Vamps | Movie review
Amy Heckerling and Alicia Silverstone reunite for a vampire buddy comedy.
Goody (Alicia Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter) have modern vampiredom down to a science. Masquerading as students, they get to relive twentysomething nightlife every year. Refusing to harm humans—the occasional taste of a pickup’s coke-induced nosebleed doesn’t count—they feed off rats and attend Sanguines Anonymous meetings. (The group’s motto: “undead is not unfeeling.”) But not all is well in vamp-land. Stacy has mysteriously been summoned for jury duty—in the daytime—despite living off the grid. (“Oh, I voted once. I voted for Dukakis.”) She’s also got a thing for a classmate with an alarming name: Joey Van Helsing. (“And you didn’t hit it off with Timmy Hitler?” Goody quips.) Meanwhile, Goody, not having aged a day, has a run-in with her beau from the ’60s (Richard Lewis), who spent years wondering whatever happened to her…
Viewers who’ve had similar thoughts about writer-director Amy Heckerling will have cause for celebration from Vamps, a satire with much of the wit of her 1995 Clueless. The new film is simultaneously a first-rate buddy comedy, a kind of Clueless reunion (Wallace Shawn plays Joey’s dad), and—courtesy of Goody’s cinephilia and a warm, self-reflexive performance from Silverstone—a not-at-all-subtle ode to movies’ power to immortalize. Heckerling, who’s been at the helm of youth comedies since Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), has reason for nostalgia, but discussions of Shawn’s vampire hunter posing as a cable guy (“Can Time Warner just burst into a person’s home and kill them??”) prove she still has an instinct for one-liners that kill. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tue 13.)