilson for Travis, Leah Remini for Tai, Seth Green for Travis, and Lauryn Hill for Dionne.
Paul Rudd and Jeremy Renner would eventually work together in two Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), playing Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Clint Barton/Hawkeye respectively (Terrence Howard also appeared in an MCU movie, Iron Man (2008), playing Rhodey but was replaced by Don Cheadle in later movies). Alicia Silverstone and Seth Green end up working together in the movie, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), playing Heather and Patrick Wisely respectively.
Director Amy Heckerling met with Alicia Witt, Reese Witherspoon, Keri Russell, and Tiffani Thiessen for the role of Cher. Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow were both considered for the role, but neither auditioned. Ben Affleck and Zach Braff both auditioned for Josh. Seth Green auditioned for Travis. Alanna Ubach auditioned for Tai. Terrence Howard auditioned for Murray, while Dave Chappelle also met with Heckerling to discuss the role. Jamie Walters auditioned for Christian. Sarah Michelle Gellar was offered the role of Amber, but had to turn it down when her soap opera All My Children (1970) refused to allow her time away. Jerry Orbach was offered the role of Mel Horowitz, but similarly could not get time away from his show, Law & Order (1990), while Harvey Keitel was deemed too expensive to be cast in the part.
This film spun off a television show and a series of books.
Jeremy Sisto and Alicia Silverstone would reunite sixteen years later as love interests George Altman and Eden in the sitcom Suburgatory (2011).
Cher's last name is given as Horowitz, but shown on her report card as Hamilton. This may be an in-joke, as director Amy Heckerling's previously directed Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) featured a character named Stacey Hamilton.
The episode of Beavis and Butt-Head (1993) that Cher and Josh watch is called Beavis and Butt-Head: The Great Cornholio (1994).
Reese Witherspoon auditioned for the lead role in Clueless at age 18. Never admitted to such until her 2020 guest appearance on the comedy podcast Smartless.
Christian uses a lot of anachronistic slang, e.g., "are you rationed this weekend?", "I dig you", "these guys got the skinny...", etc.
Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd both also played superheroes in DC and Marvel films. Silverstone played Batgirl in Batman & Robin (1997) and Rudd portrayed Scott Lang in Ant-Man (2015).

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the scene where Cher is packing for her father and is surprised by Christian's call, he is at a museum. The painting behind him is of two men affectionately in an embrace, another foreshadow of his sexuality.
The films that Christian watches on video with Cher, Some Like It Hot (1959) and Spartacus (1960), provide clues to his sexual orientation. The first movie deals with cross-dressing men (who are escaping from a mob hit). The second includes the famous scene where a Roman master (Laurence Olivier) tries to seduce his male servant (Tony Curtis). Both these movies also include Tony Curtis.
DIRECTOR CAMEO (Amy Heckerling): makes a cameo as Miss Geist's maid of honor at the wedding scene. She is also in the bouquet-catching scene and is the source of most of the struggling.
The scene where Cher wanders around and realizes her true feelings for Josh as fountains erupt is borrowed from Gigi (1958), where Gaston does the same thing. The music playing when Cher stands at the top of the stairs in her white dress before her date with Christian is taken from the same movie. Gigi, incidentally, wears a white dress both times that particular theme is played.
When Cher comes down the staircase in the white Calvin Klein dress and Josh suddenly looks at her in a more romantic light, the music playing is the instrumental version of "Gigi" from the film Gigi (1958). That movie is also about an older, brotherly-like character seeing a little girl transform into a beautiful young lady and falling in love with her.
The book Christian is reading during class, "Junky" by William S. Burroughs, is another clue and indication of his sexual orientation, as its author had strong homosexual desires.
When Christian first appears at the class, Cher has new hopes for high school boys. However, as the shot pans from her gaze to him in the doorway, just over his left shoulder on the wall in the classroom is a cutout headline from the newspaper which reads, "On the Road to Nowhere."

Other than the Paramount Pictures logo and the movie's title, there are no opening credits.

Kids in America By Ricki Wilde and Marty Wilde Performed by The Muffs Produced by Rob Cavallo and The Muffs The Muffs perform courtesy of Reprise Records Fashion Written & Performed by David Bowie Courtesy of Rykodisc / Jones Music Mainman SA
Just a Girl By Gwen Stefani and Tom Dumont Performed by No Doubt Courtesy of Trauma Interscope Records
Shoop By Cheryl James, Pepa (as Sandra Denton), Mark Sparks, and Otwane Roberts Performed by Salt-N-Pepa Courtesy of London Records By Arrangement with Polygram Special Markets Contains sample from "I'm Blue" by Ike Turner Performed by Sweet Inspirations Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp. By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Fake Plastic Trees (Acoustic Version) By Thom Yorke (as Thomas Yorke) and Ed O'Brien Performed by Radiohead Courtesy of Capitol Records Under license from CEMA Special Markets
Shake Some Action By Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson (as Christopher Wilson) Performed by Cracker Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
Change By Ian Broudie Performed by Lightning Seeds Courtesy of Trauma Interscope Records and Epic Records Licensed from Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun By Robert Hazard
My Iron Lung By Thom Yorke (as Thomas Yorke) and Ed O'Brien Performed by Radiohead Courtesy of Capitol Records Under license from CEMA Special Markets
Supermodel By David Baerwald, David Kitay, Brian MacLeod, and Kristen Vigard Performed by Jill Sobule Produced by Brad Jones and Robin Eaton Jill Sobule performs courtesy of Lava / Atlantic Recording Group
Buns of Steel 3 By Fit Video Mentos Jingle 'Fresh Goes Better' By John Groves
Miss Brown to You By Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin and Richard A. Whiting Performed by Billie Holiday Courtesy of Columbia Records By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Alright Written & Performed by Supergrass Courtesy of Capitol Records Under license from CEMA Special Markets
Someday I Suppose By Dennis Brockenborough, Tim Burton, Joe Gittleman, Kevin Lenear, Joseph Sirdis, Nate Albert, and Dicky Barrett Performed by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Courtesy of Mercury Records By Arrangement with Polygram Special Markets
This Time By Novacain & World Performed by Phunke Assfalt Courtesy of A-Street Records
Rollin' with My Homies Written by Coolio (as A. Ivey, Jr.)and Ralph Sall Performed by Coolio Produced by Ralph Sall Coolio performs courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
Where'd You Go? By Nate Albert and Dicky Barrett Performed by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Produced by Paul Kolderie The Mighty Mighty Bosstones perform courtesy of Mercury Records
Give It All You Got Written by Domino and Ralph Sall Performed by Domino Produced by Ralph Sall Domino performs courtesy of Outburst Records
Here (Squirmel Mix) By Jill Cunniff and Gabrielle Glaser Performed by Luscious Jackson Courtesy of Grand Royal / Capitol Records Under license from CEMA Special Markets
Away By Dolores O'Riordan Performed by The Cranberries Courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
Closer to Heaven By Wenty Morris Performed by The Chocolate Hippies Courtesy of Chippie Records
Also Sprach Zarathustra By Richard Strauss
The Ghost in You By Richard Butler and Tim Butler Performed by Counting Crows Courtesy of DGC Records
I Believe I'm You By David Baerwald, Kevin Gilbert, and Sintra Wilson Performed by Gail Orange
My Forgotten Favorite Written and Performed by Velocity Girl OYSTERS & SNAILS (From 'Spartacus') By Alex North
All the Young Dudes By David Bowie Performed by World Party Courtesy of Chrysalis Records Limited
All by Myself By Eric Carmen and Sergei Rachmaninoff Performed by Jewel Kilcher (as Jewel) Produced by David Kitay Jewel performs courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation
Summer of '42 Music by Michel Legrand
Mullet Head Written and Performed by Beastie Boys Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Ain't Nuttin' Wrong Written by Spinderella (as Deidra 'Spin' Roper) and Hurby 'Luv Bug' Azor (as Herby Azor) Performed by Spinderella (as Spin) Produced by Hurby 'Luv Bug' Azor (as Herby 'Luvbug' Azor) Spin performs courtesy of Jireh / MCA Records
Tenderness By Roger Charlery, David Wakeling, and Michael Billingham Performed by General Public Courtesy of I.R.S. Records
Need Your Around Written by Josh Caterer Performed by Smoking Popes Courtesy of Capitol Records Under license from CEMA Special Markets
Gigi By Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe Real Wild Child (Wild One) Written by Johnny Greenan, Johnny O'Keefe, and Dave Owen (as Dave Owens) Performed by Iggy Pop


MPAA - Rated PG-13 for sex related dialogue and some teen use of alcohol and drugs
Argentina:13 Australia:M Belgium:KT/EA Brazil:12 Brazil:10 (edited version) Bulgaria:B Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) Canada:14 (New Brunswick/Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island) Canada:G (Quebec) Denmark:12 Finland:S France:Tous publics Germany:6 (w) Iceland:L India:U Ireland:15 (original rating) Ireland:12 (re-rating) Italy:T Japan:G (self-applied) Malaysia:U Mexico:B Netherlands:AL New Zealand:M Norway:7 (1996, cinema rating) Philippines:PG-13 Portugal:M/12 Russia:12+ Singapore:PG South Africa:A South Korea:12 (2005, DVD rating) South Korea:15 (2016, theatrical rating, VOD rating) Spain:A Sweden:11 United Kingdom:12 United Kingdom:12 (DVD rating) United States:TV-14 (D, L, S) United States:TV-14 (D, L, S, TV Rating) United States:PG-13 (certificate #33483)

Mild Josh is with a girl kissing when interrupted by Cher's call. A brief image is shown of girl in a bra and undershorts (on a virtual clothes selector) Nudity: None Sex: None The main character is very stylish and wears a lot of revealing outfits (microskirts, spandex leotards, ...), but no actual nudity. It's implied that a minor is no longer a virgin. Some guys are seen with their pants sagging, and their underwear (boxers) are visible. Dionne and her boyfriend make out in the front of the car after the driving on the highway scene. This film is about romance so sex and love are talked about frequently. Occasional mild sexual references, including a scene where the main characters discuss their virginity (or lack thereof). A teenage girl briefly uses a pretzel to symbolise a penis.

VIOLENCE & GORE None (Trigger warning: mild sexual assault.) Man repeatedly attempts to grab and kiss a woman, she repeatedly struggles and has to push him off her. After her repeated fighting, she jumps out of the car and he drives away. A character is tipped down on the balcony of a mall but gets stopped later. She is saved later. A character is robbed at gun-point.

PROFANITY Mild A. word H. word Cher calls herself the R-word for packing the wrong beverage for lunch. Contains occasional use of mild coarse language (e.g. shit).

ALCOHOL, DRUGS & SMOKING Mild A house party scene shows underage teens consuming alcohol. A man is shown vomiting alcohol into a pool. Contains a brief scene where adolescent characters share a joint. Contains infrequent mild drug references, including brief sight of a bong, and a remark made by a character who confuses Coca-Cola with cocaine ("No shit! You guys got coke?").

FRIGHTENING & INTENSE SCENES None We find out Cher's mother is dead. A teen girl is bent over a balcony in a mall and is screaming and very frightened. A group of teens are nearly involved in a car wreck on a freeway they are shown screaming and panicking.

Clueless (1995)

Showing all 6 wins and 11 nominations

American Comedy Awards, USA 1996 Winner American Comedy Award - Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) Alicia Silverstone

Awards Circuit Community Awards 1995 Nominee ACCA - Best Actress in a Supporting Role Brittany Murphy

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1996 Winner Blockbuster Entertainment Award -Favorite Female Newcomer Alicia Silverstone

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 1996 Nominee CFCA Award - Most Promising Actress Alicia Silverstone

Kids' Choice Awards, USA 1996 Nominee Blimp Award - Favorite Movie Actress Alicia Silverstone

MTV Movie + TV Awards 1996 Winner -MTV Movie Award - Best Female Performance Alicia Silverstone

Most Desirable Female Alicia Silverstone Nominee -

MTV Movie Award - Best Movie Best Comedic Performance -Alicia Silverstone

National Board of Review, USA 1995 Winner -NBR Award - Best Breakthrough Performer Alicia Silverstone

National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1996 Winner -NSFC Award Best Screenplay Amy Heckerling

New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1995 Nominee -NYFCC Award Best Screenplay Amy Heckerling

Writers Guild of America, USA 1996 Nominee -WGA Award (Screen) - Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Amy Heckerling

Young Artist Awards 1996 Nominee -Young Artist Award - Best Family Feature - Musical or Comedy Best Young Supporting Actress - Feature Film -Stacey Dash -

Best Young Supporting Actress - Feature Film -Brittany Murphy

Best Young Leading Actress - Feature Film Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone Returns to High School Joining the Cast Of Paramount Players’ Comedy ‘Senior Year’ Starring Rebel Wilson - June 1, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: More than 25 years after her star-making role in Clueless, Alicia Silverstone is ready to make her return to the high school comedy genre. She has joined the cast of Paramount Players’ Senior Year, starring Rebel Wilson. Justin Hartley, Angourie Rice, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Mary Holland and Chris Parnell are also on board. Alex Hardcastle will direct. - Senior Year

Read about Clueless On the Internet Movie Data Base

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alicia Silverstone ... Cher
Stacey Dash ... Dionne
Brittany Murphy ... Tai
Paul Rudd ... Josh
Donald Faison ... Murray
Elisa Donovan ... Amber
Breckin Meyer ... Travis
Jeremy Sisto ... Elton
Dan Hedaya ... Mel Horowitz
Aida Linares ... Lucy
Wallace Shawn ... Mr. Wendell Hall
Twink Caplan ... Miss Toby Geist
Justin Walker ... Christian
Sabastian Rashidi ... Paroudasm
Herb Hall ... Principal
See full cast and crew:

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