Clueless 20th anniversary: How it became the prototype for teen movie adaptations of classic literature (VIDEO).

Has Any Teen Movie Reworked a Literary Classic Better Than Clueless? As If! (Video.)

Has Any Teen Movie Reworked a Literary Classic Better Than Clueless? As If! (Video.)

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July 17 2015 1:09 PM

Has Any Teen Movie Reworked a Literary Classic Better Than Clueless?

As if!

clueless3

Courtesy of Paramount

A loose reworking of Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless set the template for a mini-genre of teen movies adapted from literary classics that sprung up in the late ’90s and through the ’00s, including She’s All That, Cruel Intentions, and She’s the Man. Many of those films tried hard to imitate its ingenious reimagining, though none have quite been able to match it in terms of originality or wit—which is why, even 20 years later, Clueless (and its colorful world of offbeat characters) remains a total Betty. In the video above, we toast the anniversary by explaining what the movie got so right.

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.