“Clueless” turn 26 years old in 2021 and it is a paramount example of a teen movie so good that it’s been canonized as a time capsule, carefully parsed as a reminder of what was cool at the time of its release. It is a 1995 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written and directed by Amy Heckerling. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd and released on 19 July 1995, kinda-sorta retelling of Jane Austen’s novel “Emma”. While it offers a few lessons about friendship, drugs, sex, and romance between stepsiblings, “Clueless” is mostly a love letter to adolescence—one of the few teen movies that actually make you want to be a teenager.
Cher, a high school student in Beverly Hills, must survive the ups and downs of adolescent life. Her external demeanour at first seems superficial, but rather it hides her wit, charm, and intelligence which help her to deal with relationships, friends, family, school, and the all-important teenage social life.
“Clueless” soundtrack was curated by Heckerling and music supervisor Karyn Rachtman—who also worked on the Pulp Fiction and Boogie Nights soundtracks, among others—the 14-song collection is overwhelmingly sunny and upbeat, much like the portrait of Southern California presented in the film. It leans heavily on poppy alt-rock, but there’s also punky ska and West Coast rap—essential sounds for any era-defining mixtape.
Nowadays, “Clueless” soundtrack plays into pop culture’s love of all things the 90s, the song selection reveals the 70s and the 80s nostalgia that Heckerling and her cohorts must have been feeling. Three of the best tunes are remakes of alternative classics from those decades such as “Kids In America” by The Muffs, “Shake Some Action” by Crackers, and “The Ghost In You” by Counting Crows. Even the new songs—especially the ones “Alright” by Supergrass and “Change” by Lightning Seeds—have a decidedly retro feel.
The album also includes an acoustic version of “Fake Plastic Trees” from Radiohead’s second album, The Bends, that is a grand orch-rock statement about searching for identity in this world.
Listen to the playlist now and embark on this nostalgic session
Credit: Photo by Paramount/Kobal