Clueless Character Review: Dionne Davenport

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the movie Clueless. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations. We all need a best friend. Someone who gets us completely, who loves us for who we are, and can call us out on our shit when need be. In Clueless, Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash) is the best friend of the film heroine, Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone).

Like Cher, Dionne is high on the social pyramid at their local high school. The difference between them is that while Cher is quick to use her popularity for the greater good, Dionne has to be convinced that it is a good idea. She is also known to be the quieter and more intelligent of the two, usually when Cher is starting to question certain things.

But there is one aspect of her life in which Dionne gets on the emotional roller herself: her relationship with boyfriend Murray Duvall (Donald Faison). Though they are in love, they are also known to get into public fights that draw a crowd. When the subject of her virginity comes up, it goes from maybe its there to maybe its not to finally completely gone after the incident on the highway.

To sum it up: What makes Dionne’s relationship with Cher believable is the genuine chemistry between the actors and innate understanding that the characters have of one another. It is just there, removing the logic that what we are watching is fiction and not real life.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

Throwback Thursday- Clueless

In the annals of high school/teenage movies, Clueless stands out.

Funny, irresistible and and extremely quotable, Amy Heckerling transfers Jane Austen’s Emma and the inhabitants of rural 19th century English Highbury to mid 1990’s California.

Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is the queen bee of her world. An only child, her mother is dead, her father Mel (Dan Hedaya) is a high priced lawyer. He has re-married and divorced at least once since his first wife’s death, keeping Cher’s ex-stepbrother, Josh (Paul Rudd) in the family.

Cher’s best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash) and her boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison) are constantly arguing. When Tai (the late Brittany Murphy) and Christian (Justin Walker) enter the story, Cher begins to see that she might be more clueless than she thinks she is.

I adore this movie. It’s funny and smart and still holds up after nearly twenty years. And after nearly twenty years, I still have closet envy. Who doesn’t want a closet with a computer that helps you to choose your outfit for the day?

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