Director: Michael Lehmann
Written by: Daniel Waters
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker, Penelope Milford, Glenn Shadix, Lance Fenton, Patrick Labyorteaux.
Running time: 103 min.
For some reason or another, I prefer watching teenage based movies from the 80s/90s rather than the ones from today. Though the fashions may be dated, the still manage to speak volumes somehow. The teen movies from today shove technology down your throats in order to be seen as "spirit of the times" movie, also focusing on the quirks of the characters instead of telling you anything about the actual characters (see: Restless). But a movie like Heathers, no matter how convoluted and slightly strange the plot is, has a definitive message after 24 years. One that is best understood by teenagers. Except for the ones with their iPhone's right in their eyes. Because they don't really watch movies. They just update their Facebook statuses and say they're watching a movie.
The film appears to be a basic look at the cliques in high school, with the popular group of girls ruling over the school. Veronica (Winona Ryder) is a girl who is half-heartedly part of the popular girls group at her school, a group comprised of three Heather's: the leader Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), the bookish bulimic Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) and the somewhat weak cheerleader Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk). Despite being part of the most popular, yet widely feared group in the school, Veronica finds herself disillusioned with that life and longs for something different. After a night gone wrong with Chandler, Veronica seeks revenge on her. With the help of rebellious outsider J.D (Christian Slater), she gets her revenge by actually killing Chandler, and then covering it up as a suicide. Before she knows it, she is involved in murders of most of her enemies - people she wanted dead, but did not want to kill - with J.D drawing her into them and covering them up as suicides.
Despite the fact that I found myself questioning the morality of what was happening and wondering how deep into the darkness of it I should go, Heathers was an extremely entertaining, slightly thought-provoking, and rather honest film. I don't know if it's the kind you'd want to be showing a class filled with pubescents filled with angst (as they could possibly take it the wrong way and the school would end up with a whole lot of suicides), but there are certainly a lot of messages in this film that are worth listening to in these technological times. I think it succeeds so much because it isn't heavy-handed in it's approach. The angst is there, but it isn't shoved down your throat. The lessons are there, you just have to choose whether you want to learn them. Whatever it is, I love it.
Plus, I love Winona Ryder. Someone give her the huge comeback she deserves, pleeeeeeease?
What I got: