Plot: Veronica (Winona Ryder) has three popular friends all called Heather, tired of the hoops she has to jump through to maintain a veneer of popularity, she starts plotting with the resident high school rebel JD (Christian Slater)
What went through my head: The first thing that strikes you is just how awful fashion was in the late 80s. Shoulder pads so large they would make Arnold Schwarzenegger blush, hair so bouffant you could hide a small mammal inside, colours that clash so badly you want to just walk around wearing a t-shirt with the phrase “Oh honey, those shoes?”
But what exactly is this film? High school drama? A sarcastic and ironically funny high school drama? Or perhaps a sadistic film about a possessive and abusive boyfriend who coerces a girl to commit multiple murders? The answer is all of the above. And it sucks.
The thing is, I thought it was being ironic but I wasn’t sure. About halfway through, I managed to distil some of the teenage sass was actually for comedic purposes and not actually just annoying high schoolers being whiny bitches (though there’s ladles full of that as well). Don’t get me wrong, there are some perfectly decent laughs in here – some well thought out, written, and delivered comedy, it’s just that I’m not entirely sure that it is fitting to then have a plethora of rather rapey scenes throughout.
Not that a comedy can’t be hard hitting, it’s just this didn’t ever really know what kind of film it is. For half of it I was convinced that it was all in Veronica’s head and this was essentially a high school Fight Club (that would have been awesome) but instead we find that perhaps it was the writers who were schizophrenic. And the thing is, as much as I like dark humour, there was no attempt to make light of the rather troubling undertones of the film. Oh there are callous suicide jokes throughout but nobody seems to understand that perhaps Veronica is in an awful situation. In fact Veronica herself seems blissfully unaware that her boyfriend is abusive. Sure, she pushes him away at times and even goes as far to break up with him, but this does nothing to diminish their screen time together as a couple.
Verdict: While this contains some genuinely funny lines, scenes and themes, the overall feel of the film is that it is a huge pile of wank. I went from struggling to work out what the film was about to being interested how it would all end to being thoroughly confused as to how anybody could write such a migraine of a script without wanting to just give up.
Head Teacher: Now I’ve seen a lot of bullshit: Angel Dust, switchblades, sexually perverse photography exhibits involving tennis rackets…
JD: People will look at the ashes of Westerburg and say, “Now there’s a school that self-destructed, not because society didn’t care, but because the school was society.” Now that’s deep.
Heather Chandler: Grow up Heather, bulimia’s so ’87.
Heather Duke: Veronica, why are you pulling my dick?