Over the past few days I’ve been binge-watching 90s teen cult films after work. I’m not ashamed to admit it either!
I realised in watching them that there are definitely glimmers of the 90s in today. Whether it’s those stretchy plastic neck chokers that look like you’ve doodled swirls with a permanent marker around your neck, or gingham checked midi skirts, or matching crop tops and skirts it’s a sure thing. The 90s is back (and I’m pretty happy about it). Just now I was looking at a baby pink fluffy crop top with matching skirt and cursed Charli XCX for making me want fluffy clothes that I would have normally ignored. But pop culture has made the message clear – if you’re not wearing jelly shoes, or wearing gingham then you’re not ‘on trend’.
Anyways, watching the 90s films I was able to appreciate something other than the fashion that was around then. The music! The soundtracks to these films sent me back to my childhood and made me realise just how amazing the 1990s were. Think about it: there was Hanson, The Spice Girls, No Doubt and other musical geniuses that just made the 90s… well they just made the 90s, the 90s.
Below are just a few examples of songs that were included in some of the best, most popular films of the 1990s that I’ve been watching which captured teen troubles that usually involved boys, some form of makeover, and prom.
SHE’S ALL THAT (1999):
Kiss Me – Sixpence None The Richer
This song does things to my heart when I think about Freddie Prinze Jr. in She’s All That. Who could forget the moment when Laney Boggs (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) walks down the stairs to the high school jock Zack Siler (played by Freddie) waiting at the bottom. It was that movie moment when you could tell that the boy had fallen for the girl. Ugh my heart hurts just writing about it!
Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim
It was one of those moments that didn’t necessarily need to be in the film, but you were glad that it was. Usher Raymond pumps out this track as the campus D.J. during prom. The high school attendees break out into some clearly pre-prepared moves, that when you watch them you feel that if you don’t learn those moves soonish you’re missing out on something that’s clearly popular.
Rollin’ With The Homies – Coolio
What’s a 90s teen cult film without a house party filled with drunk teenagers listening to hip hop? Tai (played by Brittany Murphy) makes this song memorable as she makes waves with her hands at a party as she sings along to “Rollin’ With The Homiiiieeess”. She later breaks down in a restaurant when she hears it as she says “They’re playing our song! Y’know, the one that Elton and I danced to?”
Change – Lightning Seeds
Remember Cher’s plot to get her teachers Miss Giest and Mr Hall together? Well you’ll hear this song by Lightning Seeds when we see Giest and Hall hitting it off and the school thanking Cher for her wise Cupid actions, as the students’ grades improve due to the teachers’ loved up life.
CRUEL INTENTIONS (1999):
Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
This song played at the pivotal moment in the film Cruel Intentions, when the truth about Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was revealed to all at the end of the film. It goes great with the ending of the film as Annette (Reese Witherspoon) drives away with the wind in her hair and all of her worries behind her.
Coffee & TV – Blur
It wouldn’t be the 90s if you didn’t hear a Blur song in a movie, lets face it. Cruel Intentions decided that it would include the British band’s song in its American movie.
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (1999):
Hypnotize – Notorious B.I.G.
When I remember that this song was in this film I, like the rest of you that have seen 10 Things I Hate About You, just get flashes of drunken teen house parties and Kat (Julia Stiles) dancing on a wooden table before hitting her head on the extravagant chandelier. As most teen house parties go in 90s films, this one had plenty of drunken teens, guys spitting into expensive ornaments and a swing outside for one certain girl (Kat) to spew over one certain guy (Patrick, played by Heath Ledger) at that pivotal ‘are they going to kiss?!’ moment. Poor Patrick.
F.N.T. – Semisonic
This song conjures one particular scene to mind. Struggling to remember when it was played? I’ll give you a clue: PAINTBALLING. Yup, Semisonic’s track is in the background as Patrick and Kat are having fun while they fight each other at a paintball session, which ends with them kissing in a pile of straw. Best date idea ever.
NEVER BEEN KISSED (1999):
I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight – Cutting Crew
It wouldn’t be a 90s movie without the standard ‘love-song-plays-as-girl-sees-boy-for-the-first-time’ scene. Cue the moment when Josie (Drew Barrymore) first sees Guy and it’s almost as though the angels have broken out into a chorus of hallelujahs (*cue the cheesy love song*).
Erase/Rewind – The Cardigans
This song was played for Josie’s first dance as Prom Queen with Prom King Guy (his name seriously is Guy). We’re all happy spectators when she finally gets her high school dream come true, but the shots of Sam Coulson (her teacher who we’re pretty sure she should be dancing with instead) force us to say ‘JOSIE WHAT ARE YOU DOING? JUST TELL SAM THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS! We know he’s the one you’re meant to be with!!’ Or something along those lines.
I could go on and on with this list (seriously I could, and would happily do it), but then I’d probably convince myself that I was actually in the 90’s, not the 2010’s (what do we call this decade? The tens? I don’t even know). I actually need to stop thinking about Freddie Prinze Jnr in She’s All That. I really, really do.
Let me know if I’ve missed out any great nineties films that have an even better soundtrack by leaving a comment below. And if you made it to the end of this post, congrats! You too are a lover of 90’s cinema (particularly teen cult films). High-five!