On a 90's movie kick - recommend me some films I should have seen then!
February 2, 2017 3:03 AM   Subscribe

Youtube recommending me some grunge music this morning reminded me of liking both the film "Singles" and it's soundtrack. In the 90's I was in my early 20's and went to a fair number of arthouse films alone, where there were other solo people in the audience, but I shied away from the mainstream cinema when on my own. I did however see the trailer for "Before Sunrise" and had to see it, in fact I went twice, and loved the sequels too. I have vague memories of seeing a couple of Uma Thurman romantic comedies from that era but on TV, years later, and liking them. Basically as a change from my usual arthouse fare I'd like to have a nostalgia trip watching 90's films, for example romantic comedies, with an indie/alternative soundtrack even better but not necessary. The kind of films I would have been going to see with dates if in fact I hadn't been so shy that I didn't date anyone for pretty much the whole decade. Recommend me some please! :)
posted by AuroraSky to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I fondly remember going to the movies on a date to see Romeo + Juliet in high school. IMDb says it came out in '96.
posted by Weeping_angel at 3:10 AM on February 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

Say Anything (although 1989....)
Empire Records
Reality Bites
10 Things I Hate about You

just to start you off :)
posted by alchemist at 3:16 AM on February 2, 2017 [9 favorites]

Oooo, yes my first thought was Reality Bites, and of course those already mentioned above. Also:
With Honors, Practical Magic, High Fidelity (2000), Grosse Pointe Blank, Good Will Hunting, Circle of Friends, Dead Poets Society, Rushmore, American Pie, Loser (2000). Titanic, if you must. Groundhog Day, Clerks, American Beauty, Matrix, The Truman Show, Pleasantville.

Slightly off, but Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist was really cute.

Not sure they'd be date movies, but Polish Wedding, Little Women, and How to Make an American Quilt. Now and Then.

I was 8-18 during this time - so many good movies! So many of these I "watched" with my HS boyfriend. Thanks for the question, it was fun to answer.
posted by jrobin276 at 3:50 AM on February 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

Pretty much every Meg Ryan movie.
posted by jrobin276 at 3:54 AM on February 2, 2017

Sliding Doors (1998)
Brassed Off (1996)
Next Stop Wonderland (1998)
Bossa Nova (2000)
The Full Monty (1997)
posted by CMcG at 4:03 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Truth About Cats and Dogs
Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion
The Craft

2ing High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank
posted by Mchelly at 4:10 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

In a descending order from fluff to heart-wrenching melodrama, some of my 90s favourites:

Four Weddings and a Funeral
Shakespeare in Love
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
The English Patient

And seconding 10 Things I Hate About You & Sliding Doors. Also, um, The Wedding Singer. There, I've now officially recommended an Adam Sandler movie, but in my defense, it's with Drew Barrymore! She made some other cute romcoms in the 90's, too, such as Never Been Kissed.
posted by sively at 4:33 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Seconding Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, which isn't so much a romantic comedy but is feel-good and funny as hell.
posted by dismas at 4:35 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Go (1999)
Election (1999)
The Ninth Gate (1999)
Lost Highway (1997)
Dark City (1998)
Brain Candy (1996)
A Simple Plan (1998)
The Limey (1999)
Crumb (1994)
Addams Family Values (1993)
Army Of Darkness (1992)
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Naked (1993)
posted by fairmettle at 4:51 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

I mean, it's definitely not a rom-com, and it's artsy enough that you probably have already seen it, but I feel it would be criminally remiss to not bring up Pulp Fiction in a thread that mentions Uma Thurman and 90s movies.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:13 AM on February 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

My favorite '90s rom-com is Addicted to Love, starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick, which is surprisingly dark at first but ends happily and has great chemistry between the leads.
posted by ejs at 5:27 AM on February 2, 2017

One of my favorite films ever, that no one has mentioned yet: Ed Wood (1994). A picture that's very Tim Burton, yet not Tim Burton-ish at all, if that makes sense.
posted by holborne at 5:29 AM on February 2, 2017

Your date might have looked at you askance if you took them to any of these movies, but to me the early to mid '90s were all about Hal Hartley. The Unbelievable Truth (1989), Trust (1990), and Simple Men (1992) are all (very odd) romantic comedies and they have fantastic indie-rock soundtracks.

Then again: if you were going to small arthouse theatres during these years, chances are you saw these ...

Also: Party Girl (1995).
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:34 AM on February 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

Walking and Talking (1996) is really, really great.

Totally on the Hal Hartley, I lived for those movies.

Sleep With Me (1994) also fits the bill.
posted by crazy sniffable at 6:15 AM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can't Hardly Wait
Cruel Intentions
Speed (not for the soundtrack, but the movie is so very 90s)
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (the soundtrack isn't indie, but I feel like it was so huge when it came out, it's worth it for the 90s nostalgia)

I loved the soundtrack for Best Laid Plans but never watched the movie. The soundtrack is very evocative of the late 90s.

Now I'm inspired to have a 90s movie watching marathon!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:22 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Untamed Heart
posted by cakelite at 6:41 AM on February 2, 2017

I really need to underline how good Clueless is.

A few others that haven't been mentioned that I love:
Kicking and Screaming
Kissing Jessica Stein squeaks in at 2001, but I think it qualifies in spirit
Dazed and Confused
A Walk in the Clouds
The Truman Show

Also, Mike Myers made some truly brilliant comedies in the 90s:
Wayne's World
Austin Powers
posted by veery at 6:49 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Dead Again
posted by thelonius at 6:51 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Run, Lola, Run
posted by soelo at 7:11 AM on February 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

Looking at my diary:

Whit Stillman's Metropolitan, Barcelona and Last Days of Disco
True Romance
Dazed and Confused
Reality Bites
Strange Days
Run Lola Run
Velvet Goldmine
Virgin Suicides
posted by lmfsilva at 7:12 AM on February 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

Gas Food Lodging even has a guest spot from J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr for a real indie rock art house experience
My Own Private Idaho River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves in iambic pentameter
Grace of my Heart a sort of biopic loosely based on what would happen if Carole King and Brian Wilson had been in a long intense relationship? Very 90s even though it's set in the 60s and beyond.
Mi Vida Loca - one of my fave films of all time, about Mexican-American girls in Echo Park, L.A.

I just realised that 3 of these 4 films are by Alison Anders. She's the most 90s of 90s indie directors to me.
posted by cilantro at 7:34 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

My husband and I got together in 1991. The first movie we saw together was Silence of the Lambs. The second was The Doors. Also that year, we saw The Fisher King and Jungle Fever.

In 1992, we saw Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Crying Game.

In 1993, we saw Jurassic Park, Nightmare Before Christmas, Groundhog Day, Schinder's List, True Romance, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
posted by xo at 7:38 AM on February 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

oh man the crying game

"Dil!" is like 1/2 the dialogue

posted by radicalawyer at 8:08 AM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Serial Mom.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:20 AM on February 2, 2017

Bodies, Rest and Motion really appealed to me back then (great soundtrack, too), probably because, just like the Millenials were in 2010, twenty or so years earlier we Gen Xers had to deal with a shattered economy, high unemployment, McJobs and a general sense of anxiety of the future (Gen Xers were Millenials before it was hip to be Millenial).
posted by My Dad at 8:24 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

When I think of the 90s, I think of being a queer teenager coming of age and out of the closet around the same time that my family got cable (1994) and the Bravo t.v. network came into my life, back when they still showed uncensored, amazing movies. I grew up in a farm town of about 2,000 people, and one day happened to stumble upon a VHS copy of Paris is Burning at our tiny, used video rental shop. I'm still amazed that this documentary ended up there (how? who brought it?), but it kicked off a yearning need for seeing my people on the big screen. So, these are date movies through that particular filter (which is at times dark, but darkness can be romantic or reaffirming... I watch Carrington sometimes and think, good god, today's society is far from perfect but I feel grateful to not be bound by suicidal social convention).

Paris is Burning (1990)
Philadelphia (1993)
And the Band Played On (1993)
Farewell My Concubine (1993)
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
The Sum of Us (1994)
Carrington (1995)
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Trick (1999)

And, omg, so glad to see How to Make an American Quilt listed above. That's one of my favorite movies of the decade.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:25 AM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Ice Storm (1997)
American Beauty (1999)
posted by emelenjr at 8:54 AM on February 2, 2017

It should have come out in 1990! But alas, 1989. Still, may I–? with When Harry Met Sally?? I'm such a huge sucker for it, gosh.
posted by a good beginning at 10:07 AM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Human Traffic (1999)
posted by WeekendJen at 10:21 AM on February 2, 2017

Pump up the volume (1990)
posted by boffin police at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2017

Fight Club (1999) for obvious reasons
So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)- Mike Myers goofy black-comedy set in San Francisco
10 things I hate about you (1999) the best of the 90's teen movie set, a smart retelling of taming of the shrew, and a great cast to boot!
posted by Champagne Supernova at 11:49 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Pretty Woman
Dick Tracy
White Palace
Home Alone
Green Card
Defending Your Life
Rambling Rose
The Man in the moon
Little Man Tate
Beauty and the Beast
Fried Green Tomatoes
Frankie and Johnnie
The Lion King
The Mambo Kings
A league of their own
Prelude to a kiss
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Scent of a woman
Batman returns
Mrs doubtfire
Benny and joon
It could happen to you
Toy Story and ts2
The Brady bunch movie and very Brady sequel

Don Juan demarco
Home for the holidays
Mr Holland's opus
My fellow americans
As good as it gets
George of the jungle
In and out
Ever after
Out of sight
Notting hill
The iron giant
The muse
Being john malkovich
posted by brujita at 11:57 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seconding "Gas food lodging"
and "10 things I hate about" really great actors, very witty, in a tone that is unique
posted by bluedora at 12:08 PM on February 2, 2017

I don't think I saw Friday mentioned. It's still one of my favorite movies of all time and has a great soundtrack. Also Boyz N The Hood. I am a sucker for Ice Cube.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 1:11 PM on February 2, 2017

No one mentioned The Fifth Element??!? Thats up there with Clueless, Tombstone and Buffy the Vampire Slayer for guilt free 90s pleasures for me.

Actual movies I saw in the theatre during that time and remember being very popular:
Natural Born Killers
Forrest Gump
Strictly Ballroom
12 Monkeys
Jackie Brown
Out of Sight
The Crow
200 Cigarettes
When a Man Loves a Woman
Almost Famous
American Beauty
Primary Colors
Kenneth Branaghs various Shakespeare adaptations of which Much Ado about Nothing was probably the date movie one.
Apollo 13
Shakespeare in Love
Saving Private Ryan
The Truman Show
The Fugitive
Dick Tracy
Dances with Wolves
LA Story
Boys in the Hood
The Basketball Diaries
Silence of the Lambs
The Joy Luck Club
Wag the Dog
Groundhog Day
The People vs Larry Flynt
LA Confidential
The Big Lebowski

It was certainly an era during which even run of the mill mainstream movies tended to be quite decent. Before the dystopian, comic book nonsense we have now filled the cinemas. In particular there were a lot of good thrillers and semi mystical dramas.
posted by fshgrl at 1:53 PM on February 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also Fargo, Seven, Get Shorty, Heat, Too Die For, Point Break, Terminator 2, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Game, Glengarry Glen Ross, Thelma and Louise.... In retrospect a lot of good movies in the 90s!
posted by fshgrl at 1:58 PM on February 2, 2017

Empire Records was my favorite movie in the late 90's. And most of the cast members are still famous, which makes it fun.
posted by tacodave at 2:58 PM on February 2, 2017

Have you seen LA Story? Watch LA Story, now.
posted by Toddles at 5:20 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

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