Heathers

1988, Michael Lehmann, USA

Director: Michael Lehmann
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Screenplay: Daniel Waters
Cinematography: Francis Kenny
Editor: Norman Hollyn
Music: David Newman
Winona Ryder (Veronica Sawyer)
Christian Slater (Jason ‘JD’ Dean)
Shannen Doherty (Heather Duke)
Lisanne Falk (Heather McNamara)
Kim Walker (Heather Chandler)
Penelope Milford (Pauline Fleming)

 

Rating: M violence & offensive language Runtime: 103 minutes
Content Note: Suicide and mentions of eating disorders 

 A subversive black comedy about a clique of High School mean girls – all named Heather – and the violent revenge taken out on them by one their own, Heathers is the anti-John Hughes movie of the 80s.

Perhaps because it skewered a romantic teen genre that was still popular at the time, or perhaps because it found humour in such taboo subjects as teenage suicide, bulimia, date rape, and murder, the film was not a success when it came out in 1988.  Since then, however, it has become a full-on cult classic, lauded for its satirical attack on the Reagan era’s obsession with popularity, image, and success – themes even more relevant in our TikTok loving, Trumpian world.

Directed by Michael Lehmann, and written by first time scripter Daniel Waters, the film lives in the tradition of such great dark comedies as Kind Hearts and Coronets and Dr. Strangelove.  Waters, in fact, originally wrote it hoping that Stanley Kubrick might direct it. Winona Ryder, coming off Beetlejuice, gives one of her best – and wackiest – performances, and Christian Slater, channeling a young Jack Nicholson, is hilarious, creepy, and frightening all at the same time. The film also features an excellent electronic score by David Newman (Alfred’s son and Randy’s cousin).

Heathers is almost proto-grunge in its disdain for the Reaganite fantasy: by presenting American violence side by side with American wholesomeness, the movie dismantles the flimsy alibi the latter so often provides for the former. – Naomi Fry, The New Yorker

Date

Jul 22 2024

Time

6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
series