Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou
Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1995. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Amy Heckerling. Cinematography by Bill Pope. Produced by Robert Lawrence, Scott Rudin. Music by David Kitay. Production Design by Steven J. Jordan. Costume Design by Mona May. Film Editing by Debra Chiate.
I’d say that this is probably the Citizen Kane of movies about teenagers. Loosely adapted from Jane Austen’s Emma, Amy Heckerling’s first film about teens since her hit Fast Times At Ridgemont High is funny, charming and brilliantly written (she also penned the screenplay). Alicia Silverstone has perfect comedic timing as Cher Horowitz, the most popular girl at school who spends most of her time arranging matches for her best friends, but also finds time to arrange a few romantic liaisons of her own. She hangs out with her best friends Dionne (Stacey Dash) and Ty (Brittany Murphy), argues constantly with her snooty ex-stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd) and tries to be as good a daughter as is possible to her adoring litigator father (played with hysterical menace by Dan Hedaya). She is never less than totally endearing, bringing to life the spirit of Austen’s original heroine, while plot details have also been adapted perfectly, and fans of the original novel will have a great time noticing how everything has been excellently modernized to a California high school in the nineties. Great soundtrack selections and colourful costumes by Mona May are also a plus.