I’ve done a cursory study of romantic movies from the 90s, and for me the ultimate encapsulation of 90s love is Bed of Roses.
The key elements: Christian Slater, quintessential 90s love ballads, oversized socks, an abundance of beige, a woman in a suit, a dim warning bell in the back of your brain that if this wasn’t a romance you’d be super creeped out by how they fell in love, and more sentiment than a collection of long taper candles set amongst baby’s breath and roses.
- Christian Slater. I adore Christian Slater. When I think of an actor who encapsulates the 90s feeling it’s this soft-spoken, sensitive, bashful leading man. He’s done a lot of roles over the years, but I’ve never been more impressed than watching him play a character that’s so clearly not a leading man.
- 90s Rock Goddesses. Jann Arden. Sarah McLachlan. I mean. Wow. All the big guns. “Insensitive” right next to “Ice Cream” takes a lot of guts.
- Socks. Oh the 90s comfort ethic is everywhere. Everyone’s got a bathrobe, how is that a thing? And the bathrobe is over the sweatpants and the socks that are eight sizes too big. Everything about the 90s is too big.
- Mary Stuart Masterson. She rocked the power suit, power haircut, power woman of the 90s approach. I have no idea what was happening in the first scene of the movie, but I got the message “she does business.”
- Stalker. I did a quick search of “best 90s romances” just to be sure I wasn’t making this up, but the 90s is rife with romances that are a little more than simply alarming — and this isn’t considering the paranormal ones like Ghost and Prelude to a Kiss. Plenty of “real life” situations of men and women meeting under questionable circumstances and thinking to themselves “I’m sure this will work out fine and not end in my death.” Technically they’re all right, well, you know, except for Ghost but we’re not counting that. At any rate, Christian Slater walking the streets late at night, peeping in her window, stalking her to work, sending her anonymous flowers…I mean, wow! And kudos to Slater making it somehow acceptable for a woman to go up to a strange man’s apartment so he can “show you something” (hint: it wasn’t what I was thinking. Whew).
- Sentiment/Sensitivity. Oh my gosh. I mean. Nothing happens the whole movie except angsty glances, lots of flowers, cuddling, tender kissing, long walks, longing looks…the whole thing just drips from the sap of a million cut roses.
Anyway. I stayed up till 3 to let you know I found the heartbeat of the 90s for you. You’re welcome. I’m gonna go throw on a giant sweatshirt and some fluffy socks and stare longingly out of my window if you need me.