A decade later, Heathers still seems fresh and relevant and even funny when most teen “comedies” from that era seem dated and cliched and unfunny. As a matter of fact, Heathers seems fresher, more relevant and funnier than the recent spate of teen “comedies,” the best of which are merely derivative of Heathers, the worst, so ’87.
Heathers satirizes not only teen comedy cliches, but also real-life teenage cliches, from clique-ism to adolescent sex/love to suicide to school shooting/bombings. Veronica (Winona Ryder) is at the center of all the “teen angst bullshit,” a Westerberg High School junior who has sold her teenage soul to join the most popular clique in school, the Heathers. The Heathers -- Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) and Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) -- are elitist Swatchdogs and Diet Cokeheads who rule the school through humiliation. When Veronica meets a juvenile delinquent appropriately-named J.D. (Christian Slater), she realizes she can’t be a Heather any longer. She and J.D. plot revenge upon the Heathers, but the practical jokes they plan turn fatal. Covering up the murders to look like suicides, Veronica and JD unwittingly unleash a media frenzy of teen suicide exploitation.
Daniel Waters’ wickedly funny script provides the ammunition for Winona Ryder (doing her best Winona Ryder) and Christian Slater (doing his best Jack Nicholson) to fire off the best performances of their careers.