Sunday, April 1, 2012

Heathers (1989)

Links: TVTropes, Wikipedia, IMDB (7.3).

“Children of the so-called Baby Boomers, Generation X has been characterized as a group unable to speak about anything unironically, while also possessing a mistrust of authority and a longing to have sex with Winona Ryder. According to Ryder, this demographic deserves to have "at least one" of its thwarted hopes and dreams for itself actually come true.” 
— "Winona Ryder Finally Agrees To Sleep With Generation X", The Onion

Heathers is a pitch-black comedic satire of 80's teen comedy/drama films.  In terms of tone, it's sort of the forbidden love child of John Hughes and Tim Burton, culturally seeing out the 80s and propping the door open for the 90s to meander in.  I sadly never saw this in its own era, but it was impossible not to immediately notice how this one film both predicted and shaped the decade to follow: the goth look, Winona Ryder, grunge and Nirvana, the early 90s pop-cultural opinion on gays changing from punchlines to people, the sarcasm and cynical humor, Clueless, Daria (with tiny hints of Beavis and Butthead too), wangsty self-harm, and... well, let's be honest here, Columbine is the elephant in the room.  Beyond cultural significance, the film itself is great up through the Burtonesque dream sequence (yay Glenn Shadix!), but then the ending falls apart because the film can't quite decide how surreal it's supposed to be.  Score: 3 stars out of 4.

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