Reconnect With the ’90s: 12 Movies That Perfectly Capture the Decade

Liv Tyler in Empire Records

Looking for movies that perfectly portray the 90s? One movie fan in a popular online forum asked for recommendations for films depicting young adults' lives in the 90s. Here are 12 retro classics that nail the vibe.

1. Clueless (1995)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Alicia Silverstone stars in the comedy Clueless, which follows a rich and famous high school student named Cher and her friends. Paul Rudd makes his film debut in this coming-of-age tale, which also stars Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Donald Faison, Jeremy Sisto, and Breckin Meyer.

2. Go (1999)

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Many people agree that Go perfectly depicts the 90s. Plenty of hip twenty-somethings are featured in the intertwining storylines of three sets of characters. The movie stars Sarah Polley, Timothy Olyphant, Katie Holmes, Scott Wolf, and Jay Mohr.

3. Singles (1992)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Singles is a romantic comedy following a young group of Gen X'ers during the early 90s grunge movement in Seattle, Washington. Several musicians make appearances, including Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. The fictional grunge band in the film is played by Pearl Jam rockers Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, and Jeff Ament.

4. Reality Bites (1994)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Reality Bites is a romantic comedy-drama following aspiring videographer Lelaina (Winona Ryder), who is working on a documentary bearing the title's name about the indifferent lives of her Gen-Xer friends and roommates. It stars Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, and Steve Zahn. 

5. Empire Records (1995)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Empire Records is a coming-of-age comedy-drama following a gang of record store employees attempting to stop the business from being sold to a large chain store. It stars Renée Zellweger, Liv Tyler, Anthony LaPaglia, Maxwell Caulfield, Debi Mazar, Rory Cochrane, Johnny Whitworth, and Robin Tunney.

6. Clerks (1994)

Image Credit: Miramax.

Clerks is a black-and-white buddy comedy following the lives of store clerks and their friends. It's also Kevin Smith‘s first film in the View Askewniverse, a fictional universe featured in Smith's movies, comics, and television series. Clerks introduces several recurring characters, including Jay and Silent Bob. 

7. Mallrats (1995)

Image Credit: Gramercy Pictures.

Mallrats is the second buddy comedy in director Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse. It's also the prequel to Clerks. Best friends T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee) go to the mall where T.S.'s ex, Brandi (Claire Forlani), is participating in a dating show.

The friends brainstormed ways to ruin the show. It stars Shannen Doherty, Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, Joey Lauren Adams, and Kevin Smith. Comic book icon Stan Lee also appears. 

8. Swingers (1996)

Image Credit: Miramax.

Swingers is a comedy-drama film following the lives of single, unemployed people during the 1990s swing revival while living in the Eastside of Hollywood, California. It is written by and stars Jon Favreau alongside Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston, and Heather Graham. 

9. Party Girl (1995)

Party Girl
Image Credit: Party Pictures.

Party Girl is a comedy-drama and the first feature film to premiere online. It follows Mary (Parker Posey), a broke party and club-goer arrested after throwing an illegal rave. She must work at the library to repay her aunt (Sasha von Scherler) for bail money. It co-stars Anthony DeSando, Guillermo Díaz, and Liev Schreiber. 

10. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is a comedy following two outcasted high school students and best friends attending their 10-year high school reunion. They invent fake careers and dress in business attire to impress their former schoolmates. It stars Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo, and Justin Theroux.

11. High Fidelity (2000)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

Based on Nick Hornby's 1995 novel, High Fidelity is a romantic comedy-drama with a protagonist's name change and the setting moved from London to Chicago.

After Rob Gordon (John Cusack) breaks up with his girlfriend, he seeks to discover the reason for his failed love life while recounting his past breakups. Rob narrates his story while talking to the camera. It stars Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, and Lisa Bonet.

12. Clockwatchers (1997)

Image Credit: BMG Independents.

Clockwatchers is a comedy-drama following a temp named Iris (Toni Collette) at Global Credit. After the regular employees ignore her, she befriends three other temps: Paula (Lisa Kudrow), Jane (Alanna Ubach), and Margaret (Parker Posey).

Source: (Reddit).

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