How does the director, Amy Heckerling, update the novel of 'Emma' in her modernised 1995 film, 'Clueless'?

Essay by sunspoonA-, July 2004

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An extremely popular film, 'Clueless' was released in 1995. It was an adapted version of a famous novel by Jane Austen, 'Emma'.

I will discuss about the film in this essay, on how Amy Heckerling, the director of 'Clueless', has transformed the pre-20th Century, 'almost 'ancient' compared to the style of today' novel of 'Emma', practically revolutionised it in terms of setting, language and style, and made it into a film.

If you watch 'Clueless', and then read the novel of 'Emma', it's quite hard to distinguish where the similarities lie, as 'Emma' was written in the 1800s, based in a traditional, small Hampshire village, where people were reserved, snobby and arrogant. 'Clueless', on the other hand, is set in an American late 20th Century high school where people can be everything and anything that they wish to be.

However, certain areas of the two plots are very much the same and the effect each character has in 'Clueless', has an almost identical effect on the plot in 'Emma'.

For example, Emma Woodhouse's actions end up with her marrying Mr. Knightly; the same happens in 'Clueless', however each of the character's equivalents take on each role.

The author of 'Emma', Jane Austen, was born in Steventon, Hampshire on 16th December 1775. She was the fifth child in a family of eight (six boys and two girls), but had only one sister, Cassandra. Her education consisted of learning from a private tutor at a boarding school. Her father encouraged her within her education, imagination and literacy skill; among her many talents apart from writing she very much enjoyed dancing and she was also an accomplished pianist.

In 1800, Jane's father decided to retire and in 1801 moved with his wife and two daughters to Bath. Jane Austen died in...