It’s said that people tend to look back on the past through rose-colored glasses. Basically, you tend not to dwell on the bad parts of history and opt to remember only the good times. And, boy, were the ‘90s a good time. Nostalgia for the decade doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, either. Designers have brought back ‘90s fashion trends, and thanks to Hulu and Netflix, you can watch the top movies of the ‘90s practically anywhere and anytime. But in binge-watching your favorite films from the decades, you may notice some things about ‘90s movies that wouldn’t work today.
In rewatching movies from your childhood, you’ll notice things as an adult that you never would have picked up on as a kid. If you’re anything like me, virtually all jokes and comments about sex, violence, or anything mature went completely over my head. But just like me, the the world of film and society has done some growing up, too. Though there is still much progress to be made, pop culture certainly has come a long way in being more accepting of diversity. So how have things like technology, health issues, and sexism changed from the movies of the ‘90s to now? Here are just nine ways ‘90s movies would be pretty impossible to replicate in the modern world.
1. Cell Phones Would Solve Everything
Movies like Clueless, Die Hard With A Vengeance, and Home Alone could have had some of their major moments solved or avoided if they didn't have to rely primarily on payphones and landlines.
2. Cigarettes Were Everywhere
Smoking was glamorized and was a sign that the character was edgy, cool, or in the popular crowd. Films like Pulp Fiction, Gia, and Fight Club all highlighted this unhealthy habit.
3. Homophobia Was Rampant
Reservoir Dogs, SLC Punk!, Can't Hardly Wait, and Glengarry Glen Ross all had characters who used words like "f*g" and "f*ggot" as a negative connotation like it was no big deal.
4. GPS Would've Saved Time
The characters in such movies as The Blair Witch Project, Pretty Woman, Captain Ron and more would have saved themselves plenty of time and possibly avoided catastrophes if they had GPS.
5. The Patriarchy Ruled
The '90s were a bit of a paradox for women in movies. At one end of the spectrum, the female was brazenly bold, but at the other end was this resurgence of the damsel in distress who needs a prince. She's All That, You've Got Mail, and even 10 Things I Hate About You sees the feminist lead eventually succumb to the fairy tale trope.
6. Casual Racism Was OK
The Air Up There, Billy Madison, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Heart Condition, and True Lies all featured casual racism. The non-white characters were seen either as props, punchlines, or the enemy. Even The Green Mile was criticized for its portrayal of a black character as a humble, simple man whose sole purpose was making the white people's lives better.
7. Transphobia Was The Norm
In Silence of the Lambs, the villain Buffalo Bill identifies as transgender but he's portrayed as a sick, twisted, menace. When (spoiler alert) a character reveals she is trans in The Crying Game, the male lead violently throws up in response. Finding out someone was trans was also used as a punchline, like in Naked Gun: 33 1/2.
8. Cultural Appropriation Was Funny
3 Ninjas, Man of the House, Jungle 2 Jungle, Krippendorf's Tribe, and Bulworth have one thing in common: white characters (primarily male) dressing, acting, and talking like ethnic stereotypes. It was supposed to be funny if a white guy talked "hood."