Book Vs Movie: “Clueless” & “Emma”

 Book Vs Movie

Emma/Clueless

The Jane Austen Beloved Novel Vs the 1995 Classic Alicia Silverstone Film

We are continuing our September “Back-to-School” films talking about Jane Austen and possibly her lightest novel–Emma and pair it with the incomparable Amy Heckerling-directed film Clueless. Both are revered for their humor & having a wonderful female lead. 

Released in 1815 (the last novel she published before Austen’s death at 41), Emma tells the story of a spoiled, willful woman (Emma Woodhouse) who enjoys helping make romantic entanglements happen. She is the daughter of widower Mr. Woodhouse and gives Emma a comfortable life. She has no wish to marry but when her governess, Miss Taylor marries Mr. West, she decides her true gift is matchmaking. 

Emma meddles in people’s lives and is constantly being questioned by Mr. Knightey, an older gentleman who lives next door. Harriet Smith is a friend who is shy and awkward compared to Emma. She becomes a project for the meddlesome protagonist who matches people and attempts to create several relationships with varying levels of success. 

Austen never married and enjoyed living in Bath, England where she places several of her stories. This particular novel has been adapted many times over the years but one of the most accessible and funny versions was created by Heckerling who already mined the field of high school with her film Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982. 

Alicia Silverstone was known for Aerosmith videos when she starred in Clueless and quickly became an “overnight” star.  Her Cher (Emma) is kind and a bit ditzy who attends high school in Southern California and is best friends with Dionne (Stacey Dash). The film is filled with so many quotable lines and literally has not one wasted scene to become an instant classic. 

There are many changes between the book & the film. Which did the Margos like more? 

In this ep the Margos discuss:

  • The short life of the incredible Jane Austen
  • The central characters and how they differ in the 1995 adaptation 
  • Teen movies in the 80s and how women directors led the pack
  • The cast including Alicia Silverstone (Emma/Cher,) Stacey Dash (Dionne,) Brittany Murphy (Harriet Smith/Tai,) Paul Rudd (Josh/Mr. Knightley,) Donald Faison (Murray,) Elisa Donovan (Amber/Mrs. Elton,) Breckin Meyer (Travis/Robert Martin,) Jeremy Sisto (Elton,) Dan Hedaya (Mel Horowitz/Mr. Woodhouse,) Wallace Shawn (Mr. Hall/Mr. Weston,) Twink Caplan (Miss Geist/Mrs. Weston.) and Justin Walker (Christian/Frank Churchill.) 

Clips Featured:

  • Clueless  trailer
  • Josh realizes he loves Cher
  • Driving on the freeway
  • Ride Home
  • Music: “Rollin with my Homies” by Coolio

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Margo D. @BrooklynFitChik www.brooklynfitchick.com brooklynfitchick@gmail.com

Margo P. @ShesNachoMama https://coloniabook.weebly.com/ 


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