Please Spare Us From a 'Clueless' Reboot
The iconic 90s film, "Clueless" is set to be remade but we've got a solid case as to why this is a horrible idea.
Photo by Paramount Pictures
Clueless is coming back. The announcement that Paramount Pictures is reprising the iconic 90s film was made on Thursday. Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) and Marquita Robinson (Glow) are attached to the project as writers, according to Deadline.
Inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, Clueless debuted in 1995 and was directed and written by Amy Heckerling, whose previous hits included Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Baby Talk. Starring a young Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Breckin Meyer, Jeremy Sisto, and the late Brittany Murphy, the film is considered a classic.
In addition to its impeccable casting, niche Beverly Hills catchphrases, and fresh, comedic approach to a teen movie, the film's indent on pop-culture history was also thanks to the costume designs of Mona May. To this day, plaid skirt sets, knee-high socks with platform shoes, and little red dresses with white boas all signify Clueless's indelible effect on American style.
In a nutshell, Clueless was perfectly fit for the post–John Hughes, pre–OJ verdict timeframe it was set in.
So let's cut straight to the point: No one wants a remake of Clueless.
For those of you who are actually on board with this remake, hear us out. We're not (just) contrarians— there are solid reasons why this is a bad idea.
1. Stacey Dash's presence would distract from the film
The Clueless remake is in early development, so there's no word if the project will have a fresh millennial cast and take place in the present, or follow the original characters reprising their roles. If it's the latter, then we have some problems. In addition to the hyper-teenage vernacular and vapid plot line, Stacey Dash, who was an integral part of the cast, has morphed into a right-wing conservative whose presence in the film would distract from its lovability.
2. Brittany Murphy is no longer with us
Again, if this project reprises these characters, Brittany Murphy, who was a huge part of the original's plot, will not be involved, which makes us sad.
3. Alicia Silverstone doesn't seem to be down
She's so over Clueless, she doesn't even want to talk about it.
4. The magic cannot be recaptured
Remember The Carrie Diaries, that CW prequel of Sex and the City that was supposed to be a younger version of Carrie Bradshaw making her way in a rough-and-rugged 1980s New York City? Yeah, it was a reach of a storyline—and felt "odd" to the original Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker. Two seasons in, it was canceled after low ratings and "economic" feasibility. The lesson here: Hinging the success of a remade show on the success of its predecessor is a bad idea.
5. Remakes are lazy
Tracy Oliver's track record is impeccable. Girls Trip's success made her the first African American to write a movie that grossed over $100 million domestically and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a beloved web series classic. It would be amazing to see what fresh concepts Oliver has written. But, given her attachment to reboots like Clueless and The First Wives Club, which she's also set to work on, it feels a bit stifling to ask a fresh talent to essentially retrofit old movies to a totally new audience.
Hit television shows like Dynasty, Macgyver, Roseanne, and Murphy Brown have all recently been remade or reprised, while Beauty and the Beast, The Grinch, A Star is Born, and Mary Poppins were redone for the big screen. On Broadway, there's currently a readaptation of Mean Girls, and Clueless will soon follow.
Hollywood has spoken: It's saying that it'd rather work with old scripts than take a risk on fresh ideas. Luckily, ratings and ticket sales don't lie, and the powers that be might learn the hard way that original scripts are worth investing in. Classics are classics because they're perfect just as they are—and it's so much more exciting to try and add some new titles to that canon.