Are there any "period" movies set in the early 90s yet?

So, here’s the story:

I went to my mom’s house over the weekend to feed her dogs while she was away. While there, I rummaged through the storage room looking for old stuff of mine. I found a few crates of old VHS tapes - some of them labeled as copies of movies that I liked, like E.T., Spartacus, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, etc. So I bring said tapes back to my house, and sit around with some friends to watch them. I put the first tape, E.T., in the VCR/DVD player.

To my surprise, it was completely taped over with soap operas. Yes, my parents watched a lot of these early in their marriage, specifically One Life To Live, General Hospital and All My Children. So, for a laugh, we decided to watch them for a while.

The shows on the tapes were from between 1992 and 1994, as you could see from car ads and news briefs. I was awe-struck by the differences in the way everything looked in the early 90s. The colors of everything seem jarringly gaudy to my eyes now - hot pinks, vibrant reds and bleached whites, mixed with seemingly strange colors like dull gray and dull aquamarine. The fashions, particularly the women’s fashions, seem ridiculous - huge shoulder pads, extraneous ruffles and pleats all over everything, excessive jewelry, ridiculous amounts of makeup, poofy hairstyles. Eyeglass frames were gigantic.

The advertisements were also strikingly different. We watched a lot of ads, just to observe how unlike today’s ads they were. Packaging was, by our standards today, ridiculously boring. Sexism prevailed in household-product ads - 90% of them seemed to be along the lines of “I’m a woman, I spend my whole life keeping this house clean, so I use [product].” Also, lots of ads with women making fools of themselves or being clumsy - tripping over stuff, accidentally spilling pots and pans everywhere, opening a cabinet and having stuff fall all over them - these same kind of ads, today, invariably feature men. (I’m not one of those people who screams “political correctness!” about everything, but I’d say the clumsy-woman ad is definitely out of vogue now.)

OK, so enough about my observations - I could fill a whole book with them. What I’ve come to ask, is are there any period movies - made in the last 10 years or so - that have tried to replicate the early 90s as a distinct time period? There are movies that have done it with the 80s - American Psycho, Miami Vice - and with the 70s - I just saw Zodiac (boring as hell, by the way.) But I cannot think of any films that have, for nostalgic purposes or otherwise, attempted to capture the early 90s. Since this is a period of intense nostalgia for a lot of people who are now in their 20s, I have a feeling we WILL be seeing such movies soon - but are there any that have been done yet?

What about Reality Bites?

But that was done in the early-to-mid-90s, so it really doesn’t seem to qualify for what the OP is going for. Otherwise, pretty much every early 90s movie set in the present would count.

I can’t think of any movie made recently which is going for the early 90s feel. There must be some, but none come to mind.

The Big Lebowski was made in 1998 and took place during the early 90’s.

Too Legit: the MC Hammer Story

I don’t have any movie-type suggestions (other than Big Lebowski, which has already been suggested), but the commercials you saw may have been colored significantly by the audience for those soap operas. There are soaps playing on some of the TVs at the gym when I go in the mid-afternoon to avoid the crowds, and I’ve noticed the same kinds of commercials, nearly 15 years later. I bet the ads are a product of the expected audience, and not so much a product of their time.

Something that always cracks me up is the way that styles, trends, themes, aesthetics, etc. that we associate with specific decades really do blend and carry over from one decade to the next; the early nineties really looks very “eighties” in retrospect until at least '93 or so. Likewise, the early eighties looks really “seventies” until about '83 or '84.

Well, I was going to say Riding in Cars with Boys, but I guess the part I thought was set in the '90s was actually set in the mid-eighties. After looking at VCO3’s comment, all I can say is, “Go figure.”

Anyway, Goodbye, Lenin! is about the culture shock of waking up in 1990 East Germany after being in a coma since before the Berlin Wall came down. Probably not quite what the OP was looking for, since it’s not American.

The utterly worthless movie Rumor Has It… was released in 2005, and takes place in 1997. Not “the early 90s,” I know, but it seemed like an oddly recent era for a period piece.

The only time-specific details I recall (yeah, I saw it) were that Kevin Costner played an early-days Internet tycoon, and all the cell phones were kinda big and clunky.

I was pissed off at the writer(s) for a lot of reasons, but maybe most of all because they were just lazy: They made a movie set in 1997, starring Jennifer-freaking-Aniston, and they didn’t have the sense to work in one single joke about “Friends”?


Unless I’m mistaken, most of the movies mentioned so far may have taken place in the '90s, but weren’t specifically meant to send-up that decade. But I bet we’ll see one soon. “The Wedding Singer,” which, IIRC, was the first big spoof of the '80s, was released in 1998. It’s almost ten years later, so I think the '90s is getting distant enough that it might be ripe for satire.

The movie adaptation of Rent? The film was made in 2005 and takes place in early 1990s NYC.

Jarhead came out in 2006 and is set during the first Gulf War (1990-91).

Not a movie, but the new (and maybe already canceled) Fox show staring Rob Corddry from The Daily Show called “The Winner” was blatantly set in the 90’s.

They spent most of the first episode watching the OJ Simpson drama on TV.

I was just going to mention this one but I couldn’t remember the name. There’s a death (suicide or OD, I think), right?

Three Kings, made before Jarhead and set during the aftermath of the first Gulf War.

Eyeglass frames were normal, the same size they had been for decades. They have gotten small for some reason, in recent years, allowing less corrected peripheral vision.