Grafton Public Library

As If! The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling, the cast, and the crew

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This summer marked the 20 year anniversary of Clueless’s opening in CA movie theaters (and nationwide a week later). The fashionasif, the slang, the talent! and the soundtrack combined to create a sleeper hit teen movie with widespread appeal. Based on Jane Austen’s classic matchmaking story, Emma, Clueless won 8 awards, including Best Screenplay from the National Society of Film Critics but sadly missed the Oscar, in part due to it’s unfortunate categorization as a derivative work.

In this interview-style book, Jen Cheney shares memory and insight from the major players from the stars, director, producer, promoters, wardrobe, even bands featured in the movie and on the soundtrack. The book also places Clueless neatly in context of cinema history, and pop culture, showing how a seemingly fluffy story of a Beverly Hills socialite changed the grunge scene, empowers women and influenced music, television film for years to come, most recently in Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy“video, which recreates a number of iconic scenes from the film, down to the actual wardrobe.

A must-read for any fan of the film, As If! is organized chronologically from concept and then through each major scene, with forays into the worlds of costume, music and reviews. The author pieces together interviews (new and past) to stitch together a seamless narrative that makes the reader feel as if all the participants are in a room sitting in a circle and feeding off one another’s comments.

Missing throughout is Brittany Murphy’s voice, lost in 2009. A tribute at the end memorializes her without dipping into oversentimentality.

Read more about Clueless with these 22 fun facts, go see the revival playing at the Coolidge Theatre this fall, or borrow it from the Library today! Watch for the Broadway version to debut (pending funding) in the next few years.

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