Music, you guys. It’s the soundtrack to our lives. While we have yet to find a personal minstrel to follow us around, Gilmore Girls style, if we did they’d exclusively play music from ‘90s teen movies. These cinematic gems introduced us to our new crushes, showed us why we should fall in love with them, and then made us cry to carefully chosen songs when it didn’t work out.
But while there are tons of movies that made us go “Oh, I love this song!” and try to Shazaam ‘em before there even was an iPhone, let alone an app, some movies did it better than others. Here are our picks.
10 Things I Hate About You: A true mix of genres, there were at least 10 things we loved about this movie’s music — especially when Heath Ledger sang to Julia Stiles in the bleachers. That was just too good to be true. But while that gem didn’t make the CD, plenty of other ‘90s greats did, including Sister Hazel, Letters to Cleo, and Save Ferris.
Clueless: "Rollin’ with the Homies"? "Kids in America?" "Supermodel"?! Just gold, all the way through. The only strike against it was that we were so enamored of Josh and Cher, the music was kind of an afterthought.
Empire Records: Obviously a movie about a record store has to have great music. An excellent mix of pop, punk, and ‘80s hits, the song that stood out most to us was “Romeo & Juliet” from Dire Straits. Because, go listen to it. And speaking of which…
Can’t Hardly Wait: Besides also featuring the Dire Straits song of our lives... Amanda might be short for the name of that one Barry Manilow song, but there was so much more than that on this ‘80s/‘90s greatest hits album. With Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth, Blink-182, The Replacements, and Guns N’ Roses, this is a seriously great album for any party — graduation or otherwise.
She’s All That: Remember when Laney and Zack danced in the garden to Sixpence None the Richer? And her dad turned on the little tiny flickering lights and she totally felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, without that whole hooker thing? Because we’re pretty sure that’s all we need to say.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: Before Gretchen Weiner’s dad invented Toaster Strudel, these girls were all over Post-It notes, and all over our boom boxes. Though most of the music wasn’t really recent, that’s what you get for having a high school reunion, okay? Now shut up and turn up the No Doubt. "Time After Time," it’s still a great record.
Varsity Blues: Green Day, Collective Soul, Third Eye Blind, The Offspring… Basically, when MTV produces a movie in the late ‘90s, it’s going to hit every one of our little alternative music needs at once. Total touchdown, you know. Sports!
Romeo + Juliet: Forever one of our number one crushes, the Leo + Claire love story backing bands included such ‘90s greats as Garbage, Everclear, Butthole Surfers, Radiohead, and The Cardigans. Meaning, we suddenly had a bunch of bands that made us seem cooler to our older siblings on our radar.
Cruel Intentions: To this day, when we hear the song “Colorblind,” we forgive everything our awful boyfriends have ever done. So, there’s that.
So there you have it, guys: some of the best soundtracks from one of the best decades ever. While we certainly have our opinions, we’re most interested in hearing yours: Which ‘90s teen movie did the best job in selecting songs that have stuck with you through the years?