Dear Diary ...
It has come to my attention that March 31 is the 31st anniversary of the movie “Heathers,” which was released March 31, 1989. The movie hasn’t aged much at all, and if you’ve seen it, you might find this a bit surprising, as it is a dark comedy and a high school satire.
“Heathers” tells the story of Heather Chandler, Heather Duke, Heather McNamara and Veronica, who are the popular girls of the school. But everything changes when Veronica meets the mysterious Jason Dean, known as J.D. The movie is filled with familiar faces, including Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer, Christian Slater as J.D. and Shannen Doherty as Heather Duke.
The movie puts a dark twist on the typical high school movies we all know and love. It addresses bulimia, suicide and gun violence. And, at first glance, it makes a joke out of these very serious topics, all while lightening things up with a colorful presentation that involves croquet matches as well as frequent references to Veronica’s diary.
The movie’s twisted humor actually pokes fun at the way society reacts to certain situations, or at least how reactions were during the time of its 1989 release. Society still has a way of romanticizing suicide, and “Heathers” makes fun of society every chance it gets.
“Heathers” is still just as relevant today as it was 31 years ago. The main character, Veronica Sawyer, doesn’t hesitate to share that society is making suicide sound like it’s a cool thing to do.
“13 Reasons Why” had many negative reviews because of how it romanticized suicide and mental illness. Conversely, “Heathers” has a scene where Veronica talks one of the other characters out of committing suicide, and she tells this person they are making a terrible mistake.
It isn’t the most heartwarming scene, but it does show how suicide impacts those around you.
Another way “Heathers” stays relevant today is through its own made-up slang. Which is really “very,” if you ask me. “Very” is used as a term for “cool,” and this is just one example of the slang used in the film. Even though “Heathers” is set in 1989, the movie doesn’t seem so forced in that period, in part because slang that was never used is something that can’t be aged.
“Heathers: The Musical” debuted as an off-Broadway production in 2014 and sparked up a new generation of fans. The musical itself used minor plot changes, and character development that only enhanced the original.
Both the movie and the musical are edgy and different. The movie was released about the same time as many popular rom-coms such as “Sixteen Candles.” Don’t get me wrong, I love rom-coms as much as the next gal, but sometimes it’s interesting to mix things up a little — which is what “Heathers” does.
“Heathers” is a classic that will continue to be relevant for many years to come.