Just as hearing certain songs can instantly transport us to times gone by; there are some cinematic experiences that will always contain the stamp of the film’s initial viewing. However, it’s more than just remembering the first time you saw a movie. Some films carry with them attributes that are almost impossible to describe, an “it factor” that serves as a perfect culmination of the movie’s content and where you happen to be in your own life. It’s a little cinematic synergy, if you will, that makes that particular flick special to you in ways that aren’t always easy to put into available words. It just clicks. You know them when you find them, and, as the film geeks we are, you cherish them deeply.
For me, Amy Heckerling’s Clueless is one of those movies.
In the summer of 1995, my family had taken a brief respite to the small city of Flagstaff, Arizona. I remember distinctly that it was the month of July, because it was that long stretch of the season that tends to be almost creepily hot. When I wasn’t spending my time by the pool or trying to raise money to buy a new Super Nintendo game, I was most typically glued to MTV. I know it may seem weird to the kids of today, but the once proud network had not yet slipped into the reality TV abyss and was still pumping out some pretty hip content. Even as a kid, I wasn’t particularly one to fall for ad campaigns or the latest trends, but somewhere in the midst of Road Rules reruns and Blind Melon videos, I started to take notice MTV was aggressively promoting this teen flick about a Beverly Hills mallrat.
After about a week of getting inundated with Alicia Silverstone (who I had previously only known as “that Aerosmith girl”), I caved and cajoled my mom into taking me to Flagstaff’s little theater to see the movie.
…and dare I say? It was love at first sight.