Beyond Clueless – Film Review

This documentary promises 'a dizzying journey into the soul of the teen movie', but doesn't quite succeed

Written and directed by film journalist Charlie Lyne, this 90-minute documentary promises a “dizzying journey into the mind, body and soul of the teen movie”. There’s no doubting Lyne’s passion: he’s picked clips from over 250 films and set them to a suitably wistful soundtrack by indie duo Summer Camp and a voiceover by actress Fairuza Balk, who appeared in several ’90s teen movies, including 1996’s The Craft. Sadly, Lyne’s analysis of the genre’s tropes isn’t always insightful – “sex changes everything”, we’re told midway – and his focus can be misguided. Dodgy teen comedies Slap Her She’s French and Eurotrip are strenuously examined, but Lyne barely bothers with Clueless, the 1995 high-school classic that gives his film its title.