This adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma, updated to a high school in Beverly Hills is a lot better than I had expected it to be. Which, I guess, would have been easy since I had no expectations of quality at all. Cher is rich and spoiled and superficial, but there is a heart down beneath all those expensive clothes. When she hears of the “Pismo Beach disaster” (Lee and I lived near Pismo for a few years) she organizes a relief committee at school collecting blankets and designer outfits nobody is wearing any more. She herself donates all her skiing equipment. How sweet!
She and her best friend take it upon themselves to bring the new student and ugly duckling into their realm of friends, with no real goal in mind other than to help her out. A “project.” They show her how to dress, take her to parties, try to fix her up with the coolest boy in school. Romantic complications ensue.
We found that we didn’t enjoy this one this time as we did on first viewing. Not that it’s bad, the script and direction by Amy Heckerling is still good. It just doesn’t look as sharp and smart as it used to. That happens sometimes.