I’ve spent the last four weeks wondering how many of our Austen Authors readers were actually inspired to watch (or re-watch) this fun film from last month’s “Goofs” post. Having done so will give you an advantage in the trivia quiz, so kudos to those of you who did. Watching it will help you not be clueless on at least seven quiz questions. As for those who didn’t, maybe this trivia post will do the trick.
1. Actor Paul Rudd was mugged during the filming of Clueless. What item of note was taken?
2. Which role was cast without the benefit of an audition?
3. Which scene required copious amounts of chapstick?
4. One particular fabric design was incorporated heavily into the costumes. What was it?
5. How did the production make sure the characters stood out on screen?
6. What word was unknowingly mispronounced by Alicia Silverstone but left as spoken in the film?
7. Cher’s use of the word “Baldwin” meant what?
8. What group of men from the 1940’s were the basis for Christian’s style?
9. Which character from “Emma” does Cher’s best friend Dionne Davenport represent?
10. What visual hint was given of Christian’s sexuality during his phone call to Cher from an art museum?
How do you think you did on the quiz? Read on for fun facts and trivia from this fantastic movie.
10.) Queens of music – In Jane Austen’s novel, sisters Emma and Isabella bore the names of queens from history. In the film Clueless, the relationship was changed from sisters to best friends, and they were given the names of “famous singers of the past who now do infomercials,” Cher Bono and Dionne Warwick.
9.) Tartans and tarts – The runways were featuring lots of tartan plaids during the run-up to filming, and the costumers wanted to portray the Beverly Hills teens as being tuned into European fashions. They incorporated this trend throughout the film, with fifty-three tartan costumes in total. Seven of those were worn by Cher, including her iconic yellow plaid first-day-of-school outfit. The length of the hemlines her friend Dionne wears are somewhat shorter than Cher’s, to signal that she is a bit more sexually experienced than Cher.
8.) Make them pop – The background sets and scenery are deliberately more washed out than the color schemes of the costumes in order to make the teen characters pop out onscreen.
7.) It would be worth a lot of money now – During filming, actor Paul Rudd (Josh) was mugged, and his backpack was stolen. It contained his copy of the script. In a 20th anniversary interview, he indicated that the “crackhead” who stole it probably had no idea of the value it would eventually have.
6.) A hint is as good as a nudge – Just as Jane Austen embedded little hints of Frank Churchill’s secret engagement to Jane Fairfax in the novel, Christian’s “secret” homosexuality was also signaled in numerous ways for those who had an eye out for it. The most visual one was when he made a phone call to Cher from a museum. In the background was a painting with two men in an embrace.
5.) Haitians gonna hate – At least I hate it when people mispronounce my name. Actress Alicia Silverstone butchered the word “Haitian” in the debate scene and director Amy Heckerling loved the error, so rather than educating her and reshooting, they used the scene as performed.
4.) Sticky lips – The concept of the scene was good on paper. Teens at a party passing a credit card from lips to lips as a party game. The execution proved difficult. No-one could maintain enough suction to keep the card in place. Adjustments were made, with the final solution being a paper card with holes punched in it. Chapstick was generously applied to every actor in order to assist in making the paper stick.
3.) Men’s fashion circa 1940 – Along with subtly signaling the sexual preferences of Christian through props and scenery, the director wanted him to stand out as distinctly different from the other male characters. The concept of a “metrosexual” look wasn’t a “thing” yet, so they turned to a decade where men dressed impeccably, as characterized by the famous “Rat Pack” and styled his appearance and even his car from that vintage look.
2.) Teen talk – In order to develop authentic dialogue for the film, film executives hung out at Beverly Hills High school to pick-up on the current language trends of wealthy teenagers. In order to make sure that the impact wasn’t lost, they even released a pamphlet called “How to Speak Cluelessly” as part of the hype for the film. As a result, speech patterns and phrases from the film became part of the 90’s teen culture nationwide. Some examples are:
- As if!: No way.
- Audi: I’m leaving, as in “I’m out of here.”
- Baldwin: An attractive guy. (A reference to the Baldwin brothers.)
- Buggin: Annoyed or irritated.
- Hang: Be friends and/or allies.
- Postal: Psychotic anger.
1.) That Aerosmith girl – After auditioning several actresses for the role of Cher, director Amy Heckerling zeroed in on the girl she wanted for the role. “That Aerosmith girl.” Alicia Silverstone had starred in three Aerosmith music videos in 1993 and 1994: “Cryin’,” “Amazing,” and “Crazy.” Her performances in those videos got her the role of Cher without even needing to audition.
How did you do on the challenge? If you did well, congratulations! If not, well, at least you’ve learned something today. Let us know how you did in the comments, and if you have some trivia knowledge to add, please feel free to share it.
Quiz Answers: 1. His copy of the script, 2. Alicia Silverstone as Cher, 3., The game of “Suck and Blow,” 4. Tartan, 5. Muted background colors, 6. Haitians, 7. A good-looking guy, 8. The rat-pack, 9. Isabella, 10. A large painting of two men in an embrace.