When you're a nostalgia-obsessed millennial (is there any other kind?), you seem to get very emotionally involved in the films of our childhood. The good news is that we live an a glorious era of Netflix that allows us to relive our favorite retro films time and time again, all off the comfort of our very modern devices. The bad news is that they just don't make movies like they did in the '90s anymore... or do they? If you stretch your imagination thin enough, you'll see that there are plenty of modern equivalents to your favorite '90s films.
"But, where, Mary Grace?" you must be shrieking at your computer scream right now. Calm down, my sweet, innocent, newborn baby sloth. I got this. In fact, I got 11 iconically '90s films and paired them up with more recent (as in, not 20 years ago, but it probably didn't come out this week) films. That way, when you feel weird about watching Clueless for the millionth time, you can change it up a bit and not have to deal with all those pesky references to Contempo Casual. Scroll down to suss out your options, and welcome to the new millennium, guys.
1. Trade In Reality Bites For Tiny Furniture
In some ways, Reality Bites has more of a millennial feel than any episode of Girls. In other ways, it's a Gen X piece to the point of parody. The intersections between Lelaina's disappointing post-grad life and Aura's disappointing post-grad life, though, are generous.
2. Trade In She's All That For The Duff
It's not a perfect alignment, because Rachael Leigh Cook's Laney is far more of a jaded, passive, resistant-to-change character than Mae Whitman's active, eager-to-change Bianca. They still both have a penchant for overalls and a Chuckie Finster aesthetic.
3. Trade In Fight Club For Black Swan
It sounds strange, since Black Swan feels so inherently feminine and Fight Club seems so inherently poster-on-an-18-year-old-college-boy's-dorm-room-wall. You get to see a sick brutality in both, whether it's regarding fighting or ballet. Oh, and um, lots of focus on crazies with identity issues.
4. Trade In Clerks For Frances Ha
Clerks takes place in central Jersey and focuses on one crazy day at Quik Stop groceries for two aimless friends. Frances Ha takes place mainly in New York City and focuses on one crazy year for Frances Halladay as her friendship disintegrates. So, you know, BASICALLY THE SAME MOVIE. But no, the way both are shot is very similar, and as with Reality Bites and Tiny Furniture, the films both capture the feeling of being lost in your 20s.
5. Trade In Beauty And The Beast For Frozen
True life: Belle is my favorite Disney Princess in part because she was maybe the first of her kind to have feminist leanings. I think I responded so well to Frozen because it took feminist leanings and amped it up a notch. Oh, and duh, it's also Disney, so it's an easy transition.
6. Trade In Scream For The Cabin In The Woods
You know how, by the time Scream came around, all of the horror movie tropes were solidified, and the film was a sort of potent satire of that? The Cabin In The Woods has a similar agenda, and a hell of a twist if you're also looking for something to replace The Sixth Sense. ...actually I guess Scream 4 could also replace Scream, but what's the fun in that?
7. Trade In Clueless For Easy A
This might seem like a puzzling pick, because I'm sure neither of us could image Cher and Olive walking down the hallway together all buddy-buddy. Cher is popular, precious, kind-hearted and oh-so-clueless. Olive is snarky, cynical, and spends her weekends at home singing "Pocket Full Of Sunshine." But both are strangely innovative virgins who get themselves in a whoooole mess. Even though Olive wishes her life was more like an '80s teen movie, she has more in common with Cher than any '80s movie heroine.
8. Trade In Pocahontas For Avatar
Because it's the same movie, guys, don't let the CGI fool you.
9. Trade In Titanic For The Great Gatsby
OK, even though age and multiple parodies has made Titanic sort of hokey, let's not pretend for a second that Baz Luhrmann's Kanye-infused Gatsby remake is on par with the biggest movie of the decade. Still, it is an extravagant period piece that takes creative liberties against it's original source material. And hey, either way you get a Leonardo DiCaprio fix.
10. Or, Alternately, Trade In Romeo + Juliet For The Great Gatsby
This one actually works better since they're both Luhrmann-directed, heavily stylized, anachronistic films. And again, lots of Leo, just like it's 1996 all over again.
11. Trade In Jurassic Park For Jurassic World
...oh wait, nothing has changed.
Take heart, fellow milennials. There's always a way to get your '90s nostalgia fix even without actually watching something from the '90s.
Images: Paramount Pictures; Giphy (11)