Amy Heckerling

Amy Heckerling: A Retrospective on Her Filmmaking Career and Her Perspectives on Women in Hollywood


It’s easy to accept that Heckerling’s lack of recognition is typical of the treatment of female directors, and her challenges have included obstacles unknown to many male directors, such as taking time off for children and caring for elderly parents. However, her work in less prestigious mid-budget comedies and teen films, and therefore with new and lesser known actors, has often been by choice. Her great accomplishments as a feminist director come not from breaking into the prestigious and male-dominated genres, but in how she has presented female characters and female sexuality in her films.

Teen Girls Coming of Age in ‘Clueless’ and ‘The Edge of Seventeen’

Clueless and The Edge of Seventeen

These two women directors, Amy Heckerling (‘Clueless’) and Kelly Fremon Craig (‘The Edge of Seventeen’), use their films to give a focused examination on the insecurity and self-doubt teen girls face. Cher and Nadine’s personal struggles, as well as their relationships with older mentors, reveal how patriarchal expectations shape their lives as they come of age.

‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’: The Confidence and Wisdom of Linda Barrett

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Phoebe Cates brings life to the energetic, worldly, confident-yet-vulnerable Linda. Her character is the heart and soul of the movie, as she gives Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) advice on sex, relationships, and navigating her way through high school. … The film never takes a judgmental attitude towards these young women, their sexual activities, and their frank discussions of sex.

Historical vs. Modern Abortion Narratives in ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’

Dirty Dancing and Fast Times

Given this climate, it is somewhat surprising that two mainstream Hollywood films, ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ would take progressive approaches to a topic like reproductive justice. While ‘Dirty Dancing’ remembers the realities of abortion pre-Roe v. Wade and illustrates the role that class plays in access to abortion, ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ shows a main character who exercises her right to choose without trauma or punishment, while managing to keep a relatively light tone.

‘Clueless’: Way Existential

Written by Robin Hitchcock With Bitch Flicks celebrating its fifth anniversary this week, I wanted to write a positive and celebratory post. So I thought I would revisit one of my favorite flicks, Amy Heckerling’s Clueless, for which I have not a single unkind word. Clueless movie poster Clueless repositions the basic plot of Jane […]

It’s Braggin’ Time!

Hey, remember back when I reviewed that awesome Amy Heckerling movie Vamps, starring Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter? Well, Bitch Flicks ended up on the back cover of the DVD! I’m officially quoted as saying, “A fun cast of characters for sure, but Silverstone and Ritter shine.” Look!  The Vamps DVD cover So you should […]

How ‘Vamps’ Showcases the Importance of Women Friendships

I’m reposting my review of Vamps—which previously appeared at Bitch Flicks on May 3, 2012—in honor of Vamps opening in theaters (in limited release) tonight and releasing on DVD November 12. Movie poster for Vamps Vamps, the new indie film directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter (the upcoming star of […]

Movie Review: How ‘Vamps’ Showcases the Importance of Women Friendships

Movie poster for Vamps Vamps, the new indie film directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter (the upcoming star of the TV show Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) takes the vampire genre and turns it into a fun, feminist celebration of youth culture and female friendship. The film is […]

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

Stephanie‘s Picks: “Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Lawrence vs. Our Toxic Misogynist Culture” by Sophia Savage for Thompson on Hollywood “The Hunger Games, Hollywood and Fighting Fuck Toys” by Caroline Heldman for Ms. Magazine “Talking to Lena Dunham About Being A ‘Girl’” by Kase Wickman for The Awl “Film Corner” (On The Lucky One) […]