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Jonah Hill’s Directorial Debut “Mid90s” Gives Fresh and Authentic Take on Adolescence

Ashley Mallinson

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“Mid 90s” is a unique coming-of-age movie that highlights the skate scene of the 90’s. If there’s one word to describe the feel of this movie, it would be authentic. The entire movie is shot on film (as opposed to digital) and none of the main actors had ever had any real acting experience. They’re all professional skaters who got to play skaters. This makes the story and all the emotion that comes with it feel much more genuine and real.

Alongside the casting and production, another aspect of the film that screams authenticity was the movie itself: the story. It shows teenagers in a more graphic and truthful light. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to call the film “vulgar”, it doesn’t candy coat too much in terms of the derogatory parts of being a teenager in this type of environment. The main character’s family life and social life are depicted incredibly well as his friends sort of become his family. The whole “initiation” process of getting into the friend group and working his way up was also shown really well as we continue to learn more about the characters and the different dynamics going on within the group.

Jonah Hill’s directorial debut “Mid90s” takes place in 1990s Los Angeles, following Stevie as he starts to grow up and make new friends with a group of skaters he meets in a skate shop. It highlights the joys and the downfalls he encounters within this friend group and it really emphasizes the sense of togetherness and closeness the skate scene had to offer at this time.

This movie is most comparable to the film “Kids” directed by Larry Clark in 1995. Both movies focus on teenagers in the 90s in a somewhat less flattering light than your average coming-of-age movies. Although “Kids” is far more vulgar, both films have a very similar feel to them and it’s clear when watching “Mid90s” that they took some inspiration from Clark’s film.

Overall, “Mid90s” is a fantastic movie. If you like skating, film, or just the 90s in general, you’ll love this movie. It’s an amazing coming-of-age story and its told perfectly through the lense of an adolescent in the 90s.

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