In the 1990s Reese Witherspoon was awesome. Not that Legally Blonde didn’t have its place, and Walk The Line was an enjoyable movie and everything but I have seen some of her 90s films many, many times and they have pretty much cemented my forever love of Reese. Here are some of her best ones:
1. Freeway (1996)
I’m surprised I haven’t heard much about Freeway lately with all the 90s revival stuff that is all the go at the moment. Freeway is awesome. It’s a fucked up re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, but a very fucked up re-telling. Reese plays Vanessa Lutz, a 15 year old girl with a prostitute mother, sexually abusive stepfather and about twenty minutes in, a dead fiance. The movie follows her adventures as she runs away from home after her mother and stepfather are arrested and tries to find her grandmother. Along the way she encounters a serial killer, prison, Brittany Murphy (R.I.P angel) as a heroin addicted lesbian, and a lot more awesome stuff while wearing super 90s brown lipstick, a high ponytail and crop tops. If you like this movie you should check out Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trick Baby starring Natasha Lyonne and Vincent Gallo. It’s not really a sequel, there’s none of the same characters or anything but it is another awesome fucked up movie.
2. Fear (1996)
Reese plays Nicole Walker who is kind of a good girl but she wears fantastically short mini skirts (with over-the-knee socks) and despite the wishes of her overbearing father (that dude from CSI), she starts dating this weird older guy named David (Mark Wahlberg). David turns out to be pretty crazy and I guess the end is supposed to be horror movie-ish but I don’t really care about any of that because as a horror movie it’s not very good. What is good is the soundtrack (how many times can you play the same two songs by Bush? NOT NEARLY ENOUGH! And that cover of ‘Wild Horses’ by The Sundays which I think was also on the Buffy soundtrack), Alyssa Milano as Reese’s slutty BFF, a how-not-to in home tattooing, 90s Seattle fashions, and the scene where Reese (wearing one of those awesome mini skirt and over-the-knee sock outfits) gets fingered on a rollercoaster.
Nice jeans, ya dork!
3. S.F.W (1994)
There is definitely not enough Reese in this one. Stephen Dorff is the star of the show and yeah, I guess he was cute in a mid 90s sort of way but I want more Reese. The scenes she is in she is great as a 16 year old girl held hostage in a convenience store for over a month and then once she gets out she’s all over tv talk shows. I like her best in the hostage scenes though when she’s all dirty and drinking beer with Stephen Dorff. To slightly make up for the lack of Reese there is a small appearance from Babes In Toyland and a Hole song on the soundtrack.
4. Election (1999)
This is such a bizarre and great movie. Reese is Tracy Flick, an overachieving teen girl obsessed with winning the role of class president. We didn’t have stuff like student council in Australian high school so I always like a bit of that Americana high school stuff. Reese is creepily perky, a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and is a big part of the unraveling of a teacher’s life. You get to see Ferris Bueller get stung in the eye by a bee, Chris Klein (that guy from American Pie who used to go out with Katie Holmes) in his first ever role, and Tammy Metzler who is one of the best characters in any teen movie I’ve ever seen.
5. Pleasantville (1998)
The (kind of) return of bad girl Reese! Reese is Jennifer, a very modern 90s teenager who accidentally gets transported into a 1950s sitcom. Then she has sex with a boy and totally fucks up their chaste 50s world. The colour effects were sort of cool when I first saw this in the late 90s but now it just looks a lot like that photoshop affect I remember girls in my high school really liking where the photo would be black and white with just red lips or a red rose or something.
6. Overnight delivery
Reese has dark hair, a shitty car and works part time as a stripper (I swear her hair-do and stripper outfits inspired Mena Suvari’s look in ‘Loser’ two years later) . Paul Rudd is young and cute like he was in Clueless. They end up on a cross country roadtrip together to try to intercept a package that Paul Rudd has sent to his girlfriend via (you guessed it) overnight delivery and hijinks ensue. Reese is cynical, funny, and very sex positive which I enjoyed.