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In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.
Tori Yuzik's introduction:
Heathers is a teen movie with life or death stakes, but – like in most coming-of-age comedies – none of the film’s events are ever treated as consequential. When the most popular girl in the high school’s coolest clique, Heather Chandler, is murdered, she’s immediately replaced as the group’s leader by her frenemy, Heather Duke. The largest consequence of Heather Chandler’s death is that everyone gets a half-day off from school. When the film's romantic leads, Veronica and J.D., plot to kill two football players, Veronica believes the plan is just a prank. Although it turns out to be a serious murder plot and not a prank, it is still viewed through that lens by J.D., who cares more that he’s embarrassed the boys than that he’s killed them. In the final scene of the movie, after J.D.’s over-the-top suicide in front of Veronica, she makes a joke to Martha that her prom date just flaked. All of these events are treated the same way as Cher Horowitz failing her driver’s test in Clueless, or the kids in The Breakfast Club being placed in Saturday detention – they are minor inconveniences that teenagers are expected to cope with. They move the plot forward but are ultimately inconsequential in the grand scheme of their lives. This treatment of serious events in the context of a teen comedy is what makes Heathers a brilliant satire. The film adheres strictly to the tropes of an 80s teen movie, and in doing so points out the ridiculousness of treating every plot point as ultimately inconsequential.