Most of us remember ’90s comedy gems like Clueless, The Big Lebowski, Notting Hill, There’s Something About Mary and the like. Just for nostalgia’s sake, however, we’ve decided to dig up some of the less obviously iconic films of the ’90s, whether they made their mark on us because they were so good or because they were so bad that they were good. Here, some of our favorite forgotten films of the 1990’s: a time when when Pauly Shore reigned, Reese looked even more identical to her 17-year-old daughter than she does now, and the PC police hadn’t yet deemed just about every stereotype depicted in these films inappropriate.
Oldies But Goodies
Most remember Reese Witherspoon's '90s comedies Cruel Intentions and Election, whereas Freeway tends to fly under the radar as one of the best forgotten (dark) comedies of the era. Reese's character is drawn in sharp contrast to the usual "good girls" the actress tends to play, and if you've never seen the Southern belle swear, Freeway is your chance to see just that (and more). As Vanessa Lutz, Reese gets to be the type of strong-willed character we were more traditionally used to seeing men take on 20 years ago, and she's a lot of fun to watch.
Where to watch: Hulu
Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead
Critics absolutely panned Don't Tell Mom when it was released back in 1991, but it became a cult classic in the years that followed, thanks to the constant play it got on HBO. Christina Applegate was just 18 years-old when she was cast in the lead role as Sue Ellen, a teenager forced to become an adult in the absence of any actual adults. Her subsequent inaugural experience in a corporate office feels relevant to anyone who's ever had a cubicle job anywhere.
Where to watch: HBONow
The Brady Bunch Movie
This isn't a remake so much as it is a parody, and it pulls no punches in poking fun of the beloved '60s and '70s sitcom. Jennifer Elise Cox re-imagines Jan as a Marcia-obsessed sociopath, and the results are undeniably hilarious. What's best about re-watching this film now, however, is the commentary and perspective it offers on the '90s, as the bright-eyed Bradys try to navigate the grunge era. (On another note, Christine Taylor, who plays Marcia in this film, was also famous at the time for Hey Dude. Remember that show?!? OMG.) A Very Brady Sequel is also well worth a watch.
Where to watch: On Amazon, with a free 7-day STARZ trial
What About Bob?
Bill Murray is a comedic genius, so it's no surprise that this 1991 film is brilliant, especially given that it also stars Richard Dreyfuss. In it, Murray plays a man dealing with a host of mental illnesses. He's so needy that he crashes his therapist's vacation (something we've all considered doing... or, is that just us?).
Where to watch: You can rent What About Bob? on Amazon
All I Wanna Do
Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Leigh Cook (She's All That) star in this film, which is set in the '60s and follows a group of ambitious teenage girls as they try to protect their bright futures in the wake of news that their all-girls school will merge with an all-boys school. Best quote: "I've been thinking, perhaps they [men] are like dogs. If we don't take them in, they run wild and are a danger to society." Also: "Just imagine, we'll have to wash our hair every night. We'll have to sleep on rollers 'til our scalps bleed. Then we'll have to get up at 6 every morning for the comb-out. Your lungs will be lined with hairspray. Then, you need all this equipment to push up the tits and blitz the zits and spray the pits! Then you stagger into class and you look perfect but you're exhausted, you're too tired to even think, but that's okay because the teachers, they won't call on you anyway." Some things haven't changed.
Grosse Pointe Blank
John Cusack and Minnie Driver are a dream in this unlikely romance (they were a thing in real life, too). The action kicks off when depressed hitman Martin Blank (Cusack) is convinced by his therapist to attend his high school reunion. Driver plays his ex-girlfriend, whom he abandoned on prom night all those years ago. Dan Aykroyd also stars.
Where to watch: You can rent Grosse Pointe Blank on Amazon
So I Married An Axe Murderer
Many of us can relate to the experience of suddenly realizing we're dating a sociopath—ideally, not a homicidal sociopath, but a sociopath all the same. This is what happens to Mike Meyers'character in the aptly titled So I Married An Axe Murderer, and the outlandish events that unfold as a result are ridiculously funny (in part because Mike Meyers is such a comedic talent). We're not sure why our parents allowed us to watch a movie about a homicidal maniac 10,000 before we were old enough to drive, but we can recite every word of this poem nonetheless.
Where to watch: On Amazon, with a free 7-day STARZ trial
We worship Wes Anderson, so there was zero chance we'd skip Rushmore on this list. This is the film that launched the careers of both the writer/director and one of his favorite leads, Jason Schwartzman. It also starred Bill Murray and was co-written by Owen Wilson. Rushmore has frequently been named one of the best films of the 1990s.
Where to watch: You can rent Rushmore on Amazon
This one may not be as "forgotten" as some of the others on this list, but we had to include it because it's one of our favorite movies of all time. It's also not strictly a comedy, but there's enough dark humor in the film for it to qualify for inclusion on this list. Also, it stars Christian Slater, Brad Pitt and Val Kilmer, which is basically a recurring dream we have (this dream includes the '90s versions of all three of these men...except for Christian Slater—he looks exactly the same now as he did then, so we'll take either incarnation.)
Where to watch: You can find some versions of True Romance on YouTube
Remember when Pauly Shore was a thing? (Technically, he still is. If you don't follow him on Snapchat, we highly recommend you do so, stat.) This film is Pauly at his most Pauly, and honestly Son-In-Law is actually pretty adorable, despite Pauly's best efforts to be the most annoying human being on the planet.
Where to watch: You can rent Son-In-Law on Amazon
If, for some reason, you feel like partaking in a Pauly Shore double-header, we have just the flick to follow Son-In-Law. Encino Man tells the story of a frozen Cro-Magnon man who thaws out in the Los Angeles Valley and is passed off as an exchange student by two teenage boys. Seriously. We've seen it a zillion times.
Where to watch: You can rent Encino Man on Amazon