Clueless (1995) is an interesting time capsule containing the culture of the mid-‘90s. The fashion, the slang, the technology, the music, all of it screams ‘90s. As someone who grew up mainly in the 2000s, it is movies like this that show me how the world used to be. I mean everything is so different. Well… except for Paul Rudd. He looks exactly the same now has he does in this movie. It is really weird to see. But good on him. He hit the genetic jackpot. Anyway, as I was saying, this film is a fascinating time capsule to the ‘90s.
Now, I won’t pretend to understand the fashion of today, but I certainly don’t understand the fashion in Clueless. It is… a lot to take in. In the scene where the main character is describing all the different cliques in the school each one had me confused at the truly wild fashion choices being made by each clique. I don’t even know how to fully describe it. But if you lived through the ‘90s or have recently watched this movie, I’m sure you know what I’m talking it about.
This film is also a great time capsule for all the great ‘90s slang. Again, I won’t pretend to understand all of today’s slang but ‘90s slang was certainly something else. “As if”, “Buggin’”, “Wiggin’”, and “Boinkfest” were some of the easiest to understand as they have stayed somewhat relevant. Some were easy to figure out through context, “jeeping” is cheating or “loadie” is a drug addict. Some were so weird that I had to look them up. Apparently, a “Baldwin” is an attractive man and a “Betty” is an attractive woman. The ‘90s were quite a time, weren’t they?
There is nothing more fun than when you’re watching a movie and characters pull out those bricks that used to be cell phones. ‘90s technology is highlighted greatly in this movie. From the giant phones, to the TVs with the huge backs. to the computer that frankly, just looks weird now. Also, some of the characters use pagers in this movie and as my high school French teacher once said “The only people that use pagers now a days are doctors and drug dealers.”
The last thing that this movie acts as a time capsule for is the music. Oh, the music. I hear you wondering, “what is so bad about ‘90s music?” I’ll tell you. In one word: Ska. Ska was popular in the ‘90s. You all let that happen. You have to live with that. There is a scene in this movie where the characters go to a “cool” party and at the party they had a live band playing Ska. They had a live Ska band. At the cool party. That is the biggest indicator on how times has changed. Now, don’t get me wrong the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the band playing at the party, is a perfectly fine band. It’s a fine band with some catchy songs. I’m just saying that the genre Ska as a whole was a mistake. If a corner stone of your musical genre is having a member of the band solely dedicated to dancing on stage, not playing an instrument or singing just dancing, its maybe time to return to the drawing board.
That is the time capsule that is Clueless. As someone who didn’t grow up in the ‘90s, I liked this film as a nice look at what was popular back then and I’m sure that recent movies like Booksmart will be the same type of time capsule in twenty years, and I’ll find myself embarrassed by the slang and fashion at the time. So, if you were a teenager in the ‘90s, this movie will probably be a great way to reminisce or cringe or feel embarrassed or whatever.