The 1995 film Clueless, written and directed by Amy Heckerling, follows Cher – a rich high-school student played by Alicia Silverstone – as she tries to boost the popularity of new student Tai, actress Brittany Murphy.
Cher tries to find a romantic partner for her teacher, Mr Hall, after he gave her a C in her debate class, in the hope that he will boost up her grade. Meanwhile she befriends Tai as she transfers to Beverley Hills and takes on the ambitious task of giving her a makeover and trying to set her up with Elton (Jeremy Sisto), however Tai begins to get feelings for “skateboarding stoner” Travis (Breckin Meyer) – making this difficult for Cher…
It is thought that Clueless was loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma – “a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance”, and is now the inspiration behind Iggy Azalea’s new song Fancy featuring Charli XCX – proving how influential it is almost 20 years later.
The 1995 film was also inspiration for my latest shoot. Taking ideas from white knee high socks and tartan skirts, I gave Cher’s look a modern tweak and teamed it with a high-necked, black long-sleeved crop top. (See the picture on my Charlotte Hilton Photography page)
The novel Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, 1996, follows Bridget Jones, a thirty-something, single woman who lives in London in the 90’s throughout her struggles of maintaining a job and finding a man. Since 2006 the novel has sold over 2 million copies and, as the Telegraph put it, “Fielding’s success in the 1990s meant that Bridget Jones came to define the Chick Lit phenomenon”.
Many parallels can be found between this book and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, most noticeably between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Mark Darcy. Also, Helen Fielding has said in many interviews that Bridget Jones’ Diary was based upon both Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the 1995 BBC adaptation of it. The decision to cast Colin Firth as Darcy reflects this as he played the ‘real’ Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation.
The Telegraph describes the third new novel Mad About the Boy perfectly, saying “And Bridget also finds herself having to compete in a vastly changed, less innocent world; as one blogger has put it at the weekend, we were all “drunker, thinner, richer” when Bridget started in 1995 – a pre-9/11 age where the housing market was starting to boom, being able to dial 1471 to find out who had called your landline was a thrill and (try to explain this to the twerking generation) a man getting out of a lake in a wet shirt could be seen as the erotic moment of the decade.”
Does this show us, in this decade, in a positive light? Or does it make us reminisce about the “good old days”, when people were more easily amused, and the smaller things made a person happy….?