Hidden Gems: The Best Underrated Teen Movies of the '90s and '00s
Have many have you seen?
Have many have you seen?
Text: Paul Madley
We all know the big teen classics but what about the forgotten, and hidden gems of teen cinema? For whatever reason, critically panned or poor marketing budgets, some of the best teen movies are seriously underrated or worse…pretty much forgotten.
We’ve rounded up the best ‘underrated’ teen movies of the ’90s and ’00s for you to enjoy. Take a look at our list below.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – 1992
Before Sarah Michelle Geller burst onto TV screens juggling high school and kicking demonic-ass, there was Buffy the movie. The 1992 comedy-horror starred Kristy Swanson as Buffy, a young Luke Perry, David Arquette, and Hilary Swank.
Superstar – 1999
From SNL’s Molly Shannon, Superstar follows socially awkward teen Mary Katherine Gallagher. The social misfit is longing for superstardom and enters the high school talent show. She has her eyes on the most popular boy in school and desperately wants to experience a true Hollywood (tongue) kiss.
Welcome to the Dollhouse – 1995
Quirky teen Dawn Weiner has a major crush on her brother’s hot friend but the only guy interested in her is the school Bully. She’s teased constantly and doesn’t fit in at home. You can’t help but root for Dawn as she mutilates dolls and destroys her house. Starring Heather Matarazzo (Princess Diaries) Welcome to the Dollhouse it’s somewhat of a cult classic.
Now and Then – 1995
Now and Then is a heartwarming coming of age tale about four best friends. Most of the film is set in the ’70s and follows the girl’s adventures over one dramatic summer. Flash forward 20 years and the friends reunite to celebrate a birth and reminisce over the past. It stars ’90s favorites, Thora Birch, Christina Ricci, and Gaby Hoffmann. The adult characters are played by Demi Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Melanie Griffith, and Rita Wilson.
Sugar & Spice – 2001
This teen comedy sees pregnant cheerleader Diane and her A-squad rob the local supermarket. The girls stick together and hatch the perfect plan to commit the crime. It stars Marley Shelton, Mena Suvari, Rachel Blanchard, Melissa George, and James Marsden.
Drop Dead Gorgeous – 1999
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a 1999 comedy. It stars Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Allison Janney, Denise Richards, Kirstie Alley, and Amy Adams in her film debut. Set in a small-town Minnesota the girls compete in the annual beauty pageant. It quickly gets competitive and some girls will do anything to win.
Drive Me Crazy– 1999
Drive Me Crazy stars everyone’s favorite teenage witch, Melissa Joan Hart, and a Young Adrian Grenier. She’s the popular smart girl and he’s the unfocused slacker. They pretend to be the new it couple to win the affections of two others but end up falling for each other.
(You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney was on the soundtrack and both Joan Hart and Grenier appeared in Spears’ music video.
Saved! – 2004
Pop-princess turned actor Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin star in this tongue-in-cheek comedy. The film centers on Evangelical Christian Mary Cummings. Cummings finds out that her high school boyfriend Dean is gay. She hits her head and has a vision of Jesus, who tells her to have a baby with Dean. Mary questions her life and her religion but ultimately gains a new perspective on life.
The Brady Bunch Movie – 1995
This 1995 movie is a remake of the beloved Brady Bunch TV show. The parody sees the family coping with modern-day life while holding on tight to their retro values. It’s a feel-good movie with a cameo from RuPaul who plays the high school guidance counselor.
All I Wanna Do / Strike – 1998
This film is set in the 1960s at an all-girls New England boarding school. It stars Kirsten Dunst, Heather Matarazzo, Monica Keena, Gaby Hoffmann, and Merritt Wever. The girls plot and plan to stop the school from becoming co-ed, which would ruin their academic prospects. They have to deal with creepy teachers, townie boys, and a meddling hall monitor (Rachael Leigh Cook – She’s All That). It’s a battle of the sexes and the girls are determined to win!
Pretty Persuasion – 2005
At the exclusive Roxbury, a Beverly Hills high school for the wealthy, 15-year-old Kimberly Joyce (Evan Rachel Wood) dreams of being an actress. She manipulates her friends, teachers, and the press to make her dreams come true. The film also stars Selma Blair and Jane Krakowski.