Showdown! Clueless vs Mean Girls


Today’s installment of Showdown! pits two of the most beloved teen comedies against each other: Clueless (1995) and Mean Girls (2004). With almost a decade separating the two films, they have each carved out a place for themselves in the list of defining moments of a generation. But if we break the films down by category, which one will prove to be better? Keep reading to find out!

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Source Material:

Clueless is based on the famous Jane Austen novel Emma. Emma  is about the titular character, a young woman who is so busy trying to set up everyone else in her life that she almost misses her own chance at true love right in front her eyes. Clueless did a wonderful job of taking the 19th century story and translating it to modern times. Cher was the perfect embodiment of the 20th century Emma and the relationships were pretty close to the original source materials. Emma (and Clueless for that matter) is a great story that can resonate with those of any century.

Mean Girls  was very loosely based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. Unlike the fiction novel Emma, this book is a non-fiction self help book. Needless to say, creating a fictionalized story out of it is going to mean it’s not nearly as close to the book its based on. This book discusses the passive aggressive way that teen girls attack one another. Nothing to complain about with the subject here, but it’s hard to beat such a wonderful modern-day adaptation of one of the most classic novels of all time.

Point: Clueless

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Cast:

Both of these films have impressive cast lists. Clueless stars the 90’s Queen Alicia Silverstone, along with the uber famous Paul Rudd, the tragically gone-to-soon Brittany Murphy, as well as other big name stars such as Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, Jeremy Sisto, Wallace Shawn and Dan Hedaya.

Mean Girls also has an impressive line-up. Though she may have fallen from grace lately, star Lindsay Lohan was the ultimate It girl of 2004. Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfriend, and Lacy Chabert round out the mean girls while Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Franzese make the perfect foils. The cast is littered with Saturday Night Live comedians as well including: writer Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Tim Meadows.

Both of these movies are so well done because of the impressive cast of characters. There’s no way to choose a favorite here.

Point: Tie

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Humor:

Both films are listed on IMDB.com as a comedy (Clueless is also listed as a Romance) and both deliver when it comes to laughs. In Clueless we have quirky zingers about teenage life and the wonderful loving sparring between Cher and her dad and Josh. The funniest scene is definitely when Dionne accidentally drives onto the freeway. Chaos ensues, naturally.

Mean Girls is also hilarious. You laugh from beginning to end at the social relevance jokes and simple humor that works for both pre-teens and adults. The funniest scenes include the epic trust fall of Gretchen Weiners and the iconic Christmas dance scene. Both films deliver when it comes to humor but Mean Girls packs just a bit more of a punch.

Point: Mean Girls

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Quotability:

Clueless: Ugh, As if!; You’re a virgin who can’t drive; Isn’t my house classic? The columns date all the way back to 1972; She’s a full-on Monet; That was way harsh Tai; Well, there goes your social life; may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty; OMG I’m totally buggin

Mean Girls: I can’t help it that I’m popular; You go Glen Coco!; Grool; Boo you whore; On Wednesdays we wear pink; Why are you so obsessed with me?; It’s so fetch!; If you’re from Africa, why are you white?; Is butter a carb?; I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!; She doesn’t even go here!

Whichever way you look at it, we’re all winners here.

Point: Tie

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Style:

Clueless has become the ultimate style bible for the 90’s prep scene. From plaid blazers and matching skirts to knee-high socks and funky hats; Clueless delivers above and beyond for 90’s nostalgia. Not only did teens in 1995 strive to emulate the fashionable students of Beverley Hills High, but even today the movie stands as the epitome of fashion and people try their best to live up to it. Mean Girls definitly brings us back to 2004 when we watch it. The days of pleated mini-skirts, slogan tees, and cargo pants may still haunt some of us, but perhaps that’s because it doesn’t have the extra decade Clueless does to form more nostalgia over nausea. Irregardless, Clueless wins here.

Point: Clueles

Maybe the extra 10 years has helped it but either way, Clueless has come out as the reigning queen of the teen movies. I bow down to Cher Horowitz and her totally fashionable crew. 

Winner: Clueless!

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