Woke teens say Clueless is ‘predatory’ and ‘harmful’ after watching it for the first time

The movie Clueless may be a staple of many of our childhoods, but modern-day woke teens are taking issue after watching it for the first time.

Released in 1995, Clueless tells the story of the wildly shallow and rich high school student Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone), who makes it her prerogative to interfere with other people’s lives – including other students and teachers.

The coming-of-age teen movie features an all-star cast – including Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, and Donald Faison – and ultimately teaches viewers that we can all become self-absorbed and clueless at times.

However, the characters’ scathing commentary and superficial standards (such as high schoolers mentioning their plastic surgeons and rich kids talking down to working-class people), has left a bad taste in the mouths of modern audiences.

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Yes, despite how hilarious Clueless may have seemed to us nearly 30 years ago, some of today’s teenagers have a very different view on the movie.

In an effort to test how teens in 2023 would respond to these once-glorified movies, Vice journalist Rosie Hewittson recently asked a group of teenagers aged between 16 and 19 to watch a number of popular classic teen movies, such as Clueless, American Pie, and Dude, Where’s My Car?

After watching Amy Heckerling’s popular comedy for the first time, some of the teens struggled to see the funny side.

Seventeen-year-old Hannah says that, although this movie is “supposed to be a classic”, she found Cher “kind of annoying” (which, I think, is kind of the point).

“I don’t like how superior she is, and how she low-key insults Tai’s accent and vocabulary because she’s not posh and rich,” Hannah adds, “And I find the thing with her stepbrother who she basically grew up with quite creepy to be honest.”

In fact, she goes on to describe the dynamic between Cher and her step-brother as “quite predatory” even without “the whole incest element”.

Another teen, 19-year-old Daisy, also finds Cher’s romantic arc in the movie “quite weird”.

Daisy also highlighted the movie’s choice to include “really stereotyped school social groups, like the jocks and the stoners.” Although she admits that she doesn’t know if these portrayals would have been “taken seriously”, the teen adds: “It might be harmful to teenagers to make them feel like they have to fit into these strict categories and they aren’t allowed to date or socialise outside of them.”

However, one 16-year-old named Sam said that they don’t think there was “anything really bad about this film”, but added that “Elton fully tries to assault Cher and there are no consequences at all for him and he isn’t even called out on it socially” – something that Sam believes was just “accepted” at the time.

After reading these comments, I took a trip to Twitter to see what others thought after watching Clueless for the first time – and it seems like a lot of modern viewers are hung up on the whole “stepbrother” thing:

So, do you think this movie still holds up? Let us know in the comments section.

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