In a recent interview, Winona Ryder made mention of there being a certain sequel in the works, and that sequel is a follow-up to one of my top five favorite movies of all time – Heathers.
My love for this film is deep and raw. It’s hysterically funny, as dark as can possibly be, has some of the most realistic characters I’ve ever seen and goddammit did it make smoking look cool and awesome. So while one would assume that my reaction would be an eye roll, perhaps a sarcastic “how very,” I am actually completely stoked.
This isn’t Road House 2 (how do those people sleep at night?). It’s not going to be a total rehash with a new cast and more tits. Apparently ‘Noneskies and Christian Slater (who blew the hell right up in the first one) are both coming back, along with the original writer and director.
You might as well have just proposed to me, Winz. Because I DO.
Now, that is not to say I don’t have my reservations. Cameron Crowe could hold a massive press conference tomorrow and say, “Guess what, Enlow? I’m making a sequel to your other favorite movie of all time, Say Anything, and the entire original cast is returning and it will be epic,” and first I would say, “Why are you holding a press conference just for me? You could have just called.” Then I would say, “This could be really horrible,” as flashes of Elizabethtown exploded in my mind.
This is a movie that is all about the horrors of high school and starred two individuals at the pinnacle of their fame, who are now known for popping some pills and stealing shoes and … well I’m not really sure what happened to Slater’s career, but all I know is that it involved hitting a lady, guns and doing nothing actually good since True Romance (another top five-er for me). Director Michael Lehmann has done a number of a great TV shows, but he also helmed 40 Days and 40 Nights, which made me want to chug some Drain-O, Heather Chandler-style.
So while I have faith in all involved, I do have my questions. What will the plot be? Will we see the return of Heathers McNamara and Duke? Will we see once ubiquitous Glenn Shadix as the wannabe-hip priest? Will the themes and humor that made the original so great be toned down for these PC aughts?
Most importantly, can Heathers 2 exist in a world without scrunchies?
This is actually a serious question, a non-costume one even. Some movies are just forever enveloped in the decade during which they were created. Heathers 80s-ness defines it. The Heathers’ preppy money-focused lifestyle is very timely, and it’s something that more recent movies have tried to recreate and it’s never worked as far as I’m concerned.
Better a sequel than a remake though. I mean, high school violence isn’t exactly something people get super jazzed over these days. It might be too over-dramatic to say Heathers is a movie that couldn’t be made today, but I don’t think it’s too much to say that it would be a lot more sanitized and certainly not a studio film. But luckily the high school part, with Veronica now in her 30s and JD, ya know, dead, is something they probably wouldn’t have to worry about.
I’ve always thought Heathers got a bad rap by parents’ groups. Ironically enough, the parodies of out-of-the-loop adults seem to be incredibly accurate as it is those very out-of-the-loop adults who thought movies like Heathers would lead to suicide and blowing up the school becoming the cool thing to do, obviously never listening to how stupid that sounds. I for one think Heathers should be mandatory viewing in any and all high schools so that teenagers can see just how pointless suicide and violence are. It really is a strangely comforting film. High school is a terrible nightmare, but it’s like that for everyone.
In high school, I wrote many Veronica Sawyer-esque diary entries about my desire to turn a former BFF (BFF here meaning bitchy fucking fuckstick) we’ll just call Heather B., with her stupid-ass prom hair and upturned bitch nose and godIhatedhersomuch, into a human fireworks display complete with fiery limb displacement. But I was never going to actually DO it. I had this movie to show me the light, the futility of wishing your enemies into the proverbial cornfield. High school sucks, then you go off to college. This is the single best movie message ever. This movie could probably save lives.
And now the sequel has the chance to do the same for disillusioned twenty- and thirty-somethings, those same former teens that grew up on the original. We all learned the hard way that people don’t really get better after high school. We just get more used to them. High school is immersion so that we can deal with this horrid people later in life and be able to handle it because they’re spread out more. Done right, it could be a great movie.
And if it sucks? What a waste. Oh, the humanity.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.