At 1:00 Sunday morning, just as my daughter and I were getting ready to finally turn in for the night, the movie "Clueless," starring Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd, started. She had never seen it and really wanted to stay up to watch it; I briefly considered it because of the Everything Austen Challenge. Then I looked at the clock and told her "we can rent this anytime."
So today, right after lunch, she was grabbing movies to go back to Hollywood Video so that we could rent "Clueless," which we watched tonight. Her assessment: "It was pretty good." I really watched it this time with an eye an comparing it to "Emma" by Jane Austen. Like Emma Woodhouse, Cher Horowitz is a wealthy, popular young woman who likes to meddle in other people's business and is being raised by a father is very indulgent. Cher, like Emma, is involved in a bit of matchmaking that results in a marriage. The success of that bit of matchmaking leads Cher/Emma to reach out to a new young lady (Harriet in the book, Tai in the movie) with much less success. Ultimately, in both the book and the movie, the latest bit of meddling does lead our heroine to realize that her true love is actually a young man she knows through a marriage in the family and he is the only person who really holds her up to a higher standard. Both the book and this movie adaptation take a pointed look at social status and the ways in which personal biases or desires blind objective judgment.