Alicia Silverstone was the It Girl of the mid-nineties, and she’s back heading up a new show, American Woman, which drops on Lightbox today. Tara Ward rounds up where she’s been since her yellow plaid days.
It feels like a lifetime since Alicia Silverstone burst into our collective consciousness with a string of ‘90s classics like Clueless, Batman and Robin and Blast from the Past. Now, over 20 years later, she’s about to burst back onto our screens in American Woman, a fresh new comedy-drama inspired by the childhood of Real Housewife and Paris Hilton’s aunt, Kyle Richards.
So what exactly happened to Alicia Silverstone during the empty chasm of time between the new millennium and today? Did she hide herself in a subterranean shelter like Brendan Fraser in Blast from the Past? Where has she been, and what has she been doing? Explain yourself, Cher Horowitz!
I took a deep dive into Alicia Silverstone’s IMDB waters to discover the truth. It turns out she’s been flat out saving the planet, raising a child, doing a heap of theatre and movies, and publishing several best-selling books. I’m exhausted just reading about it. She also made time for television, so let’s familiarise ourselves with some of Alicia Silverstone’s delightfully eclectic career choices over the past two decades.
American Woman (2018) – available on Lightbox from today!
Don’t let the RHBOH link put you off American Woman, because Silverstone shines as Bonnie Nolan, a privileged housewife who takes control of her life after she discovers her husband is a lying, cheating ratbag.
Set in the 1970s during the rise of second-wave feminism, American Woman follows Bonnie’s struggles to raise her two daughters while she navigates the Beverly Hills social scene as a single woman. With the support of her two best friends (played by fellow ’90s icon Mena Suvari and Jennifer Bartels), Bonnie’s determined get a job, seize some power, and give a well-manicured middle finger to the men who reckon she won’t survive on her own.
Lip Sync Battle (2018)
Cher Horowitz never went away, she was just waiting for Chrissy Teigen to play ‘Fancy’ so she could school Mena Suvari in the art of lip-sync. Silverstone drags Cher’s iconic yellow plaid outfit into the 21st century with a routine that celebrates everything great about the ‘90s, from the turtleneck sweaters to the impressive headwear.
Look, I know it’s a film for kids, but I bloody love seeing Silverstone as the matriarch who sticks her entire family into a confined space and forces them to drive across the country together, just so they can get shat on by a thousand feral seagulls. Come for Silverstone singing the Spice Girls at the top of her lungs, stay for the flock of birds falling through the sunroof.
Who Gets the Dog? (2016)
Dogs are people too, as we discover in this romcom starring Silverstone, Vinnie from Home and Away, and a depressed Labrador retriever named Wesley. Silverstone plays a doctor embroiled in a bitter canine custody dispute, and it’s up to a pet psychologist and a hockey-related catastrophe to give us the happy ending we all deserve.
Beastie Boys: Fight for Your Right (Revisited) (2011)
This 30-minute musical extravaganza features more celebrity cameos than Gwyneth Paltrow’s engagement party. Look closely at eight minutes in to see Alicia Silverstone sitting in a café with Amy Poehler, Laura Dern, Steve Buscemi and Mary Steenburgen, as Seth Rogen and Elijah Wood stop by to spray beer everywhere and poor old Ten Danson is left to pick up the pieces. No sign of a Labrador retriever named Wesley, more’s the pity.
Miss Match (2003)
The good news is that Silverstone earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role as the divorce lawyer who dabbled in a spot of match-matching. The bad news is that Match Maker was a one series wonder, and there’s barely a flicker of this Darren Star comedy-drama left online.
Silverstone exec-produced and voiced this award-winning cartoon series about Sharon Spitz, a girl whose teeth get in the way of being a normal teenager. According to Wikipedia, Sharon’s braces are “somehow electrically charged at all times, giving her strange abilities such as remotely operating machinery, tapping into wireless communication channels, and even discharging electricity directly into what’s in front of her”. Stand down, Beastie Boys, we have a winner.
You can binge all of American Woman from today right here on Lightbox.
This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.
Don’t forget! All existing customers can choose to Download & Go their fave shows and movies simply by upgrading to a Lightbox Premium plan. Spark customers on plans that include Lightbox can upgrade for $3 per month; other Lightbox customers will pay the total of $15.99 per month for Premium.
Join The Spinoff Members for as little as $1 to help us hire more journalists and do more investigations. Or get a free Toby Morris-designed tea towel when you contribute $80 or more over a year.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.