Best Movie Ever?: “Clueless”

When life grants you a news item about Alicia Silverstone‘s love of chewing up sorghum and mouth-feeding it to her infant, you have two options: 1) Sit around and think about the gamey taste of Alicia Silverstone’s kind saliva or 2) relish the resurgence (regurgitation?) of Alicia Silverstone in pop culture and totally re-watch Clueless. It has aged like a yellow-plaid version of the Hope Diamond, kids, stunning and streamlined even now. As we learned with Nine to Five last week, it’s time we started awarding the mantle of “best movie ever” to films that actually matter to us. The movies we revisit, with ease. The movies that have nothing to do with bold auteurism or Charles Foster Kane, but important matters like bold humor, funny women, strong outfits, confidence, unpretentious smarts, and best of all, funny women again. Clueless may look and sound like a feature-length Luscious Jackson video set in Holmby Hills, but it’s such an important moment in incisive cultural commentary, arch dialogue, and fun. Proper! Let’s list all the reasons it’s the Best Movie Ever.

For every classic quote, there are at least 10 other unbelievably funny, underrated quotes. Which is way existential.

Clueless has a meandering plot, but it’s never aimless. And anyway, after The Muffs‘ “Kids in America” and David Bowie‘s “Fashion” kick off the movie, all I care about is watching 16-year-old Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) pal around Beverly Hills with her divine bestie Dionne (Stacey Dash, who looks and is 29), ogle hotties — including her ex-stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) or douche-nozzle Elton (Jeremy Sisto), and whimper to her hothead attorney father (Oscar nom Dan Hedaya). I just want to watch these characters in their hypersaturated SoCal reality quip in Valley Girl pentameter. No need (yet) to restate the historical importance of quotes like “You’re a virgin who can’t drive” and “I’m totally buggin’.” Here are ten other quotes that should be enshrined in designer storefronts and printed on U.S. currency.

10. Cher: “I felt impotent and out of control, which I really hate.”

9. Cher [meaning Spartacus]: “Sporadacus.”

8. Cher: “Where’s my white collarless shirt from Fred Segal… It’s my most capable looking outfit!”

7. Dionne, after Cher suggests taking frumpy newcomer Tai under their wing: “Cher, she is to’ up. Our stock would plummet.”

6. Cher: “As soon as I get my license, I fully intend to brake for animals.”

5. Cher: “I have tried everything to convince [Mr. Hall] of my scholastic aptitude, but I was brutally rebuffed.”

4. Cher: “Here’s the 411 on Mr. Hall. He’s single, he’s 47, and he earns minor ducats at a thankless job.”

3. Cher: “I had to give myself snaps for all the good deeds I was doing.”

2. Cher: “Driving all the way is such a big decision. I can’t believe I was so capricious about it.”

1. Murray, Dionne’s boyfriend: “[Christian's] a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy! He’s gay!”

Which reminds me…

Cher’s misidentification of a gay guy is totally believable.

High school is a time when a girl with self-confidence galore may still question herself when a gay dude turns her down in favor of a Tony Curtis viewing party. She may not recognize his gayness at all, partly because high school is sort of about realizing that gayness is real. When Cher can’t piece together why the swaggering Christian‘s mall savvy and art appreciation prevent him from wanting to deflower her, I totally understand her confusion. Gayness isn’t a real, interactive concept to her yet, so why should she see through him?

Cutest straight guy everrr!

I love that Cher’s ex-stepbrother Josh is rightfully dismissive of Cher, yet always aware that she’s funnier than he is. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.


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