Heathers (1989)

DailyView: Day 79, Movie 134

After getting a couple of new releases watched this morning, I returned to the DailyView with a movie on Shudder called Heathers. I had heard about this movie, but I honestly had no idea what it was about so the subject matter surprised me.

As a dark comedy, this one was dark. Real dark.

Veronica (Winona Ryder) wanted to be in the coolest clique in her high school, a group of girls all named Heather, and what she was having to do to gain admittance was meaner than she hoped. Secretly, she wished that the head of the Heathers, Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) would die.

Enter new student J.D. (Christian Slater), who began a relationship with Veronica and set it up so that they would poison Heather. When Heather died, they made it look like a suicide.

The suicide kicked off chaos at the high school as the staff and student body tried to figure out how they were to act or how they were to respond. J.D., however, was just beginning.

This is considered a classic, but I have to say that a lot of the film does not hold up much. This would never fly in the theaters in 2021, no matter how much of a dark comedy it claimed to be. It did have some very funny moments in it though and the sick relationship with Veronica and J.D. was one of the highlights of the film.

The clique of Heathers really were a horrible group of girls, and this is a movie trope that we see all the time. Taking to the extreme of reactions towards them is fascinating and created a movie that is unlike any other I have seen. Deeply cynical, Heathers has some things to say about the toxicity of the high school environment and the potential viciousness of the teenagers that encompasses it.

Perhaps I would have liked a little more details about J.D. as I believe that he has been at this for awhile now. The relationship with his father was one that I would have liked to have been explored more.

The cast delivered the material brilliantly. Shannen Doherty was cruelly exceptional as one of the surviving Heathers. Glenn Shadix as Father Ripper provided us with some of the most ridiculously funny sermons at the funerals of the suicides. John Ingle brings his credibility to Principal Gowan, who has no idea what to do.

While the references to homosexuality is out of date, the rest of Heathers is very dark and funny and shows how much of a jungle high school can be.

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