By now you’re probably familiar with my insatiable love for ‘90s movies and nostalgia busting alike, but I’ll be honest with you: I'm really an impressionable lass when it comes to unrealistic expectations set by '90s love stories. I mean, let’s be real, I only started to undo the damage of Disney movie romances around college. And, chances are, you’ve never let go of certain lessons left from some of the most iconic love scenes of all time.
Well, it’s time to finally unpack these scenes and analyze with a critical eye, and I’m here to help. I wracked my DVD collection for some of the more memorable romantic scenes in ‘90s movies, and tried to conclude what they taught us about love. Some of these lessons may be depressing, whereas others justified your otherwise illogical feels for a special someone. Altogether, I was left with a lot of uneasiness about the powerful impression pop culture has left on me, and a deep, deeeeep desire to have a Leonardo DiCaprio movie festival.
Eh, but I guess I’ll pencil that in for after work. In the meantime, relive the romance with these 11 love-filled scenes from some of your favorite ‘90s classics.
1. Jerry Maguire
So at the end of Jerry McGuire a pre-crazy Tom Cruise (i.e. Jerry) runs after Renee Zellweger (Dorothy) and gives her a speech about how she completes him, and it turns out none of it was necessary because he had her at "Hello." It's a hell of a scene (and "you had me at hello" is solidly in the pop culture lexicon), yet it's sort of a warped in it's way. Beautiful proclamations aside, Dorothy was 112 percent ready to go back to Jerry on sight, which is something we all do with the ex we think is The One. I guess the upswing is that Jerry is dedicated enough to fly home and delivering a tear-jerking speech, and modern romance is usually conduced to a 3 a.m. text asking, "u up?"
2. Never Been Kissed
The ending of Never Been Kissed, in which Josie finally gets kissed on the baseball mound, taught me that it's OK to be a late bloomer and not kiss someone until the ripe old age of 15... I mean, 25. Also, it told me that any and all crushes on my teacher are totally justified if I'm over 18 (this was a joyous lesson to keep with me when I entered the world of community college, but that's a whole other story).
3. Reality Bites
Mid-way through Reality Bites, Troy and Leilana address their burgeoning sexual tension with a kiss, and Leilana subsequently freaks out. It's not like she never thought about them like that, it's just the timing is all off, and oh, yeah, she has a boyfriend. That scene taught me that, sometimes, circumstances make you push off the person you have clear chemistry with.
Speaking of which, Clueless, from the "I love Josh" scene onward, taught me that sometimes you don't realize the person you have clear chemistry with is right in front of your face the entire time. Also, that it is totally OK to mack it with your stepbrother if he's Paul Rudd.
5. Romeo + Juliet
The kissing scene in Romeo + Juliet (and I guess all iterations of the Shakespeare tale) taught me it's also totally OK to mack it with some guy you just met if he looks like Leonardo DiCaprio. But also that young love is the most dangerous love of all, so yeah, invest in that tenth grade relationship full-heartedly.
6. 10 Things I Hate About You
Oh, God. When Heath Ledger (R.I.P, bb) sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" to his riot grrrl sweetheart, it taught me that all men are failing me if they're not proclaiming their love through song and dance.
7. You've Got Mail
You've Got Mail is tricky, because, although I started dating in the era of AOL, the film was already a bit outdated. But I would say the ending scene where Meg Ryan cries to Tom Hanks all like, "I wanted to be you," resonates with all of us who wished our online crushes aligned with our real life crushes... or, in modern terms, that our Tinder dates really looked like their profile picture.
8. She's All That
The ending of She's All That, which prominently features slow-dancing by the pool, makes you rethink that maybe the star football player on your high school team really isn't that bad (although in my experience, no).
The pottery scene in Ghost taught me that you can make your extracurricular activities into basically sexy foreplay if you're crafty enough.
10. Drive Me Crazy
The creative use of R.E.O. Speedwagon both in the car sing-along scene, and later with The Donnas at the centennial dance, taught me that "your song" is allowed to be something hokey. This is why there's so much ABBA on my break up mix CDs.
And, finally, when Rose felt that she was flying at the head of the Titanic, I always felt, deep deep down in my heart, that I really should invest on some vacation flings.
It is my impression that they're really fun until the ship sinks.
Images: Giphy (11)