RELEASED IN 1989 and directed by Michael Lehmann, "Heathers" stars Winona Ryder as Veronica, a high school student in Ohio who has sold herself out to join the popular clique of three girls, all coincidently named Heather (Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk & Shannen Doherty). The more she spends time with them, however, the more she discovers she can't stand them. Enter mysterious new kid, JD (Christian Slater), who has a macabre solution to Veronica's conundrum.
This is an oddball teen movie that tries to be edgy and amusing with its black humor and overt cussing. Future movies were influenced by it, like "Jawbreaker" (1999) and maybe even "Mean Girls" (2004). The commentary on peer pressure, teen suicide and the maiming destructiveness of cliques is potent. Teens can be misled by the "popular" students, yes, but they can also be misled by the outcasts.
Slater stands out as a sorta dark Fonz of the late 80s, easily one of his best roles ever. Ryder is surprisingly good as the protagonist. I say "surprisingly" because I was never big on her (although I didn't dislike her either). The first act is quite good, but the story gets humdrum in the middle; thankfully, the last 20 minutes perk up. The late 80's ambiance is to die for.
I'm not going to give it away, but the original ending was way more morbid. They had an alternative ending that they didn't go with either. Apparently the studio pressured the writer/director to go with the theatrical ending, which I approve. It's a story of redemption. Being misled by corrupt people for a season doesn't define a person forever.
THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hours & 43 minutes and was shot in Los Angeles (the high school) and surrounding area (Santa Monica, Tujunga and Pasadena). WRITER: Daniel Waters.
A regular girl, Veronica, tries to survive the social jungle of high school by sticking with the three most popular girls at school who are all called Heather. As she meets a sociopath named JD, her life spirals into a continuous cycle of hate, unintentional murder and indifference, as she exacts revenge on her enemies, also known as her best friends.
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June 14, 2015 at 12:08 PM