The Clues in Clueless

Clueless (Amy Heckerling) is a 1995 modern adaption to Jane Austin’s 1815 novel Emma. The film follows the actions of Cher Horowitz, a highly fashionable, wealthy, attractive, popular, and naive high school student and her many schemes to provide narrow-minded sources of happiness to others. Cher is often accompanied by her friend Dionne, who is also highly fashionable, attractive, popular, and narrow-minded. Throug-


hout the movie Cher converses with her college student step-brother, they often clash since Josh is very down to earth and not self righteous like Cher. Upon receiving poor grades on her report card Cher sets herself on a mission to persuade her teachers to alter her grades to be preferable. She is able to achieve this mission with all but one teacher, whom she finally is able to persuade upon subtlety setting him up with another teacher thus he is in love and able to change her grade in his class. Cher’s next mission is to help a new student, Tai become popular and date one of the “most popular” guys in school, Elton. Despite Tai’s interest and growing bond with another student, Travis, Cher insists Tai should try and romance Elton. Cher’s next mission is her own romance, she pursues a new student (Christian) who shares her interest in fashion and art. However, it is apparent that Christian is a homosexual and it takes Murray (Dionne’s boyfriend) to explain to Cher this. Cher’s next failure is when she fails her driver’s test and can not persuade the instructor to change her score. When Tai asks for Cher’s help in pursuing Josh and upon Cher expressing her disapproval, the two get into a fight and Cher reflects on her failures. Ultimately Cher realizes her priorities of fashion and self satisfying schemes are the components that have led to her failures and she is in love with Josh. A changed person, Cher begins to see the good other people do for each other (such as Dionne and Murray’s heartwarming consideration for each other).Cher also participates in the selfless act of partaking in a disaster relief effort at her school. Upon attending Travis’s skateboarding event Cher approves of a relationship between Tai and Travis. As the romance between Cher and Josh grow the two share a kiss at the wedding of the two teachers she had set up and the story concludes.


Thesis: In Clueless, Amy Heckerling uses high school stereotypes, especially that of the “It-Girl” to establish the importance consequences of narrow-minded actions.

Topic 1: Cher tries to set up Tai with a guy who she herself deems as a snob in order strengthen Tai’s popularity despite Tai’s interest in a guy who is deemed a socially unacceptable.

Topic 2: Cher’s attempt to pursue a romantic relationship with Christian upon meeting him and without getting to know him prior.

Topic 3: Cher’s failure to talk the driving instructor to not fail her driving test.

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