For many people, Clueless may have influenced their style choices, or maybe their go-to slang, but for me, it introduced the measure by which I'd judge every potential partner: how similar is he to Josh? Is he smart, witty, and down to earth? Is he goofy in a way that's so nerdy it's adorable? Will he call me on my sh*t, but adore me for my quirks? Does he sometimes act smug, but smile with his eyes? Can he rock a flannel? Will he laugh, embarrassed, when he tells me I'm gorgeous?
I was in elementary school when the movie came out in 1995, but one of the perks of being a youngest child with much older siblings is getting to sneakily watch movies earlier than you should, so while my peers gushed about JTT and Devon Sawa — which, don't worry, I did plenty of that, too — I also discussed Josh with anyone willing to listen. Josh is meant to be the everyman sort of guy whose charm slowly but surely reveals itself through sarcastic banter, half smirks, and sideways glances that make you swoon. I, however, recognized said charm immediately, and TBH, I never understood what Cher sees in Christian anyway. He's so painfully boring. He wears pleated pants.
Meanwhile, in case you need a refresher, Josh . . .
- Is intelligent, but not intimidatingly so.
- Will dance with your sad friends even though dancing isn't his thing.
- Stutters adorably when he's nervous.
- Doesn't beat around the bush.
- Drops biting sarcasm like a pro.
- Is protective as hell.
- Looks good in baseball hats.
- Sports a questionable goatee at one point, but knows enough to shave it off.
- Absolutely NAILS the art of the surprise kiss.
I love Josh, you love Josh, we all love Josh. But let's be real: who we really love is Paul Rudd.
Clueless came early in Paul Rudd's career, so it was impossible for us to know it at the time, but in hindsight, now that we all recognize and appreciate Paul Rudd's perfect Paul Rudd-ness, it's clear that any crush we have on Josh is really a crush on Paul Rudd. In fact, did you know that he wore a lot of his own clothes for the movie? Of course he did. Oh, and he also bought everyone gifts after they finished filming. Such a gentleman.
Like anyone with a pulse and good taste, I've continued to adore Paul Rudd for decades. He's weird and funny and kind, and somehow, yes, he continues to look the exact damn same. In these weird and uncertain times, there isn't much that everyone seems to agree on, but I believe we're all united, at least, in our love for Paul Rudd — and especially our love for Josh.
"But," you say, leaning in, "You know Josh is technically Cher's former stepbrother, right?" Why yes, yes I do. And is it a little weird? It's, um, not ideal. But then you glance at these GIFs of Josh's slow smiles, stolen glances, and adorable one-liners, and you might just forget that little detail.