Heathers (1989)

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker

Awards: Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature (1990) and nominated Grand Jury Prize at Sundance (1989)

The 80’s were a magical time. Big hair, synsthesized music, and let’s not forget shoulder pads. A lot of bad movies also came out of the 80’s, but thankfully, there was also a few great ones such as the film Heathers. This dark comedy, written by Daniel Waters, tells the story of four high school friends who rule the school as the popular clique. Heather, Heather, and Heather use intimidation and sex appeal to get what ever they want while Veronica (Winona Ryder) is torn between being “cool” and doing what is right. Along comes the mysterious outsider J.D. (Christian Slater) who helps Veronica make a choice meanwhile taking her down a dark road of murder, suicide pacts, and high school bombings.

Heathers is a movie that may have some difficulty being made in a post-columbine world. Featuring such subject matter as students killing fellow students and an attempted bombing, one might find the subject matter a little difficult to find funny. The film doesn’t use such themes lightly though. They are used to show the difficulty of teenage angst, the futility of suicide, and the fleeting duration of popularity. Even though the movie was made before the recent spat of high school tragedies, the subject matter was still troublesome for many at the time of production. Several actors turned down the roles due to the nature of the script, including Jennifer Connely, Brad Pitt, and Heather Graham. The original ending was also much more darker but I won’t spoil it for you. The DVD has the script or you could read it here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathers and remember, teenage suicide… don’t do it!

Other Notable Films by this Director: Airheads (1994), The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996), 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)


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