Compare and Contrast “Emma” vs. “Clueless”

emma movie poster one sheet As part of the Denver Film Critic Association I have apparently gotten myself into something that I might well regret: helping out a school writing class by reading and offering feedback for some young film critics. Their assignment: review and contrast the films Emma (1996) and Clueless (1995).

Which means I also need to watch both these films. Yikes.

My teen daughter laughed and said that Clueless is hilarious, which worries me a little bit, but she also hasn’t seen Emma, so at least I have a designated co-victim for the cinematic extravaganza.

clueless movie poster one sheetStill, what am I in for?

Here’s what IMDb says about the two movies:

Emma: “Based on the Jane Austen novel, “Emma” tells the story of a young woman in England who plays her town’s matchmaker.

“When attempting to match up her friend with the Reverend Elton, Emma starts to run into complications, which multiply amongst themselves with cases of mistaken intentions of love, a cast of supporting characters who each love someone else, but Emma doesn’t know who loves who, and Emma finally realizing the one person she truly loves.”


Clueless: “Cher is rich, pretty, blonde, popular and knows how to talk anyone into doing just about anything. When she can’t get a teacher to give her a better grade, she and her friend Dion match him up with another teacher to make him happier… and maybe a but laxer on his expectations.

emma publicity still photo
Publicity Still from “Emma”

“When a girl named Tai transfers to Cher’s school, she and Dion give her a makeover and attempt to find her a boyfriend. Cher soon realizes that she wants a boyfriend herself, but no one seems right. She goes through a spiritual makeover and realizes that there’s more to life than clothes and popularity before she finds the boy of her dreams.”

publicity still photo from Clueless
Publicity Still from “Clueless”

Emma rates a 6.8/10 on IMDb so it’s not horrible, but that’s not a very high score. Clueless? a 6.7. Very similar scores, nothing to write home about in either case.

Well, wish me luck. And I hope that it’ll be worth it by getting some thoughtful and insightful papers from the students who are participating!

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