This is going to be spoilery because I can't compare Emma and Clueless without talking about the characters and plot.
After reading Emma, the urge to watch Clueless was irrsistable. I couldn't help it. Clueless came out while I was a teenager. I've always watch this movie with some nostalgia. The fashion reminds me so much of high school. I didn't live in nearly as high end a neighbourhood as Cher and her friends, but the knee stockings, the bare midriffs, and plaid were all popular. The guys wore baggy pants with their underwear showing (which seems to not have actually gone out of style... yikes!); the flannel shirts, the greasy hair were everyday wear. I could see Cher's point, girls were supposed to find this attractive? Grunge was the it thing. The cell phones! Kids with cell phones and pagers! I knew kids like that. Honestly, why did they need both? Watching Clueless always makes me happy.
This was the first time, however, that I've watched Clueless since reading Emma. I didn't know for years that Clueless was based on Austen's novel. When I found out, I was surprised and I wanted to read the book... but I didn't... for a really long time. This summer, I decided to sign up for Roof Beam Reader's Austen in August event and thought that it would be the perfect time to read Emma and re-watch Clueless (though I've probably seen it at least once a year since it came out).
Cher is an amazing interpretation of Emma. Cher is upper class, vain and beautiful. She also learns and grows. Tai is a great version of Harriet Smith. I had so much fun matching up the characters. I loved Christian's story and how it differs from Frank Churchill. The scene with Cher and Elton is a great modernization of what happened to Emma and Mr. Elton; Mr. Elton would have definitely left Emma behind. Amber, I watched the movie thinking, hey, she reminds me of Mrs. Elton... and that's because she is Mrs Elton. I liked the choice to make Amber part of the entire movie instead of just bringing her in after Cher rejects Elton. Josh was an interesting version of Knightly. I didn't think they were as similar as some of the other characters, but Josh did play the more serious, mature gentleman to vain Cher, as Knightly did with Emma. Cher's father is the opposite of Mr. Woodhouse in personality. In both though, the daughter worries about her father's help and it is her duty to take care of him.
I think having such an affinity for the movie enhanced my reading of Emma. I also think that watching Clueless after reading Emma made me appreciate the characters and events of the movie more. It was a new perspective for an old favourite. Read Emma, watch Clueless. They are loads of fun and worth every minute.