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As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew

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Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resource about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s—in celebration of its twentieth anniversary. Will we ever get tired of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in the movie Clueless? Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resource about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s—in celebration of its twentieth anniversary. Will we ever get tired of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in the movie Clueless? As if! Written by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Clueless is an enduring comedy classic that remains one of the most streamed movies on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes even twenty years after its release. Inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, Clueless is an everlasting pop culture staple. In the first book of its kind, Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of this iconic film using recollections and insights collected from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced Heckerling to write the script, how the stars were cast into each of their roles, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more. This wonderful twentieth anniversary commemoration includes never-before-seen photos, original call sheets, casting notes, and production diary extracts. With supplemental critical insights by the author and other notable movie experts about why Clueless continues to impact pop culture, As If! will leave fans new and old totally buggin' as they understand why this beloved film is timeless.


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Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resource about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s—in celebration of its twentieth anniversary. Will we ever get tired of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in the movie Clueless? Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resource about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s—in celebration of its twentieth anniversary. Will we ever get tired of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in the movie Clueless? As if! Written by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Clueless is an enduring comedy classic that remains one of the most streamed movies on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes even twenty years after its release. Inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, Clueless is an everlasting pop culture staple. In the first book of its kind, Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of this iconic film using recollections and insights collected from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced Heckerling to write the script, how the stars were cast into each of their roles, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more. This wonderful twentieth anniversary commemoration includes never-before-seen photos, original call sheets, casting notes, and production diary extracts. With supplemental critical insights by the author and other notable movie experts about why Clueless continues to impact pop culture, As If! will leave fans new and old totally buggin' as they understand why this beloved film is timeless.

30 review for As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    SPOILERS TO THE FILM CLUELESS CONTAINED IN THIS REVIEW, UNHIDDEN. You should want a bad bitch like this. - Iggy Azalea Love it, hate it, or just don't care about it, you can't deny that Clueless has had a cultural impact. Whether I'm talking to someone who is 13, 35 or 65 - she's like, "Oh, Clueless!" whenever it's mentioned. People still watch it, people still mention it, people still talk about it. With good reason. Clueless is one of those rare teen movies like 10 Things I Hate About You which SPOILERS TO THE FILM CLUELESS CONTAINED IN THIS REVIEW, UNHIDDEN. You should want a bad bitch like this. - Iggy Azalea Love it, hate it, or just don't care about it, you can't deny that Clueless has had a cultural impact. Whether I'm talking to someone who is 13, 35 or 65 - she's like, "Oh, Clueless!" whenever it's mentioned. People still watch it, people still mention it, people still talk about it. With good reason. Clueless is one of those rare teen movies like 10 Things I Hate About You which - for whatever reason - hits all the right notes and leaves a lasting impression on American culture. Are you a huge Clueless fan? No. I've seen it maybe... three times? Once when it came out, once for the sake of this book, and I'm sure a time in between while with a friend or taking care of a young girl or something. Still relevant, girls today still watch it. I'm pretty neutral on it, I can't say I'm a fan. The problem is this book doesn't really deal with or talk about what I really WANT to talk about. What do you really WANT to talk about, Carmen? The Clueless world. What was going on in Clueless and what it meant. Examples? Okay. Is Cher a feminist? (I would say yes.) Why? (I would say because she's such an agent of her own destiny, proactive and confident.) Seeing Alicia Silverstone literally shoving amorous cute boys off her while shouting "As if!" and brutally shooting down men who thought they could be with her is super-powerful (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpVoUv...). Instead of caring about boys and wanting to date, Cher thought high school boys were gross. Unabashedly and unashamedly a virgin, Cher was so at home with just who she was (she wasn't the only virgin, her drop-dead gorgeous bff Dionne was as well). Even though she was so popular and so pretty, she didn't hurt people and she didn't give a fuck about men. She was sweet, goodhearted, and confident. This is so rare to see in teen comedies, I just loved it. We could talk about Cher's bff being a black girl (Dionne) and Heckerling's avoidance of any awkwardness when making a interracial friendship. There's no preaching, and there's no making Dionne an "other." What about Heckerling's portrayal of a gay man? This was 1994. Christian isn't flamboyant and he doesn't bow to any of the gay stereotypes I still see running rampant as if all gay men are cut out of the same cloth. Not only his he not a limp-wristed, "sassy," stereotypical '90s gay guy Hollywood was continually trying to press on us - but he was cool and collected. Hot, calm, attractive to Cher, and quick to rush in and rescue Tai from those boys at the mall, confronting them and standing up. Mensch. I don't have any problem with Jack from Will and Grace, but (back then and even now) it seemed as if every gay man was signified as being flighty, superficial and worshiping Cher (the singer, not Cher Horowitz). It was so refreshing to see Justin Walker's calm, blue eyes staring out of a movie screen in a perfect rat pack replica suit as a representation of a gay teenager. We could also discuss Christian and why he didn't tell Cher he was gay when it became obvious she was crushing on him. Instead, he just politely exits and lets her figure it out on her own. We could discuss what it was like coming out in high school in the '90s and the implications of all the boys knowing Christian was gay but Cher and Dionne being clueless. (Come to think of it, Mel and Josh were also clueless.) We could explore the seamless acceptance and insertion of a gay character in a teenage film without it devolving into "messages." The lesbian gym teacher is tired, though. How about skater culture? Grunge culture? Notably, the only non-virgin in Cher's little group is grunge skater outsider Tai. CHER: "Don't sell yourself short now. You've got something going for you that no one in this school has. TAI:Oh, I'm not a virgin. ^^Too funny. :D Yet Tai is the most sweet, innocent, and big-eyed girl in the whole film... perhaps even more clueless than Cher herself. Tai and her twisty eventual relationship with skaterboy Travis could be the subject of it's own book. Is Tai morphing into a queen bee? Her true sign of evil may not be calling Cher a "virgin who can't drive," but instead the scene where she makes her kind, druggie suitor feel like shit for asking her out in public. Pure, sweet, goodhearted pothead Travis shines here as as an example of a truly goodhearted man. Why did Heckerling choose to make him join NA? Why was skater culture chosen to represent the "outsider" and slightly distasteful culture in the high school? Heckerling could have chosen anything, but she went this route. Why? What about stepbrother romance? Now, stepbrother romance/erotica is a blossoming, insanely popular subsubgenre. It's flourishing, it's everywhere. In 1994 it was shocking. Perhaps this movie is the true genesis and forerunner of stepbrother romance/erotica's fecund hold on current media. Again, Heckerling played this off as if it were completely normal and non-incestuous that Cher and Josh end up together at the end. The book does mention that Heckerling's grandparents were stepbrother and stepsister, so that was interesting, but again, I wanted more on this. We lost Brittany Murphy to anorexia nervosa, that was a tragedy. If the book isn't about these things, what on earth is the book about? It's about the film. There's a whole chapter on casting. Who was maybe going to be cast, who ended up being cast, how they felt about that. Costume design, set design, what it was like to film scenes. Chaney LITERALLY goes through every song on the Clueless soundtrack and analyzes them, one by one. It's boring as hell. The book is boring as hell. I'm (mildly) interested in Clueless, and would have enjoyed an analysis of the world within the film and it's implications on popular culture. Race, feminism, queer issues, Cher's relationship with her dad, Cher's outlook as a result of her mother's death, Cher's rather strange Rules-esque view on dating, and skater culture were all things I would have loved to explore in more depth. But what I got here was putting me to sleep. 30 pages on casting? 50 pages on what the characters dressed in? A 10-page discussion on how Jace Alexander got a last minute call to come play Cher's mugger? I mean, come on. I don't give a care. No argument from me that Clueless is a classic and iconic film. I remember when Iggy Azalea did Fancy in 2014 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-zpOM...) and, regardless of whether they loved or hated or had never heard of Azalea, everyone I knew watched it and complimented the Clueless send up. I bet a lot of people re-watched the movie after seeing Azalea's homage. Extra residuals to everyone involved. And it was a smart move on whoever's part - most people know and have positive associations with Clueless. It could only help Azalea. Nostalgia in the best sense. However, I wouldn't say the same about Chaney's book. Nostalgia is great for 3 minutes and 24 seconds. It's a little harder to take for 322 pages. Tl;dr - Skip it unless you are a die hard fan. P.S. Why does Paul Rudd have the most gorgeous eyes in existence? I mean, seriously. Any movie, even the stupidest comedy, THOSE EYES.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lynx

    So like ok, when I heard a Clueless book came out last year I was like "As if this slipped by my radar!” I felt like such a bonehead! I was like totally buggin' but, like, in the best way possible! My nostalgia levels went through the roof and I hauled ass to the bookstore to get myself a copy. So last week while I was like, surfing the crimson wave, I picked up a little herbal refreshment, and just like, decided to chill out in my crib and get the 411 from all the Betty’s and Baldwin’s who work So like ok, when I heard a Clueless book came out last year I was like "As if this slipped by my radar!” I felt like such a bonehead! I was like totally buggin' but, like, in the best way possible! My nostalgia levels went through the roof and I hauled ass to the bookstore to get myself a copy. So last week while I was like, surfing the crimson wave, I picked up a little herbal refreshment, and just like, decided to chill out in my crib and get the 411 from all the Betty’s and Baldwin’s who worked on the film! I cannot express how dope this book is! I was like, totally freakin' over here at all the new deets I was learning about my favourite childhood movie. I gotta give them snaps for including everyone they could from cast and crew. They like, totally cover everything, from pre-post production, casting, set design, costumes, producing, writing & directing. They even share the skinny on that happenin’ beach party premiere that MTV aired! So whether you're one of those Botticelli chicks or an ensembly-challenged, full-on Monet, as long as you’re a Clueless fan, you’ll find this book to be, like, the bomb!! Well, that’s it for me, I’m Audi!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    This movie came out when I was in late Elementary School and I remember watching it on video and thinking I was so cool LOL. Man I wanted her closet! It was awesome, and I still really like it to this day. I love the 90s so much and this movie just screams 90s! I can't believe it's 25 years old now. This oral history has stories and memories as told by Amy Heckerling and majority of the cast. I had no idea that the movie was based on the book Emma. It really dives into all aspects of the movie: This movie came out when I was in late Elementary School and I remember watching it on video and thinking I was so cool LOL. Man I wanted her closet! It was awesome, and I still really like it to this day. I love the 90s so much and this movie just screams 90s! I can't believe it's 25 years old now. This oral history has stories and memories as told by Amy Heckerling and majority of the cast. I had no idea that the movie was based on the book Emma. It really dives into all aspects of the movie: The awesome quotes, clothes, technology, actors, scenes, music, etc. I found some of it so enjoyable and nostalgic (particularly anything about Paul Rudd!), and some of it a bit boring. I'd probably rate it 3.5 stars or so.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    While I always enjoy Clueless when I watch it, I'm not some kind of Clueless superfan or anything. I wanted to read this because I'd already read two oral-history articles about this movie--one in Entertainment Weekly a few years ago, and one in Vanity Fair just this past month (which was actually an excerpt from this book). With both articles, I found that not only did I really like reading them, I also wished they would go on much, much longer. With this book I got my wish, and I enjoyed every While I always enjoy Clueless when I watch it, I'm not some kind of Clueless superfan or anything. I wanted to read this because I'd already read two oral-history articles about this movie--one in Entertainment Weekly a few years ago, and one in Vanity Fair just this past month (which was actually an excerpt from this book). With both articles, I found that not only did I really like reading them, I also wished they would go on much, much longer. With this book I got my wish, and I enjoyed every page. If you like Clueless and are interested in how movies get made, you pretty much can't go wrong.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I really enjoyed this one! I'm grading up a tad bit due to nostalgia factor -- plus I'm looking forward to looking at the production/publicity pictures I'm sure will be included in the finalized copy. If you're a fan of Clueless, but don't know everything about it already, you will find this to be a fun book. It's mostly transcription of interviews, etc. with the cast and crew of the film that are still alive (the notable exception being the late Brittany Murphy, aka Tai) and there are some grea I really enjoyed this one! I'm grading up a tad bit due to nostalgia factor -- plus I'm looking forward to looking at the production/publicity pictures I'm sure will be included in the finalized copy. If you're a fan of Clueless, but don't know everything about it already, you will find this to be a fun book. It's mostly transcription of interviews, etc. with the cast and crew of the film that are still alive (the notable exception being the late Brittany Murphy, aka Tai) and there are some great stories from filming. Like the story behind the real Mr. Hall and the last-minute casting of the mugger who holds up Cher at the gas station. I especially loved the stories from Amy Heckerling, Twink Caplan (associate producer & "Ms. Geist"), Paul Rudd and Donald Faison. It follows from the pre-production and planning of Clueless, all the way to the cultural zeitgeist existing today. We get insights into the costumes, acting, directing, the soundtrack (with interviews from a few of the artists), and just about everything else involved in making a movie that you could possibly think of! Obviously there are some things that slightly contradict each other - no one's memory is perfect after 20 years. But it's funny seeing them argue with each other over certain things and to get opposing viewpoints. I'd recommend this if you're a fan of Clueless at all, you'll be surprised at how much you learn and the fun you have doing it! :D Thank you to NetGalley for this e-ARC to read and enjoy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mairead

    What a fun read! I remember seeing Clueless in a Maryland theater on a hot summer afternoon with my mom--my sister and my dad saw Waterworld next door. My mom remembers that she and the other parents in the audience were the only ones laughing at Mel's jokes. Loved reliving it and learning more about its creation and impact. Favorite part of the book are the little details (e.g. cinematography and colors paralleling the seasons), all things vernacular (and how Amy Heckerling worked in funny stor What a fun read! I remember seeing Clueless in a Maryland theater on a hot summer afternoon with my mom--my sister and my dad saw Waterworld next door. My mom remembers that she and the other parents in the audience were the only ones laughing at Mel's jokes. Loved reliving it and learning more about its creation and impact. Favorite part of the book are the little details (e.g. cinematography and colors paralleling the seasons), all things vernacular (and how Amy Heckerling worked in funny stories or phrases she heard over the years), Paul Rudd anything (especially shared awe about his agelessness), and the last section re: feminism and effects on culture. "In the best of all worlds, in my brain, women wouldn't have that change. Little girls would stay with the power that they feel in their teens and their twenties." I want to do more googling on Amy Heckerling now! Also, cannot wait to have an evening to myself to rewatch Clueless for the millionth time on Netflix streaming. And the future musical! I hope its way existential.

  7. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    I love Clueless even more now! And Paul Rudd, if that's even possible?? I was 13 when the movie debuted, then pretty much grew up with it. My friends and I were obsessed. The fashion. The language. My outgoing friends would even mimic the style. I couldn't pull it off so I stayed in my comfy box of Bush or No Doubt t-shirts and Adidas pants. God, I grew up during a great time period, but I digress. Fangirls/boys, pick this book up!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Every single page of this book just made me incredibly happy. A delight!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    Utterly enjoyable, if a bit vapid. (Much like the movie itself.)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Fatma

    This would've been much better as a documentary, but as it stands, it was okay-- which is not a word I thought I'd ever mention in relation to the masterpiece that is Clueless, but here we are.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lois R. Gross

    20 years? Really! 20 years since Cher Horwitz debated immigration policy for the Hait-ians and fell for her stepbrother (not incestuous at all), the absolutely adorable Josh. This is an assembled series of recollections from Amy Heckerling, Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Sisto, Breckin Meyer, and many, many others involved in the making of a classic teen movie, one that introduced Valley Girl slang in a cool new way and changed the conversation from cool to something a little 20 years? Really! 20 years since Cher Horwitz debated immigration policy for the Hait-ians and fell for her stepbrother (not incestuous at all), the absolutely adorable Josh. This is an assembled series of recollections from Amy Heckerling, Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Sisto, Breckin Meyer, and many, many others involved in the making of a classic teen movie, one that introduced Valley Girl slang in a cool new way and changed the conversation from cool to something a little different, a little smarter and less Mean Girls. From all of the conversations in the book, this was a film that was meant to be and remains in all of the participants minds as an enchanted time. There seem to have been few off screen conflicts and a general sense among all the participants that something remarkable was being created. Most of the actors were just starting their careers. Many have achieved the impossible: they are still working. Universally, Alicia Silverstone is praised for her natural, comedic gift and, also universally, Brittany Murphy is remembered as a child of light on the set and in life. All the speakers mourn her early death and her inability to stand up to the Hollywood machine that took from her her remarkable and individual presence. If you loved the movie, and who didn't, you will love this memory strewn book that takes us back to the early 90s when "as if" and "whatever" were just joining the vernacular courtesy of Amy Heckerling and crew. Delightful!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    "As If!" was created for the many fans of the 1995 movie Clueless. The text is presented as blurbs by the production team and actors. The book begins with director Amy Heckerling's comments about her efforts to connect with a studio for funding, and continues with casting, costuming, filming, etc. Much of the book is devoted to the impact of Clueless on teenagers and its surprising long-term success. Some of the comments are factoids that fans already know, such as that Alicia Silverstone innocen "As If!" was created for the many fans of the 1995 movie Clueless. The text is presented as blurbs by the production team and actors. The book begins with director Amy Heckerling's comments about her efforts to connect with a studio for funding, and continues with casting, costuming, filming, etc. Much of the book is devoted to the impact of Clueless on teenagers and its surprising long-term success. Some of the comments are factoids that fans already know, such as that Alicia Silverstone innocently mispronounced 'Haitians' in the debate class scene and no one bothered to correct her because the error was so perfect for her character. If you're looking for dirt, forget it. Sunshine, roses, rainbows, and lollipops prevail. Apparently, everyone got along and every day was a blissful experience. The only sad note is, near the end, a section labeled "Remembering Brittany Murphy." "Murphy died on December 20, 2009; according to the LA County Coroner's Office, her death was caused by pneumonia, with anemia and the effects of multiple prescription drugs playing secondary roles. She was only thirty-two." Then the director and actors reminisce about their friend. If you've seen Clueless more than ten times, "As If!" might be the perfect book for you. For more casual fans, the minutiae will become tiresome.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    I remember seeing this movie at the drive in when it first came out. Once it was released on vhs, I watched it over and over and over. I can quote some scenes by heart. I was so excited to read this and it lived up to my expectations. The author goes into all the details: set, casting, the clothes, soundtrack, etc. There was also a small section devoted to Brittany Murphy. The book does go into the minutiae of moviemaking, but, if you love the movie as much as I do, this is a must read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    Although I didn't enjoy the interview/discussion format of this book, I really enjoyed learning the back stories of the actors and making of the movie. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a "Clueless" fan.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    What a fun book. If you like the movie Clueless and want to know more about it this book is for you.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I am just going to preface this by saying that Clueless is my favorite movie and I am extremely biased. Clueless came out around three years before I was born. The first time I watched it was with my best friend when we were eleven. We were going on a long car ride and needed movies to watch, and my mom suggested Clueless. I remember that I didn't really get it at first, but now that I've seen it a million times I think I understand it perfectly. I typically steer clear of nonfiction books, not be I am just going to preface this by saying that Clueless is my favorite movie and I am extremely biased. Clueless came out around three years before I was born. The first time I watched it was with my best friend when we were eleven. We were going on a long car ride and needed movies to watch, and my mom suggested Clueless. I remember that I didn't really get it at first, but now that I've seen it a million times I think I understand it perfectly. I typically steer clear of nonfiction books, not because I din't like them but because they take me forever to read. I have a very short attention span, and nonfiction books just can't hold my attention the way fiction can. But this book grabbed my attention and held it. I stayed up until midnight to finish it, which I rarely do because I value my sleep above almost all things. I was just so fascinated by the story it was telling. As If! is split into three parts: Before Clueless, which consists of the process of getting the film picked up by a production company, the casting process, etc., The Making of Clueless, which is exactly what it sounds like, and The Impact of Clueless, which discusses everything from feminism to fashion. The entire book is filled with stories from the director, cast members, and the crew, and it just feels like watching Clueless. It has the same feel as the movie, which makes for a really fun reading experience. This book is perfect for anyone who loves Clueless. The stories and insights in here are great, and all of the people who were interviewed are hilarious and down to earth. Especially Paul Rudd. I love Paul Rudd. That is all. Now, I am going to fight the urge to rewatch Clueless, because it is 1:00 am.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Indigo Trigg-Hauger

    If you love Clueless, you will absolutely love this book. No hesitations. The only reason I would give it 4 and not 5 stars is I wish Jen Chaney had dug a little deeper. There were moments when it seemed like some members of the cast and crew had slightly less-than-rosy memories to recount, but she never pushed the subject. Out of fear of tainting the otherwise adorable history of an adorable movie? Maybe it's just the journalist in me, but I really wanted to know what was behind some of the mor If you love Clueless, you will absolutely love this book. No hesitations. The only reason I would give it 4 and not 5 stars is I wish Jen Chaney had dug a little deeper. There were moments when it seemed like some members of the cast and crew had slightly less-than-rosy memories to recount, but she never pushed the subject. Out of fear of tainting the otherwise adorable history of an adorable movie? Maybe it's just the journalist in me, but I really wanted to know what was behind some of the more cryptic/snarky comments.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruthiella

    I love the movie so the minute I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. I enjoyed learning all sorts of tidbits about its casting, sound track, costuming, etc. I don’t think this book would be of much interest, however, to the non-fan. Oh, and of course, I watched the movie again, after finishing the book. Duh! Nice bit of continuity, my sister gave me this book AND she is also the person who introduced me to the movie, 20 odd years ago and clued me into the Emma connection (I had never I love the movie so the minute I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. I enjoyed learning all sorts of tidbits about its casting, sound track, costuming, etc. I don’t think this book would be of much interest, however, to the non-fan. Oh, and of course, I watched the movie again, after finishing the book. Duh! Nice bit of continuity, my sister gave me this book AND she is also the person who introduced me to the movie, 20 odd years ago and clued me into the Emma connection (I had never read any Austen at that point). So thanks Rachel!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kennedy

    Essential reading for any Clueless fan, and an interesting insight into how hard it is to convince Hollywood to make a female-centric film (even when the audience turns out for it - especially interesting in light of the ongoing Black Widow debacle with Marvel). The cast and crew's thoughts on Brittany Murphy are particularly bittersweet, as they remember her as the young girl she was before she got swallowed up by the Hollywood machine.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Goosey

    What can I possibly say about this book? I've been a fan of Clueless for years and it's become a part of who I am. This book took me deeper into that wonderful full of plaid and fluffy pom-poms pens that I'd even been before. It was a wonderful read filled with all kinds of amazing scoop on everything from Cher's Alia to Paul Rudd's never ending beauty.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bry

    Seeing as Clueless is one of my favorite movies I had to read this book! The information was enjoyable but the format wasn't. It was done in an oral history type way, meaning you read pages and pages of transcripted interview answers that have been arranged thematically. With this format I think it would have worked much better as a documentary.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kimee

    I have always loved Clueless, and this book helped me better articulate why I love it so much. Yes, something something young women finding their voices fabulous clothes bright earnestness, etc., but also, the filmmakers paid so much attention to detail to make that world what it was. I'm armed with so many fun facts about the movie now, like how California Pizza Kitchen refused to let them film a certain scene there because of d*ck jokes, or that Amy Heckerling was so meticulous she handpicked I have always loved Clueless, and this book helped me better articulate why I love it so much. Yes, something something young women finding their voices fabulous clothes bright earnestness, etc., but also, the filmmakers paid so much attention to detail to make that world what it was. I'm armed with so many fun facts about the movie now, like how California Pizza Kitchen refused to let them film a certain scene there because of d*ck jokes, or that Amy Heckerling was so meticulous she handpicked the extra who would vomit at the pool party. And, I better appreciate how much time it takes to do things like find the perfect house. I also see Clueless' legacy in even more places. My darling and I rewatched as soon as I finished the book and I caught things like lipstick on teeth that show up in so many future movies. Worth a read just for the excuse to rewatch this classic (not that anyone ever needs an excuse).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I loved this book. I love listening to actor commentaries on movies and reading all the trivia on IMDb, and this was a magical combination of both, where no one’s commentary was cut off, there was no dead air, and the trivia had been copy edited. Can not recommend this enough to other fans of the movie.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I love the movie Clueless, and I know it's a popular movie (otherwise, why would they show it on TV so often?), but I don't think I realized it was enough of a cultural icon/phenomenon to warrant its own book. I guess I was wrong. The book is an oral history (Duh!) about the making of the movie and the impact it's had on pop culture, the movie industry, girl power, etc. Chaney interviews pretty nearly everyone you could think of when talking about the movie: all of the stars (even some "Who?" cha I love the movie Clueless, and I know it's a popular movie (otherwise, why would they show it on TV so often?), but I don't think I realized it was enough of a cultural icon/phenomenon to warrant its own book. I guess I was wrong. The book is an oral history (Duh!) about the making of the movie and the impact it's had on pop culture, the movie industry, girl power, etc. Chaney interviews pretty nearly everyone you could think of when talking about the movie: all of the stars (even some "Who?" characters), the writer/director, producers, makeup department, wardrobe department, music department, the studio, PR, bands that were on the soundtrack... If they had a major hand (and even some not-so-major hands) in the movie or its process, their words are in here, which makes for a pretty thorough take on the movie. Oh, right, also Jane Austen scholars, pop culture scholars, members of the fashion industry... I think the only people not interviewed were 1) me and 2) the friend who introduced me to the movie. I'm not sure I completely agree with every conjecture Chaney and some of the scholars make, like that Clueless inspired X, Y, and Z teen movies or Austen revivals (Just because they came later doesn't mean they were inspired by. To refer to Pres. Bartlet, "Post hoc ergo propter hoc: After it therefore because of it. It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it's not always true. In fact, it's hardly ever true." *sigh* West Wing, how I love you.), but I will agree with them on some of their claims that it's perhaps the *best* inspired-by-Austen movie, or (one of) the best girls-aren't-stupid movie. And it definitely did inspire a new lexicon, and perhaps some fashion (Although, one of the interviewees said that *everyone* in her school the next year was dressed like Cher and her classmates. Dang, I knew I was from Hicksville [okay, not really], but *no one* I knew or saw dressed in any way like the movie. We all just kept to our jeans and t-shirts, or maybe some fancy blouse for the more fashion-minded. Not even a fuzzy-topped pen to be seen.). Even if you don't agree with the bold and grand statements put forth by the interviewees and Chaney, this book is still a great trip down memory lane. After reading about the TV show, I decided it's been a few years (uh... decades?) since I saw the show, so I decided to Google it, and found a whole slew of episodes on YouTube (and I was quite amazed by how much of the episodes I still remember, and the fact that I immediately began singing along with the theme song, word for word!) And the Clueless (TV show) Barbies! I remember when those came out! So yes, this is definitely a fabulous trip down memory lane, and has quite a bit of insight into the casting process, scriptwriting, shopping it to studios, logistics of filming and advertising a movie... on and on.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    On its 20th anniversary, it's time to revisit "Clueless," and what I learned is that I never stopped loving it. In July 1995, I was profoundly awkward and bookish-- yet first in line to see this movie with my very supportive mother, and we both loved the wit and sunny outlook of the heroine and her world. Watching it this summer, I felt waves of joy, again. The oral history of "Clueless" is really one of the better examples of the form. Oral histories are becoming a ridiculous crutch, seldom insi On its 20th anniversary, it's time to revisit "Clueless," and what I learned is that I never stopped loving it. In July 1995, I was profoundly awkward and bookish-- yet first in line to see this movie with my very supportive mother, and we both loved the wit and sunny outlook of the heroine and her world. Watching it this summer, I felt waves of joy, again. The oral history of "Clueless" is really one of the better examples of the form. Oral histories are becoming a ridiculous crutch, seldom insightful, and perfectly parodied in "An Oral History of Mad Men." This one is effective because Jen Chaney breaks up the monologues into stand-alone, smoothly transitioning parts: inception of the film, producer support, pre-production including casting and location scouting, production broken into analysis of key scenes, wardrobe, music, editing, premiere, reception, and legacy. The legacy ranges from fashion and movies to feminism, language, sexuality, and the careers of the writers and artists who credit "Clueless" with inspiring them at a tender age. It's a surprisingly dense 322 pages of text. I'm obsessed with how things get made-- from project management flow charts, to assembly line manufacturing -- so I couldn't put this book down. Special insider issues, such as the intricate relationship and mutual dependency of the the costume director and director of photography, were fascinating to understand. And any business leader will want to learn as much as they can glean about Amy Heckerling's gift for training and developing a big team working cheerfully and blissfully, yet synchronized, lockstep, and under budget.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I loved the movie Clueless. I've seen it dozens of times. But the book, which marks the 20th anniversary of production (20 years!!!!!), just wasn't very interesting. I expected more behind-the-scenes details of gaffes, outtakes, and scandals, but apparently there were none. Everyone was very professional, they got along, and production completed on time and under-budget. Everything was just happy-happy-happy all the time for two months except for that one time when Alicia Silverstone got sick an I loved the movie Clueless. I've seen it dozens of times. But the book, which marks the 20th anniversary of production (20 years!!!!!), just wasn't very interesting. I expected more behind-the-scenes details of gaffes, outtakes, and scandals, but apparently there were none. Everyone was very professional, they got along, and production completed on time and under-budget. Everything was just happy-happy-happy all the time for two months except for that one time when Alicia Silverstone got sick and had to go home early, so they had to wrap early that day. (Not exactly the kind of juicy gossip I was looking for.) Most of the key players have gone on to do bigger and better things, so in the interviews they strugged to remember what had gone on during an unremarkable shoot 20 years ago. People who are really interested in movie production might find this more interesting, since there were several long chapters on set design, costuming, whether casting directors deserve to get paid, etc.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Glassley

    I was way excited about this book when I read about it on Buzzfeed AND NPR. Clearly I was the intended audience. Chaney seriously hits it out the park. It's written in an "oral history" style, which is like a longform interview with cast and crew members. I was disappointed to see that Alicia Silverstone really hadn't contributed much at all as her quotes are generally pretty short and just fluff. Any of her longer quotes were pulled from other interviews. Everyone else I wanted to hear from- li I was way excited about this book when I read about it on Buzzfeed AND NPR. Clearly I was the intended audience. Chaney seriously hits it out the park. It's written in an "oral history" style, which is like a longform interview with cast and crew members. I was disappointed to see that Alicia Silverstone really hadn't contributed much at all as her quotes are generally pretty short and just fluff. Any of her longer quotes were pulled from other interviews. Everyone else I wanted to hear from- like Amy Heckerling and Paul Rudd and Stacy Dash- was present and well spoken. The anecdotes are hilarious but so is the sheer effort that clearly went into this book. She interviews Jane Austen scholars! Talks to executives from Fox who turned down the project! Interviews basically every artist included on the soundtrack! Literally no stone was left untouched. Literally nine million stars. A perfect book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beth Gaston

    I knocked this out in two sittings. If you are very familiar with Clueless, then this book will be very interesting. I'm not usually a fan of the oral-history format, but Chaney organizes this nicely, with chapter segues and fun little inserts about the casting, production and lasting effect of this iconic film. I wish we'd heard a little more from some of the players (my life always needs more Alicia Silverstone, always!) and the background of key scenes could have included even more scenes. I I knocked this out in two sittings. If you are very familiar with Clueless, then this book will be very interesting. I'm not usually a fan of the oral-history format, but Chaney organizes this nicely, with chapter segues and fun little inserts about the casting, production and lasting effect of this iconic film. I wish we'd heard a little more from some of the players (my life always needs more Alicia Silverstone, always!) and the background of key scenes could have included even more scenes. I guess I'm saying that this is only a four-star rating because it wasn't longer :-) Highly recommend for any superfan of the movie.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This was a easy fun, entertaining read. Clueless was a movie that I watched at least 10 times and repeat quotes from it still, even 20 years later. It's an absolute cultural icon and still so timeless. The jokes from 20 years ago are still relevant today, such as using cell phones to talk to each other, when you are standing next to each other. Who hasn't done that with texting or IM'ing nowadays?? This book has little gems like what actors/actresses were also in consideration for the roles in t This was a easy fun, entertaining read. Clueless was a movie that I watched at least 10 times and repeat quotes from it still, even 20 years later. It's an absolute cultural icon and still so timeless. The jokes from 20 years ago are still relevant today, such as using cell phones to talk to each other, when you are standing next to each other. Who hasn't done that with texting or IM'ing nowadays?? This book has little gems like what actors/actresses were also in consideration for the roles in the movie. Now I want to watch it again.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kerrikoala

    This book contains everything you'd like to know about the making of Clueless and then some. I love the movie, so this held my interest, and I liked reading the reflections of the cast and crew. I didn't care for the author's voice, though. I don't know...she reminded me of Val on that episode of Daria where the magazine writer follows Daria around and tries to sound hip. As if! I also wish the book had more pictures, but that's just me being picky.

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