Posted on July 18, 2011
Top 1990s Movies about Twentysomethings on Netflix Streaming
These movies focus on characters in their 20s. Most are about people who are out of school or didn’t go to college but some include characters who are in college because I consider a movie about college characters to be different than one about teenage characters even if they overlap. It’s the 90s so slackers, Ethan Hawke, Chris Eigeman, flannel and slip dresses abound. Many of them are what my, then 11 year old sister, would have referred to as “talking movies”. What she meant by this is that they are about the characters just hanging out and talking about life.
Click the film titles to be taken directly to the film on Netflix.
Go (1999) (Available Until March 1, 2012)
This comedy is told in the Tarantino style of separate plot lines for characters who know each that are told out of order. I’ve watched this film so many times and it’s still fantastic. It takes place on Christmas Eve. The lead is played by Sarah Polley. She is a grocery store cashier who decides to do a one time drug deal to make her rent money. Timothy Olyphant plays the hottest fucking drug dealer. This was the first movie that most of us ladies noticed he’d grown up and become hot in. (We’re still trying to forget him in Scream 2 though). Other plot lines revolve around her fellow cashiers. One is a hot Brit (Desmond Askew) who goes to Vegas and ends up on the run from some really shady characters. Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr play adorable soap actors. Pretty much the only peeve I’ve ever had with the flick is that initially Katie Holmes is irritating in it. The film costars William Fichtner, Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, James Duval and Jane Krakowski. It was directed by Doug Liman.
The Curve (1998) (aka Dead Man’s Curve) (Available Until January 31, 2013)
The Curve was the melodramatic version of Dead Man On Campus. The film was direct to video and as I recall was also played on TV in that same time span. It even felt like a made for TV movie. It’s about a group of college friends who plan to kill one of each other to get a 4.0 because of the policy of the college to give them out automatically if your roommate commits suicide. It’s not the best movie but all of the lead male actors were eye candy at the time. It stars Matthew Lillard, Michael Vartan, Randall Batinkoff and Keri Russell.
A Life Less Ordinary (1997) (Available Until June 1, 2012)
“Don’t even ask where I’ve gone”
“Don’t even imagine that I care”
To say that I was obsessed with this movie is an understatement. It’s a romantic fantasy about some angels (Holly Hunter and Del Roy Lindo) who are trying to get an unlikely couple together. The couple is a spoiled rich bitch (Cameron Diaz) and a poor janitor (Ewan McGregor). When McGregor is fired he freaks out and accidentally and kidnaps his bosses’ daughter, Diaz (with prodding from her). Then they fall in love while they are on the run and trying to get ransom money out of her dad. I love everything about this movie. I knew that it was too weird to last at our small town box office for more than a week. I saw it three times that week and I was correct when it was rushed out by the next Friday. This movie was released the same year as Excess Baggage (which has a similar plot) and both were picked apart by critics. However Ewan won best actor of the year in my own movie awards for that year. Silly, yes, but I don’t care and I was 14. The film costars Ian Holm, Stanley Tucci, Dan Hedaya, Tony Shalhoub, Christopher Gorham and Timothy Olyphant. It was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting).
Picture Perfect (1997) (Available Until December 1, 2011)
This is still my favorite Jennifer Aniston movie. She plays Kate who is in advertising but is having trouble advancing because she doesn’t have a family. (It’s like the 90s equivalent of a male storyline in the 50s!). She has a big crush on her jerky co-worker (Kevin Bacon). Plus she has a kooky best friend (Illeana Douglas). Things get complicated when she is accidentally photographed with videographer (Jay Mohr) and everyone assumes that he’s her boyfriend. She then decides to spin a web of lies to use that photo as the springboard for her promotion. It’s an adorable romantic comedy with a love triangle and really cute 90s outfits.
Plot: “Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT, has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.” (from IMDB.com. Stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard and Robin Williams.
Chasing Amy is a great comedy that proposes the question “Isn’t Ben Affleck so hot that a lesbian would fall for him?”. Just kidding, she falls for him as a person. The problem is that he can’t get her exes out of his head (which could happen in any relationship). Because it’s a Kevin Smith film (from his View Askew oeuvre) it has his trademark filthy humor but is also touching. Plus they are all comic writers (or tracers) so it’s like a good geek fantasy. The film stars Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee (Banksy!) and Jason Mewes. Characters from this film make a cameo in his later film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This title is also included in my Top Gay Movies on Netflix Streaming post.
Walking and Talking (1996) (Available Until June 1, 2016)
This is a great independent comedy starring Catherine Keener who is having trouble with just dating guys while her best friend Anne Heche is getting married. The movie costars Liev Schreiber, Randall Batinkoff and Kevin Corrigan.
Beautiful Girls is a great film. The film is about Timothy Hutton’s character who is conflicted and visits his family. While he is there he develops feelings for his teen neighbor Natalie Portman because she has her whole life ahead of her. He always spends a lot of time with his friends. All of them have their own problems and all of their characters are really fleshed out, which is often ignored in a film like this. The film costars Lauren Holly, Michael Rappaport, Mira Sorvino, Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman and Rosie O’Donnell. This title is also included in my Top Romantic Comedies on Netflix Streaming post.
Swingers (1996) (Available Until September 1, 2012)
“I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s really hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man.”
Swingers is still a great movie. It’s about a group of friends who are trying to break into acting. Jon Favreau wrote the film and stars in it as the sappy one who is also trying to find love. It’s called swingers because there was a whole swing dancing revival in the 90s (check out this clip of 90s film Blast From the Past). Even though times change there is still the same dynamic between men and women. For instance, they have a big conversation about how long to wait to call a girl back. Now we have to consider how long to wait to text someone back (Note: I hate texting mind games!). Plus since it’s set in LA they get to take a trip to Vegas. This was Vince Vaughn’s breakout role. Ron Livingston and Heather Graham costar. It was directed by Doug Liman.
Bio-Dome (1996) (Not Currently Available)
Yes, I’ve listed Bio-Dome before but how can I not list it here? Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin are some dim bulbs who accidentally get locked in a bio-dome and hilarity ensures. Joey Lauren Adams costars.
She’s the One (1996) (Not Currently Available)
This is a dramedy by and starring Edward Burns. It’s about a group of Irish Catholic brothers and their relationships. Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and John Mahoney costar.
SubUrbia (1996) (Available Until January 1, 2012)
This dramedy by Richard Linklater is about a group of slacker friends who hang out at a convenience store in a suburb of Austin, TX. They are forced to examine their lives when a former member of their clique shows up and is now a big rock star. The movie stars Giovanni Ribisi. Steve Zahn and Parker Posey costar.
Before Sunrise (1995) (Available Until January 1, 2012)
“And I have this idea for this show that would last twenty-four hours a day for a year straight, right? What you do, is you get three hundred and sixty-five people from cities all over the world, to do these twenty-four hour documents of real time, right, capturing life as it‘s lived. Um, you know, it would start with uh, a guy waking up in the morning, and, uh, you know, taking the long shower, eating a little breakfast, making a little coffee, you know, and, uh, reading the paper.”
Before Sunrise is one of my all time favorite romances. Ethan Hawke was in his perfect slacker mode at the time. Hawke meets a French woman (Julie Delpy) on a train and they enjoy talking to each other so much that they hang out in Vienna talking some more for a whole night. 9 years later the sequel Before Sunset was released. I was initially disappointed in the sequel (the character is more like Hawke himself at that point in his life, pretty unlikable due to the dissolution of his marriage to Uma Thurman because he cheated on her) but you still have to watch it after seeing the first one. It is also available on Netflix Streaming, here (Available Until January 1, 2012). It was written and directed by Richard Linklater.
Kicking and Screaming (1995) (Not Currently Available)
Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming is about a group of college graduates who don’t want to grow up. The movie stars Chris Eigeman, Carlos Jacott, Josh Hamilton, Eric Stoltz, Olivia d’Abo and Parker Posey.
Reality Bites (1994) (Available Until May 1, 2013)
“There’s no point to any of this. It’s all just a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes.”
It sounds silly because Reality Bites, as is common, stars ridiculously good looking leads but it’s a movie that gets better the older that you are because it’s so realistic. You will have to do things like beg for terrible, menial jobs in your life or become so depressed that you don’t get off the couch for a week. It’s about a group of friends who are starting their working lives after college. They also have to deal with love and modern life. Winona Ryder stars as an aspiring documentary filmmaker, Ethan Hawke is a frequently unemployed singer, Janeane Garafalo manages the Gap and Steve Zahn is in the closet. Ryder has an entry level job in her field but gets herself fired because she can’t stand her boss (John Mahoney). She has an unrequited attraction for Hawke which is fine until he gets upset because she starts dating a yuppie played by Ben Stiller (who also directed the film).
Clerks (1994) (Available Until February 29, 2012)
“I’m not even supposed to be here today”
Clerks was Kevin Smith‘s first film which he notably financed himself with credit cards. The reason that the film was shot in black and white is because black and white film is cheaper than color. This also makes it hard to get some people to watch it. I didn’t see Clerks when it first came out because I was too young but when I saw it a few years later it became a favorite of mine. It’s about two friends who work at adjoining convenience and video stores. Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) is the lead who hates his job and is attending college at the same time but isn’t taking it very seriously. His friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) gets mad at the customers too but he doesn’t let it get to him so much. The movie is set during a day that Dante is supposed to be off but must go into work instead so he doesn’t take things as seriously as normal and a few crazy things happen. This was the first movie in Smith’s View Askew Universe and characters that are in or are discussed in this film appear in many of his other releases. Clerks: The Animated Series aired in 2000 but was quickly canceled despite being hilarious. The sequel, Clerks 2, was released in 2006. Some original fans of Clerks dislike the sequel but I love it. It’s ridiculously funny.
Airheads is a super funny flick about the band heavy metal band The Lone Rangers. It stars Brendan Fraser (when he was hot), Adam Sandler (when he was likably stupid) and Steve Buscemi (man, he’s awesome). Plus there are tons of other actors in the huge cast. The dimwitted band members end up holding a radio station hostage to get their music heard.
With Honors (1994) (Not Currently Available)
This is a cheesy movie but I liked it. It’s about a group of students at Harvard who let a homeless man (Joe Pesci) live with them. The movie stars Brendan Fraser, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Hamilton and Moira Kelly.
The Chase (1994) (Not Currently Available)
“There’s no rule that says that when you’re kidnapping, you can’t be cordial and nice.”
This is my second favorite Adam Rifkin movie (Detroit Rock City is tops). It stars Charlie Sheen as a wrong convicted man who ends up kidnapping a heiress (Kristy Swanson). They fall for each other during their high speed chase from the cops and media. Henry Rollins, Ray Wise, Cary Elwes, Flea and Anthony Kiedis costar. It’s such a fun movie.
This relationship drama centers on some dreamy twentysomethings. It stars Phoebe Cates, Bridget Fonda, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz and Alicia Witt.
Slacker (1991) (Available Until January 21, 2012)
“I may live badly but at least I don’t have to work to do it”
Richard Linklater’s Slacker is the classic independent film shot in Austin, Texas that is about an ensemble of slackers. It’s a free form film that only focuses on each character for a few minutes.
Metropolitan (1990) (Available Until February 12, 2012)
Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan is a comedy of manners about a group of yuppies at a ball during a break from college. The film stars Chris Eigeman, Carolyn Farina, Taylor Nichols and Dylan Hundley.
Last Updated: November 2011