8 Sexy '90s Movies That Your Parents Said Were Inappropriate But You Totally Saw Anyway
Ah, the '90s. My favorite decade to get nostalgic about (also, the only decade I can get nostalgic about). As a child of the '90s, I can explain in detail why Backstreet Boys are better than 'NSync while also pretending to know the words to Hanson's "MMMBop." But while most of my '90s obsessions were age appropriate (thanks, Disney!), there are plenty of infamous pop culture moments from the decade that I wasn't allowed to witness. Did I get to see Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair kiss on the big screen in 1999's Cruel Intensions? No...at least, not according to my parents! Granted, as a child I wasn't even allowed to watch Dawson's Creek, let alone a movie about step-siblings playing sex games (Spoiler alert?).So like anybody else who has ever been a kid, I'm still catching up on all the sexy movies my parents didn't let me see. Here are eight sexy '90s movies that your parents didn't let you see.
Full disclosure: I was always a goody two shoes. If my parents told me I wasn't allowed to do something, I didn't do it. That said, I'm no stranger to the sexy movies of the '90s, so the ones below are the movies I totally would have sneaked into, and others of my generation definitely did.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
What's more sexy than a Shakespeare adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann? Answer: nothing — at least not when said Shakespeare adaptation stars young Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Countless children of the '90s had their sexual awakening during Romeo + Juliet, and it's pretty obvious to see why. But, as far as forbidden movies go, Romeo + Juliet, which was rated PG-13, is pretty tame.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
For a lot of '90s kids, Cruel Intentions felt like the most adult movie ever. The explicit descriptions of sex, not to mention the NSFW plot of bad boy Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) doing everything he can to take good girl Annette's (Reese Witherspoon) virginity, made Cruel Intentions a forbidden film. Of course, that just added to the fun.
Wild Things (1998)
Wild Things was put on the "no chance in hell" list by parents faster than you can say "threesome!" The sexy movie, about two high school girls who enter into a sexual relationship with a high school teacher, is now mostly remembered as being the film that featured a threesome with Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell and Denise Richards.
Boogie Nights (1997)
This is literally a movie about the porn industry, so, it gets double points for being taboo. The Paul Thomas Anderson film is not only beloved, but more than partly to thank for Mark Wahlberg's movie career.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut might as well have invented the sex-thriller genre. Stanley Kubrick's movie about a married couple falling apart and entering into a dangerous world of underground sex parties (for lack of a better term) propelled then-married couple Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to the top of everyone's cheat list. Fun fact: the rough cut was so scandalous, extras had to be added in to hide some of the more nefarious sex acts in order for the final film to receive an R rating.
OK, so sex might not be the first thing you think of when you think of Titanic, but the sexy nature of the romance between Jack and Rose (aka Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), added to the fact that the film contained some disturbing mass deaths, meant that Titanic landed squarely in the forbidden-by-parents column for many '90s kids. Oh, but nothing could keep young audiences from watching Jack and Rose fall in love and have sex in the backseat of a car, as all classic couples do.
American Beauty (1999)
How many teens and preteens do you think went to see American Beauty behind their parents' backs only to see the image of a naked Mena Suvari in a bed of rose petals on the big screen? Answer: a lot. Sam Mendes' film about a man (Kevin Spacey) becoming obsessed with his teenage daughter's best friend won five Oscars, and helped corrupt a generation (all in good fun, of course).
Basic Instinct (1992)
Sharon Stone made history in Basic Instinct, flashing the audience and proving that a strong, female actress can own her sexuality on screen. Stone's name will always be synonymous with Basic Instinct, and, therefore, with a string of '90s fantasies.
There are probably plenty more but, I think you'll agree, parents don't need to know all the sexy movies '90s kids saw in secret.
Images: Columbia Pictures; Giphy (8)