I have watched Clueless probably 5 times in the past 5 years, but after watching and dissecting Emma, it makes sense in a completely different way! Out of context, it was fantastic, but with this new information, I have a new appreciation for the way the original Emma was adapted. All of the main dynamics that existed within both Much Ado About Nothing and Clueless remained in this 1995 film: the brother and sister relationship (Beatrice and Benedick, Emma and Knightley, Cher and Josh), the witty banter between the two characters, the idea of class (or popularity), the relationship of support between most female characters, and even some similar character names (i.e. Elton).
Overall, I was most intrigued by the dynamics of privilege within the story. When looking at privilege in Much Ado About Nothing or even Emma, the difference in country and time period makes it feel more distant. Put in the framework of our modern time, it becomes much more relevant but not for every one per se. Don’t get me wrong, I love Clueless and have laughed at it for years, but now I see how large a role white privilege and class play in the way that characters are perceived and discussed throughout the film. Thinking about our own adaptation of it, I want to see how having a more diverse cast and progressive student planning group can help us make the product even better and more relevant to our modern audiences!