"You're a virgin who can't drive" might need a rethink in the age of Uber...
Following the news that classic 90s high school flick Clueless is set for a reboot, fans of the original have mixed feelings.
The 1995 film – which stars Alicia Silverstone as hapless school socialite Cher Horowitz – is loosely based on the plot of Jane Austen’s novel Emma. In the 1815 novel, a wannabe matchmaker attempts to set up all of her mates; however, Emma’s approach is less discerning wingman, and more interfering gossip of the village. In Clueless, meanwhile, Cher’s just as bad at playing Cupid, causing multiple dramas around her Beverley Hills neighbourhood. Not to drop any massive spoilers or anything, but eventually she falls for the person she least expected.
So far, so ripe for a remake – after all, if you got a quid for every Jane Austen adaptation out there, you’d end up with enough coins to build yourself a life-sized golden likeness of Mr Darcy. On the other hand, people raising their eyebrows quizzically in response do put forward a very good point. When it comes to films that epitomise the essence of 90s culture – from the dodgy matching outfits to its constant script references to the era – there’s a worry that an up to date version might lose all of the magic.
Well, it looks like a new version of Clueless is going ahead regardless. With the enormously talented Marquita Robinson (best known for her work on Glow) writing the script, and Tracy Oliver – co-writer of Girls Trip – already confirmed, there’s vast hope that the entire project might just work out without being a massive fail. The real question is this – what would a 2018 remake look like, given that Clueless is so clearly set in the 90s?
Short answer: They would need to change the film – a lot.
Cher wouldn’t be called Cher, for starters
When Cher picks up best pal Dionne in her “loqued out” jeep, she points out that they’re both named after “great singers of the past”. Obviously, she’s talking about Dionne Warwick and Cher – two singers who were massive in the 70s. In a Clueless update, the scene would feature a “fly” Fiat 500 instead, and the main characters would most likely be named Britney and Natalie (as in Natalie Imbruglia, natch)
Oh yeah, and Britney (fka. Cher) would probably be a famous YouTuber.
Cher’s moving speech in class? That can stay
In one scene, Cher gives a presentation to her classmates on the subject of refugees. Using a slightly clumsy but well-meaning metaphor, she compares the plight of Haitian refugees – and the USA’s failure to welcome them – to one of her dad’s swanky garden parties.
“So, OK, like right now, for example, the Haitians need to come to America,” she says. “But some people are all, ‘What about the strain on our resources?’ But it’s like when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday, right? I said R.S.V.P. because it was a sit-down dinner. But people came that, like, did not R.S.V.P. So I was, like, totally buggin’. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, squish in extra place settings; but by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier!”
She ends on a note that Donald Trump could do with listening to. “And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty.” Sadly it’s not possible to vote for Cher in the upcoming Midterms.
Those matching tartan outfits might need an update…
Sure, if you ask a fashiony person, they’ll probably confirm that garish yellow tartan is having its second moment in the limelight since Clueless first popularised it. Given that everyone is wearing miniature sunglasses and questionable sportswear right now, the wardrobe team could probably save themselves a few bucks by reusing the 1995 costumes.
If that approach seems a bit lazy, a haphazard browse through the pages of Vogue teaches us this. Animal prints, luxe textures and statement headpieces are all very in for Fall/Winter 18, dahhhling. And we’re all here for a Clueless reboot that channels Chic Pat Butcher, tbh.
No more Contempo Casuals, either
Cher’s favourite store, Contempo Casuals doesn’t exist anymore. Like The Sweater Shop, Tammy Girl and everyone’s favourite body-con dress outlet Kookai, the budget fashion store has faded into obscurity, replaced by ASOS and Monki. There are two choices here: rebrand Cher as a Depop trawling hipster who lives for snapping up vintage pieces, or buy her novelty hair clips from Primark instead.
Josh would be a huge fan of the Bristol rock scene
Cher’s major love interest and/or nemesis Josh Lucas (played by Paul Rudd) is a big fan of “dirgey” university radio bangers such as ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ by Oxford upstarts of the time Radiohead. Given his obvious interest in listening to regional alternative bands from the United Kingdom – plus a tendency towards the louder end of the spectrum – Josh II would almost certainly be a huge fan of IDLES. And since Paul Rudd hasn’t aged a day since the 1995 original (seriously, there isn’t a single wrinkle on that godforsaken man’s brow) he may as well come back for the latest version.
And finally, Tai would need a new catchphrase
The late Brittany Murphy portrays Cher’s scruffy, flannel-loving mate Tai, and her scathing put down is one of the greatest moments of the whole film. After her friend’s driving test failure (in a remake, this would probably be a theory test fail, let’s be honest), feeling quite pissed off at the time, she calls Cher a “virgin who can’t drive”.
In this day and age, it’s incredibly easy to get an Uber. Not being able to drive… well, that isn’t really much of a par, is it. Instead, present day Tai would probably call her a flop who can’t floss. Or something like that.