Heckerling's Clueless is indeed a clever film, transforming a 200-year-old story and making it relevant to today for a modern screen audience, despite radical social changes. While the film can be easily be passed as a regular ' popular- teen flick merely for entertainment purposes, an understanding of Emma adds another level of meaning. Ultimately, the viewer's response changes as an understanding of the novel highlight the parallels in characters, plot and the recreation of themes such as truth and error, self realisation, money and status that may be overlooked. An awareness in the different social context and the change in style and humour from irony to visual and witty verbal hint that the film is actually a witty satire of the superficiality of the American pop' culture that portray how society expectations dictate the ways things are seen. Subsequently, the viewer sees Clueless as a retrospect of Emma - penetrating examinations and commentaries of their contemporary society. The film is therefore no longer a simple entertainment but a movie that cleverly expels Austen's ironic voice and moral sense.
Both Emma and Clueless reconstruct specific social environments and address an audience of that similar environment. Clueless is an epitome of how popular culture can transform a society's etiquette and code to make them appeal to the updated audience and society. During Austen's time in which Emma was written, society was based on a hierarchy of social birthright in an orderly system of strict proper etiquette, gentility and formal addresses. Emma therefore is a cultural observation of that society in everyday rituals of tea parties, dinner and balls where women gossiped and men conversed. Social class determined marriage and was only suitable if the two were equal in rank and gentility. Women were uneducated, only indulging in the arts, needlework and music with a role to get well married in the social and financial rank.