HEATHERS is big fun
I continue to use the quarantine to fill in some gaps in my movie watching. Tonight's film was HEATHERS (1988).
Watching this film is like looking at the mummified corpse of Lucy. It's eye-opening to discover the fact that so many of the films I knew and loved growing up didn't arrive fully formed from the head of Zeus - HEATHERS was the evolutionary link missing in my film knowledge. CLUELESS, MEAN GIRLS, JENNIFER'S BODY and so many more movies all owe to Daniel Waters' script.
I read that Waters wrote HEATHERS as a spec script he hoped Stanley Kubrick would direct. While I dig the film as is I can't help but imagine what Kubrick would have done with the movie. Would he have kept the original, more nihilistic ending?
HEATHERS perfectly captures that teenage mentality where everyday life is bigger, more important, and more dramatic than it actually is in real life. It's the type of thinking that leads kids to make stupid decisions like suicide or school shootings - things HEATHERS trivializes through dark comedy.
Or maybe trivializes isn't the right word.
By poking fun at this "life and death" frame of mind, HEATHERS is trying to show teenagers that things aren't as "so very" as they seem to be in the moment. I wonder, though, if I would have gotten the message as a teenager.