Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heathers: Movie Review

(1988, directed by: Michael Lehmann, written by: Daniel Waters, starring: Winona Ryder and Christian Slater)
(Available now on DVD and Blu-ray)

Realistically dark and unabashedly candid about the comedy and horrors of high school.

Popular girls are so annoying, especially when they are all named Heather. Veronica (Winona Ryder) is like them, except she isn't a Heather and wishes she could be popular without being friends with them. Enter J.D. (Christian Slater), he's one of those bad guys with whispers about the kind of trouble he has gotten into. You know the kind of guy from other films, with rumours about what he did to get kicked out of school. Those rumours are always so exaggerated, except in this case, J.D. may actually be worse than the rumours about him.

After introducing Veronica and J.D., "Heathers" takes some very shocking, disturbing, pitch-black turns. And that's why this film is so brilliant. They took an unflinching look at the maliciousness of high school students and then presented it to us as a comedy. Today, the high school comedies have the popular kids take a girl in a ponytail and glasses and turn her into a hot chick and then the cliques live happily ever after with each other, but "Heathers" has realistically superficial girls and there's a good chance that nobody will be living happily ever after.

The only place this film fails is in their catchy dialogue pretending to be trendy and cool, like "Did you have a brain tumour for breakfast?" It's better written than that. It also teaches a lesson on what happens when you pretend to be trendy and cool. Trust me, it's not pretty. I wouldn't recommend watching "Heathers" before you enter high school, but if you manage to get out of it alive, then this film will show you one of the more fascinating tales.