The film centers on 17-year-old Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), an intelligent teenager who is one of the most popular girls at Westerburg High School in Sherwood, Ohio. In addition to Veronica, the popular clique consists of three wealthy and beautiful (but deeply unhappy) girls with the same first name: the malicious leader, Heather Chandler (Kim Walker); the bookish bulimic Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) and the weak-willed cheerleader Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk). These three rule Westerburg through cruelty. Though they are the most "popular" students, the Heathers are feared and hated. Veronica has had enough of their shallow behavior and longs to return to her old life and her nerdy friends.
When a new student, a rebellious outsider named Jason Dean (Christian Slater), or J.D. for short, pulls a gun on school bullies Kurt Kelly (Lance Fenton) and Ram Sweeney (Patrick Labyorteaux) and fires blanks at them, Veronica finds herself fascinated with him. Veronica attends a frat party with Heather Chandler; when Veronica refuses sex and throws up spiked punch, Heather vows to destroy her reputation. J.D. shows up at Veronica's house and after some flirting they end up having sex outside, after which Veronica tells J.D. she wants to make Heather Chandler puke her guts out. The next morning, Veronica and J.D. break into The Chandler home. J.D. serves Heather a liquid he claims is a hangover cure but is actually drain cleaner, killing her. J.D. urges Veronica to forge a dramatic suicide note in Heather Chandler's handwriting.
The school and community look on Heather Chandler's apparent suicide as a tragic but admirable decision made by a popular but sadly troubled teenager. Heather Duke soon steps into Heather Chandler's former role as clique leader and begins wearing a red scrunchie that had belonged to Chandler.
Several days later, the oafish Kurt and Ram spread a false rumor about Veronica giving oral sex to them at the same time during a double date with Heather McNamara, ruining her reputation at school. J.D. proposes that Veronica lure them into the woods behind the school with the promise to "make the rumors true"; then shoot them with "special" nonfatal German World War II bullets. J.D. offers to plant materials beside the other boys suggesting they were homosexuals, as well as a suicide note stating the two were lovers participating in a suicide pact. Ram is shot but Veronica misses Kurt, who runs away. J.D. chases Kurt back towards Veronica, who panics and shoots him. The next day, J.D. and Veronica wake up in J.D's car and Veronica, realising that the bullets were real, intentionally burns herself on the car's cigarette lighter. J.D. accuses Veronica of knowing that the bullets were real, which she denies loudly as the argument descends into childishness, with Veronica and J.D. screaming 'Did not/did too' at each other, as the Heathers look on. At their funeral, the boys are made into martyrs against homophobia. Although she keeps dating J.D., Veronica is alarmed by his behavior and his relationship with his father (Kirk Scott); she also learns that J.D.'s mother may have killed herself to escape his father.
Martha Dunnstock, an obese, regularly bullied student known as "Martha Dumptruck", pins a suicide note to her chest and walks into traffic. She survives but is badly injured and is mocked for trying to "act popular". Heather McNamara calls a popular radio show one night while Veronica and Heather Duke are listening and talks of depressing aspects in her life; the next day, Heather Duke tells the entire school about Heather McNamara's radio call; McNamara attempts to take her life by overdosing on pills in the girls' bathroom but is stopped by Veronica.
Veronica tells J.D. that she will not participate in any more killings. He climbs into her room with a revolver to kill her, but Veronica instead tricks J.D., having used a harness to make it look like she has hanged herself. Thinking she is dead, he rambles about his plan to blow up the entire school during a pep rally. A petition he has been circulating via Heather Duke, to get the band Big Fun to perform on campus was actually a disguised mass suicide note. Most of the students had already signed, so the mass murder would appear to be a mass suicide instead.
Veronica confronts J.D. in the boiler room, where he is rigging timed explosives. She shoots him when he refuses to stop the bomb. As J.D. collapses, he stabs the timer and it stops. Veronica walks out through the pep rally with everyone cheering, unaware there is still a bomb under the bleachers. The severely injured J.D. follows her outside with the bomb from the bleachers now strapped to his chest, offers up what amounts to a personal eulogy as Veronica looks on in respect, and detonates the bomb.
In the film's final scene, Veronica, covered in ash and bleeding slightly, confronts Heather Duke in the halls, takes Heather Chandler's red scrunchie, says "Heather my love, there's a new sheriff in town" and invites Martha Dunnstock to hang out on prom night and watch movies with her, a final display that the Heathers' reign is over.
Read more about this topic: Heathers
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Famous quotes containing the word plot:
“We have defined a story as a narrative of events arranged in their time-sequence. A plot is also a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality. The king died and then the queen died is a story. The king died, and then the queen died of grief is a plot. The time sequence is preserved, but the sense of causality overshadows it.”
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“If you need a certain vitality you can only supply it yourself, or there comes a point, anyway, when no ones actions but your own seem dramatically convincing and justifiable in the plot that the number of your days concocts.”
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