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Would you believe a loose adaptation of Jane Austen's
plonked down squarely in
Beverly Hills 90210
? Well, that's the setting for this screamingly funny satire-cum-put-on, which perfectly captures the inanities of 1990s teen America. Alicia Silverstone is a delight as Cher, the chic but dippy blonde who's devoted to improving the love lives of her Rodeo Drive-shopping high-school girlfriends, even though she can't sort out her own. Together with her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash), Cher indulges in the trials and tribulations of designer-label animosity and MTV promiscuity, while her lawyer father (Dan Hedaya) and intellectual stepbrother (Paul Rudd) look on in total bemusement. Like
before it, director Amy Heckerling's smart satire sharpens its comedic scalpel on the manners and mores of self-centred fashion victims. A quick note about the
lingo: "majorly" means very, "do-able" means sexually attractive, a "hottie" is a do-able babe and a "Baldwin" is a gorgeous hunk. While mainly aimed at teens, like all fine comedies it will appeal to anyone with a wicked sense of humour and taste for the ironic. It's also one of those rare comedies which remains funny even when not delivering great one-liners. Examples? "What did you do in school today?" "Oh, I broke in my purple clogs"; "What's the point of learning to park when every place you go to has a valet?"; "My plastic surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose." You'll have to watch the movie to hear the hilariously vulgar riposte to the latter.
A rich high-school student uses all her charm and financial clout to boost an awkward new pupil's image, but soon finds she has created a monster - while her own popularity suffers in the process. Comedy inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd.
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