When Chris and Leah Liguori first came through, we talked a bit about 1995 because Chris’ Hall Pass Crush was everywhere that year. Yup, teens and tweens everywhere were enamored with everything from ‘Casper’ to ‘Now & Then.’ That includes me as one of my favorite things about 1995 is one of those movies…among other things, like one of the best songs to come from that decade and a TV show that helped a generation with their Scholastic Book Fair addiction. All of that and more as we crush on all things 1995.
A Little Princess
Not to sound cliche, but they truly do not make them like they used to. This movie really had no business being that good, but it was a constant rental for me. The story revolves around Sarah, a soldier’s daughter sent to live in an all-girls school, only to be left there with nothing to her name when it’s believed her father has died in the war. She’s then forced to be a servant alongside a little Black girl named Becky. They escape their unfortunate situation via Sarah’s imaginative storytelling. If you’ve yet to see this movie, please do…if you feel you’re too old then, well, show the kids!
The Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Movie
A couple of years prior ‘The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ debuted and to say we were addicted would be a grand understatement. We could not get enough of these crime fighters in spandex, so when they announced there was going to be a movie – we died in unison. Watching this as a grown woman, I gotta say…holds up. Why? It represents one of the things I appreciate most about this decade, it was cheesy as fuck, and leaned into it. Ivan Ooze delivered a Burton-Batman villain-level performance with an insane amount of camp while the Rangers somehow managed to elevate their characters from the small to big screen. Perhaps that had to do with the budget. Did you see how shiny those new ensembles were?! I mean…
The Puzzle Place
I fear that today ‘The Puzzle Place’ would be labeled “too woke” for TV, but back in ‘95 it was just a fun show about puppets from various backgrounds just chilling together and really, teaching us interesting things about different cultures. It was one of the first times I learned about Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, and as a nerd – that was definitely right up my alley. I used to spend my library time in a corner reading these books about the day-to-day lives of people in other countries, so ‘The Puzzle Place’ really just felt like an extension of that…only with puppets on PBS.
Now & Then
While Christina Ricci is far from making my Hall Pass Crush list, she is an actor that I’ve adored since I was a kid because she always managed to play the characters that I could connect to; the tomboy. Only Ricci’s characters were getting the guy in the end and yeah, that was not my reality at 8 years old. Alas, Ricci’s Roberta in ‘Now & Then’ was everything I wanted to be. Yes, I was a tomboy but I was far from being that kid on the playground who’d start a fight or speak my truth. Ricci aside, ‘Now & Then’ is one of those movies that really transcends because at the end of the day, it’s a group of friends on a silly goose chase one summer day, and who doesn’t love those?
Montell Jordan “This Is How We Do It”
If I had to pick 10 songs that best represent the ‘90s, I’d have “This Is How We Do It” on that list. Like with ‘Power Rangers,’ this song is pretty freaking cheesy but in the best way possible. In a room of 500 30-somethings, I guarantee 99.9% of them would know every word if you played this track out of nowhere.
The Baby-Sitters Club
If you can’t tell, I love a good story about friendship. Ironic given that I haven’t had any social life outside of my guy and his family for almost two years, but still…movies about such always have my heart. Hell, a lot of my picks this year revolve around just that. This includes the book-to-movie adaptation of ‘The Baby-Sitters Club.’ The only negative I have to say is about that atrocious dress Kristy’s dad gives her. Like, you’re already a deadbeat dad. Did you have to make it worse?
I’ve said this either here or elsewhere but I grew up watching ‘In Living Color’ and not ‘Saturday Night Live,’ so how ‘Tommy Boy’ made its way to me – not sure, but I’m glad it did. It’s not only something me and my guy instantly bonded over loving, but it’s a movie I quoted way too much as a child. So much so that one time I broke the curtain in the living room, rigged it back up haphazardly, and then when my mom moved it and it fell I screamed, “What’d you do?!” She immediately knew what had happened and simply responded with a laugh, “You little asshole.”
Alanis Morissette ‘Jagged Little Pill’
There were a million and one reasons I continued to push back our move date in 2021, and seeing Alanis Morissette perform ‘Jagged Little Pill’ was like…#2. To hear the entire Hollywood Bowl belt out “Ironic” at the end of night, underneath the stars – I mean, one of the most magical concert moments for a ’90s kid to live as a 30-something.
The movie that played during my first official sleepover, how could I not have a place in my heart for ‘Clueless?’ Other than it being a childhood milestone for me, it’s also just one of the best and most influential movies, ever. From the ‘90s vernacular of “whatever” and “as if” to the fashion that’s gone from merely setting trends to being some of the most recognizable in pop culture, ‘Clueless’ didn’t have to go that hard, but it did just that.
A Goofy Movie
Disney has always made movies about teens and for the most part, they were just about young girls falling for princes that were…um…we’ll just say they could all vote. So when the House of Mouse dropped this, it was truly Disney’s first legit teen movie, and I was immediately hooked. In hindsight, many have also said this is Disney’s first Black movie. All of that combined, do I even need to go on? Okay, I will but only because I wanted to add that even though 1993 made me the middle child, one of the biggest reasons I’ll always love this movie is because it’s one that my younger brother and I watched together all of the time and have a shared obsession with. Aww…
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