Somehow it's been more than 25 years since a total Betty sauntered into our lives, bringing with her an entirely new vernacular, the dreamiest closet we never knew we needed and a coming-of-age tale that continues to resonate with each new generation that discovers it.
Plus Paul Rudd, who continues to be kind of a Baldwin as he stubbornly refuses to age.
His onscreen romance with ex-stepsister Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) continues to be one of the many highlights of Amy Heckerling's 1995 hit Clueless. And if you listen to the film's star it wasn't at all weird.
"It wasn't like she was raised with him, for God's sake," Silverstone mused in a recent interview with E! News. "Her dad probably had so many different wives."
Though, to be fair, "I've given it zero thought," she allowed. "This right here is the most thought I've put into that."
Not that she's opposed to revisiting her time in the beloved teenage comedy, often slipping into Cher's most capable outfits to recreate scenes because, as she put it to E!, "People love the movie."
Frankly, it's hard to fully encapsulate all that Clueless gave us. There's the '90s teen lingo (totally buggin', full-on Monet), the dialogue that still delights ("And my buns, they don't feel nothin' like steel,"), the certified platinum soundtrack ("Rollin' With My Homies"!), the fashions that inspired hordes of Gen Xers to step away from the grunge and, most importantly, a feminist icon who showed you could be flawed and a bit vapid but still strong AF.
And it all began with a simple request. Coming off Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Look Who's Talking, writer-director Heckerling "was asked by Fox's TV department to pitch them an idea," she recalled to The Telegraph in 2015. "They said, 'we want you to do something about young people. About the cool kids in high school, because all the guys who pitch us high school ideas always pitch them about the nerds.'"
An affectionate take on Emma—the Jane Austen heroine Heckerling had connected with in college—her script told the story of confident, eternally optimistic Cher, her best friend Dionne Davenport (both "named after famous singers of the past who now do infomercials") and their group of well-off Beverly Hills teens that, as newcomer Tai Fraser put it, "talk like grown-ups" and dress like no high schoolers we knew.
Yet, in the end, they just wanted to infuse a bit of good into the world. Because 'tis a far, far better thing doing stuff for other people.
Raking in $55 million, it was seen as the season's sleeper hit, but pretty much everyone involved knew they had something on their hands. Recalled then-studio head Sherry Lansing of her first screening: "I just loved it. I'm not an easy laugh; you look at a movie and you're constantly trying to make it better. But every once in a while, you see a movie, and the notepad you have is blank—and you just say, 'This is genius.'"
Which it was, making stars out of Silverstone, Rudd, Stacey Dash (Dionne) and Brittany Murphy (Tai), convincing a generation of girls that they, too, could rock a plaid suit and knee-socks combo and inspiring the slate of successful teen fare that followed.
So, let's raise two bowls of Special K to our favorite virgin who can't drive and and the man she falls majorly, totally, butt-crazy in love with, and celebrate the July 19 anniversary by watching the film a bit less sporadically and reading up on how it all came together.