Why Clueless Is So Much More Than Just Another Vapid Teen Movie


Clueless has all the necessary ingredients to be ‘just another teen movie’- the recurring themes of high school cliques, the popular group, the makeover, the unconventional love interest and the self-realisation of the protagonist at the end just before their descent into sublime happiness in their new state of mind.

However, beneath this shallow veneer lies a movie ingrained in life lessons. Therefore readers, I give you the knowledge I have gained through the wisdom of Cher Horowitz.

1. Health and Fitness: Aside from the numerous interior benefits of a healthy lifestyle (improved concentration levels, better sleep, endorphins) on a purely physical note, people also want to look their best as well as feel their best; The two go hand-in-hand. As the old adage says ‘your health is your wealth’ so persevere. Even if at first your buns “don’t feel nuthin like steel”.

2. Love: While it may make sense to Elton for he and Cher to start a relationship, she has higher standards. Never settle for someone just because it seems like it would be a good idea simply because you’re well suited on paper.  One must follow their heart and find a ‘Josh’, who despite being a little goofy (aren’t we all) is a ‘total Baldwin’. In other words, the perfect guy who is smart, gorgeous, funny and someone you can relax in front of and have great amounts of silly moments coupled with copious kissing and declarations of love, even it happens on the staircase.

Also worth a mention: Dionne and Murray, who show that true love can work through many obstacles, be it accusations of ‘jeepin’ or driving on the freeway, and come out stronger.

3. Knowledge of the Law: Cher’s use of persuasion and argumentative techniques to up her grades impressed her father so much he ‘couldn’t be happier than if they were based on real grades’. However,’ ignorance of the law is no excuse’ and Cher is more clued-in than clueless in this aspect. She has an eye for detail and contemporary issues. She can spot possible legal problems before they even arise; the tennis machine a prime example of ‘a lawsuit waiting to happen’. 

4. Helping others/Volunteering/Charity: While it may be questionable that victims of a flood think of caviar and skiing equipment as emergency supplies, there is no doubt Cher’s heart was in the right place. It becomes apparent how being selfless once in a while can bring true inner happiness and gives Cher a chance to prove she isn’t just a ‘ditz with a credit card’. 

5. Self-Improvement: Specifically, reading one non-school book a week and learning one new word a day, which you can use sporadically. Knowledge of the world around us is crucial in all aspects of life. Learning something new every day means you’ll never be stuck for an answer or opinion on something and always have something interesting to add to conversations.

And the final lesson- Don’t always accept things as they appear on the surface, often there is a deeper meaning ;-) Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog