10 Bad-relationship Movies: 7. ‘Heathers’

“Heathers” (1988) – Ah, the new kid.  The new kid at school automatically qualifies for attention from other students, because he or she is an unknown.

“Who is the new kid?”   “What’s her deal?”   “Where is he from?”

Someone new – at school, work or a social club – can offer a fresh perspective, and in this case J.D. (Christian Slater) certainly offers one at Westerburg High School in Ohio.  He’s a dark, brooding loner and speaks a lot like Jack Nicholson.

Veronica (Winona Ryder) has recently grown tired of the Heathers’ Clique (three girls named Heather who “run”  the school), and J.D. offers a rebellious alternative.  They soon become an inseparable couple.  This lasts for a while, until Veronica realizes that he’s a psychopath, who enjoys killing Westerburg’s student population.

Yea, when your boyfriend or girlfriend hands you a gun, says that it’s filled with blanks, tells you to shoot, and upon the action, you discover that it’s filled with LIVE ammunition, well, it’s time to plan your exit from the relationship.

“Heathers” takes John Hughes’ high school formula but introduces impediments like facing attempted murder and murder, instead of feeling like an outcast at a party or trying to impress the prom queen.  Hey, director Michael Lehmann’s film has staying power, even after 31 years, and a new viewing can only be a helpful reminder that dating a serial killer is not the greatest of ideas.

Yes, we “can” handle the truth, J.D.

Image credits: New World Pictures; Trailer credits: Arrow Films

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