Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: As If! The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew by Jen Chaney


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resource about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s—in celebration of its twentieth anniversary.
Will we ever get tired of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in the movie Clueless? As if! Written by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Clueless is an enduring comedy classic that remains one of the most streamed movies on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes even twenty years after its release. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless is an everlasting pop culture staple.
In the first book of its kind, Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of this iconic film using recollections and insights collected from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced Heckerling to write the script, how the stars were cast into each of their roles, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more.
This wonderful twentieth anniversary commemoration includes never-before-seen photos, original call sheets, casting notes, and production diary extracts. With supplemental critical insights by the author and other notable movie experts about why Clueless continues to impact pop culture, As If! will leave fans new and old totally buggin’ as they understand why this beloved film is timeless.

MY TAKE:
Clueless is one of the movies from my childhood that I remember fondly.

In As If! The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew, we learn more about the making of the movie, as well as its impact on popculture and fashion.

The main reason why I wanted to read this book was to see if it was something that my cousin, who is a huge Clueless fan, would enjoy getting as a gift. After reading it, I think she'd like this a lot, and it may even inspire her to watch the movie again. I certainly felt like watching Clueless again after reading the book.

The book contains interviews with the cast about certain key things involved in the making of the movie. I was a little confused as to whether they were all interviewed at the same time or not, because sometimes it felt like they were responding to something that another person said, but it could also be that some of them were interviewed later than the others and they were just asked about what the other person said. Whichever it may be, I still enjoyed how it was presented. It was funny seeing how people recollected some things better or differently than the others, but in the end, they still agreed that the movie came together quite beautifully and there were only a few minor problems during its filming.

Aside from interviews, there were also production information, such as the locations used for the shoots, plus mentions of Polaroids, etc. there were also mention of the soundtrack, which was pretty cool, especially since there were some comments from some of the singers and other people who were part of the bands that were on the soundtrack.

I also learned a lot of things, such as that Jeremy Renner and Johnny Galecki were up for a role in the movie, and that two extras (the ones who were making out in the pool) met that day on set and got engaged. No update, though, on how their marriage is going, but hopefully, they're still together.

As for the fashion in Clueless, as well as its effect on real-world fashion, that's also mentioned here. I guess I never really thought about it, since I don't live in America, and the effect wasn't as huge here, but I did have a black leather mini backpack during that time.

The only issue I had with this book was the lack of pictures, although that may be because this was an e-ARC. I only saw one tiny picture, but in the Acknowledgements section of the book, the author thanks several people for sharing their picture, so maybe the finished copies will have more colored pictures.

Thanks to NetGalley and Touchstone for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's a fun trip down memory lane.
  2. You learn a lot of new things about the movie and how it was made.
  3. You gain a deeper appreciation for the movie and its impact and message. 

THE BAD:

  1. It would have been better if there were more pictures, although this may be an ARC issue and not a finished copy issue. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You're a fan of Clueless.
  2. You're interested in fashion.
  3. You like reading behind-the-scenes material about movies.

RATING:
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