The Thing About Clueless

More

With Brittany Murphy on my mind, I fired up Clueless around midnight.I couldn't sleep, and figured that by the time I got to the "Rolling With The Homies" scene I'd be out. No dice. But one thing that always strikes me about Clueless is the seamless way they integrated black characters.

This comes up a lot when we talk about film, and think most of it comes down to the quality of the movie. Poorly drawn movies tend to depend on poorly drawn characters. And poorly drawn black characters almost always descend into stereotype and cartoon. Not that I'm an expert on Teen Movies, but I can't really think of another one--pre-Clueless--that had African-American kids in strong supporting roles, looking like we look, which is to say, like human beings.

Here's Siskel & Ebert offering their take back in the day.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In