One week ago, I got an email from Netgalley telling me that I’d been approved to read an advanced reader’s copy of As If! The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew, by Jen Chaney.
Me, when I saw the email:
I was 8 years old in 1995, when Clueless was released. I don’t remember how old I was when I saw it, I just know that one day it appeared in my life. It’s likely that one of my older siblings rented it. And yet, despite being a mere babe when it was released, I am still very much of the Clueless generation, as is anyone who has watched it in the past 20 years. I quote it on a near-daily basis, and who *didn’t* wish this was a real thing?
Of course, thanks to the power of the app, it probably now is!
Chaney, a journalist for Esquire, interviewed the stars, the cameo actors, the musicians, the director, the hairstylist, the lighting guy, just about everyone you can imagine, to get this comprehensive look at the befores, durings, and afters of the makings of one of the greatest teen movies of all time – not to mention, according to at least one interviewed Austen-ite, the best Jane Austen adaptation to date!
The book is broken down into main three sections: Before Clueless, Making Clueless, and The Impact of Clueless. In Before Clueless, Heckerling and co spill the deets on the idea for the script, which foolish film company passed, and who was considered alongside Breckin Meyer for the role of Travis. (hint: One dated Sara Gilbert on two different sitcoms, and one currently shoots arrows for The Avengers)
In Making Clueless, among what we learn is what kind of lighting was preferred for shooting Alicia Silverstone (it was important that she look soft and naive), how they got the Mighty Mighty Bosstones for the dance party scene, and exactly how that terrifying freeway scene was shot.
In the final chapter, highlights include Iggy Azalea talking about using Clueless as the inspiration behind her music video for “Fancy”, and the cast reminiscing about Brittany Murphy.
Most disappointing fact? Because it was considered to be an adaptation of Emma, Clueless had to be entered under the Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards, and did not make it to the final five nominations. The winner that year? Sense and Sensibility!
Final rating: 5 Calvin Klein dresses out of a possible 5!