The Iconic Movie ‘Clueless’ Was Released 23 Years Ago Today

One of the best movies of all time (IMHO), Clueless, was officially released 23 years ago today.


The film, directed by Amy Heckerling, is considered a major cult classic and helped launch the careers of several of its stars including Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, and the late Brittany Murphy

Clueless was a big hit at the box office, earning $56 million dollars domestically (which was huge for the time), and also picked up a bunch of awards later that year at the MTV Movie Awards. And for good reason.

As someone who was growing up gay in the 90's, Clueless resonated with me on many different levels from the opening scene to the closing credits. Maybe it had to do with the eclectic fashion seen throughout, the memorable lines or the fact that they dealt with homosexuality in a really unique way, but a combination of all of those things really made me enjoy the film as a gay kid growing up in a small town. 

The most amazing part of all of this was that the film was loosely based on the Jane Austen classic book Emma. Sure they take place in totally different time periods, settings and whatnot, but for anyone that has read the book and seen the movie… the similarities are definitely there.


Clueless is still relevant today as it was back in 1995… minus some fashion options and how we communicated (they did use archaic versions of cell phones though). For those who haven't seen it (change that immediately), it centers around the character of Cher Horowitz (Alicia) who lives the wealthy life with her father Mel (the hilarious Dan Hedaya) and spends most of her time with her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash).

When new girl Tai (Brittany) comes to town, Cher comes up with the brilliant idea to boost her popularity in a myriad of ways from a makeover to trying to find her a boyfriend. Along the way, problems start to flourish, friendships diminish, and Cher starts to feel all alone towards the end of the film until things change for the better for her and everyone around her.

Alicia played the role to absolute perfection. Rumor has it that Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar were also up for the part, and they would've done great, but Alicia's way of being absurdly "clueless" throughout it was endearing and fun to watch. The chemistry that she had with Stacey was pretty incredible as well, and the supporting cast really did a great job at making their mark in the classic film (Donald Faison, Elisa Donovan, Breckin Meyer, Jeremy Sisto). 

Memorable moments for me read as follows:

  • Who didn't want to have that computer program that would tell you if the outfit you have is a match or not? Does anything out there exist? Also, the fact that they were playing David Bowie's "Fashion" in the background just adds to how awesome the scene is.
  • So many jokes from the film went completely over my head as a kid. "No s**t, you guys got coke here?", "I could really use some sort of herbal refreshment" and "I was riding the crimson wave" were lines that I didn't get then but totally get now.
  • That also includes the comments made about Christian (Justin Walker), who was obviously gay but Cher didn't get it. "Christian had a thing for Tony Curtis so we watched Some Like it Hot and Sporadicus." LOL! 
  • "It does not say RVSP on the Statue of Liberty" rings SOOOO true to what's going on in the United States today.
  • Paul Rudd, who was 26 when the movie was made, still looks the same all this time later. And still very cute, if I might add.
  • The movie is so quotable its hard to figure out which one was my favorite. Let's stick to the classic then: "As if!" 

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

Leave a Comment