The film tells the story of Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, who wants to fit in with the popular kids at her high school-or at least, she thinks she does. The most popular clique at school are known as the Heather's, because all of their names are Heather. They like to spend their time shopping, playing croquet and trying to get into frat parties at the local college. They sound like a pretty typical high school group, and they would be, except they are led by Heather Chandler(also known as Heather #1). Heather Chandler is a super-bitch-from-hell who stops at nothing to get her way and never hesitates to put others down to make herself feel superior.
The other Heathers are Heather Duke(Doherty) and Heather McNamara(the cheerleader). Heather Duke is like Heather #1's protoge. She would kill the top Heather if the opportunity presented itself(or unless someone beats her to it!). Heather McNamara is not really like the other Heathers. She pretends to be so she can fit in, but deep down she is more like the dorks who believe in being nice to others. Her downfall is that she can't say no to Heather #1, and she is an emotional wreck because of it.
That brings us back to Veronica. She hates the Heathers. If she had her way she would just go back to her old friends, Martha "Dumptruck" Dunnstock and Betty Finn, who she left behind when they got into high school. Veronica scribbles in her diary about how much she hates Heather Chandler:"Tomorrow, I'll be kissing her aerobicized ass, but tonight, let me dream of a world without Heather, a world where I am free! " The dilemma for Veronica here is, "Do I want to be friends with someone that I hate just to be considered popular, or do I want to choose my own friends and be made fun of everyday". It doesn't seem like much of a choice, one made worse by the politics of high school.
Veronica does a good job of masking her hatred for Heather #1 for the most part, that is, until she meets J.D. Christian Slaters J.D. is like a mix between Gary Cooper and James Dean. He carries himself with such an "I don't give a shit" attitude and at the same time an almost scary indifference to human life. Veronica insantly falls for J.D. They share a slurpee and before you know it, they are plotting the death of Heather Chandler, and perhaps others.
Winona Ryder made this film while she was on her streak of great movies in the late 80's early 90's-Lucas, Beetlejuice, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, and The Age of Innocence. For most actors that is a career, she did it all before she was 22. Of all those films I think that Heathers has her best performance. Her Veronica is confused about her feelings more often than not, as are most teenagers. But she carries the role with a kind of strength underneath that reveals her true nature.
Ryder's Veronica is what carries the movie, but without Christian Slater the movie would have felt lacking in a few key scenes. Slater, at this exact point in his career, was the perfect choick for J.D. His Jack Nicholson-impression acting style fit the role perfectly. Slater hits every note of dialogue with perfect pitch and his charismatic personality adds to J.D.s easy manipulation of Veronica.
The director of the film, Michael Lehmann, has made some truly bad movies in his career-Hudson Hawk, Airheads, 40 Days and 40 Nights. However, he also was the executive producer of Ed Wood, which more than makes up for whatever schlock he has directed. Somehow, he manages to squeeze one good movie out of his meandering talent. He does what any good director does when working with a quality script-let the actors act and film them in the process. Nothing seems over-the-top becuase he never tries to illustrate the points to the viewers, we just kind of take them in as they happen.
Daneil Walters has written a couple of good movies. Batman Returns was a pretty decent flick, but his screenplay here is beyond fantastic. He captures a sense of dialogue that most writers wouldn't even attempt. Example:Heather Chandler: "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Theresa to you?"
Overall the film plays about as black as black comedy can be and still get laughs out of the audience. It actually makes a lot of good points that are still relevant today about high school politics and how easy it is to get so sucked into wanting to be liked that you would do anything to be hanging with the cool kids. I love almost everything in it, hence the 9 out of ten rating. The only reason it doesn't get a ten is that it takes a little too long to end. It seems kind of weird, but even though it takes too long to end, I wish it were longer.
What do you think of Heathers
Share your opinions on our forum