Hidden Meaning in CLUELESS – Earthling Cinema


Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema.
I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Clueless, a cult classic beloved
by generations for its complex take on femininity, starring Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Wallace
Shawn, and Dan Hedaya. Our protagonist is Cher Horowitz, a supposedly
Jewish teenager with too many of her father’s credit cards and not enough of her father’s
thick, luscious eyebrows. Her best friend is Dionne, a carbon copy of Cher whose defining
characteristic is that she has a boyfriend. All the other humans pretty much let Cher
do whatever she wants except for her brother Josh, whom the movie takes great pains to
assure us is definitely a blood relative. When her numerical value [GPA] starts to drop,
Cher tricks two of her teachers into f***ing since who doesn’t enjoy the mental image of their two favorite high school teachers rubbing
their naked bodies all over each other to sweaty completion? Then, pleased at the early
returns, Cher decides to embark on a full-time career as a sex trafficker. She befriends
a loser named Tai in order to replace her gregarious charm and natural self-confidence
with a perm and a speech pattern that goes up like this? Even though it’s not a question?
Oh god, I can’t stop? Someone please help me? Cher tries to set Tai up with an Elton, but their plan develops a slight wrinkle when
Elton sexually assaults Cher and leaves her for dead. Meanwhile, Cher meets a Rat Pack
member named Christian and wants to join his congregation. Unfortunately, Christian chooses
to be gay instead. As if the plot hadn’t gotten complicated enough,
things spiral out of control when Tai gets a crush on Brother Josh. What’s a rich, attractive
Jewess to do? Well, in this case, it’s to suddenly decide Josh is the perfect guy to
take for herself, despite the fact that he’s her biological sibling that she’s lived with
since she was born. Tai, who draws the line at incest, makes fun of Cher for not knowing
how to drive. Rather than make even a half-hearted stab
at retaking her driver’s test, Cher completely abandons that storyline and starts being Cher-itable. Sorry. She does the canned food drive or whatever,
which causes everyone to go back to being best friends. The two teachers sign a piece
of paper in order to legitimize their union, and Tai settles for a guy who isn’t a sexual
predator. As for Cher? She and Josh get together — even though they’re identical twins who
shared a womb for nine months — and pop out a bunch of mutant babies who learn how to
fight crime. Clueless is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma,
without all the arrogance that comes from being a book. The two works contain parallels
out the wazoo: privileged hottie with a wealthy widowed father, clueless newcomer project
b****, brother figure turned lover figure, and a honky cat named Elton who’s fixated
on his rocket, man. But instead of the peaceful vistas of 19th century England, Clueless centers
around the war zone that is a Beverly Hills High School. The film portrays the follies of focusing
on social hierarchies, from the jocks to the nerds, allll the way down to the faculty.
For many in this world, status is paramount, and anybody who doesn’t care about such distinctions
is considered, if you’ll pardon my French, a f***ing Frenchman. The purpose of dating
is not emotional connection, but social elevationship. “If you make the decision to date a High School boy they are the only acceptable ones.” And school is for socializing, not learning. “What’d you do in school today?” “I broke in my purple clogs.” While Cher has demonstrable intelligence, it can only be utilized through a very specific
filter, probably one that turns your face into a hamster or some shit. “If the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. At the beginning of the film, Cher buys into
this philosophy of shallowness like it’s a Ponzi scheme. She assumes that upping Tai’s
boink factor will make her happy. “Her life will be better because of me.” But as Cher pushes Tai’s personality further from its
natural crunchy state, the cancerous qualities of the superficial elite begin to metastasize
within her, and not in the good way. “Don’t the slackers prefer that grassy knoll over there?” When we meet Christian, he is shown reading an
analog Kindle, hinting that there’s something complex below the surface. But all Cher sees
is handsomeness, missing the obvious clues that he’s a “cake boy,” their words. “You man Christian is a Cake Boy!” Then again, they also show Josh reading and Cher is totally oblivious to his
handsomeness, so really Cher’s philosophy is inconsistency. It’s only by letting go of her fixation with
social trappings that she is able to discern the true value of human beings, which still
rounds down to zero. She begins to appreciate the positive qualities in her one-dimensional
friends. “Christian, he always wants things to be beautiful and interesting.” “Or Dion and Marie, when they think no one is watching they are so considerate of each other.” She sees that beneath the veneer of Elton’s good looks and rich family lies
not one, but 1.5 people. “Ugh, you are a snob and a half.” It seems that sometimes all the effort to keep up with the Kardashioids
is a little constricting. “Sometimes I have more fun vegging out than when I go partying. Maybe because my party clothes are so binding.” Absent the ability to validate herself through
material things, Cher opts instead to validate herself through a lack of material things
— by giving them away. Ultimately, it isn’t necessary for Cher to change; only for her
to recognize the positive qualities she already possesses, like being an orphan. “Who takes care of everyone in this household? Who makes sure that daddy eats right? To tell you the truth I have not seen such good-doing since your mother.” So the lesson
here is that if you’re already rich, you can be a better person by being slightly less
rich. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. I’m out-y.

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