The daughter of Bronx accountants, Amy Heckerling studied film at NYU in the early seventies. She moved to LA with her film school boyfriend, the future director Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop). They got into the American Film Institute's graduate program. She did her AFI thesis film on a 19-year old girl's determination to lose her virginity in the remaining eight hours before she turned 20. Then she wrote the screenplay My Kind of Guy, a female version of Carnal Knowledge.

"I saw the AFI short, and it was so dirty and sexy and down, and I was, like, 'Ooh, this girl really gts sex,' and let's face it, Fast Tmes at Ridgemont High was a high school movie about sex and she really got it, and that's why we chose her [to direct it]," says producer Art Linson.

In 1987 while Amy was pregnant she got the idea for Look Who's Talking.

A liberal, Heckerling devotes herself to environmental causes.