Skateboarding is typically butchered on film by cliches and stereotypes, Jonah Hill sought to fight the norm in his debut movie Mid90’s. Everything from this movie was spot on: the music, the clothing, the language, the characters; taking place in– you guessed it– the mid 1990’s, the time period was recreated with incredible grace.
Main character, Stevie, a thirteen year old kid from Las Angeles, California, is forced to handle a world of difficulty at home. Between an abusive brother, a father that walked out on his family, and a self-obsessed mom, Stevie seeks comfort outside of his home. It all starts when Stevie first sees a group of older– and in his eyes, cool– skateboarders talking back to a store-owner. Instantaneously, Stevie is drawn to the idea of skateboarding.
The movie captures the culture surrounding skateboarding and funnels it into an hour and a half long movie. Jonah Hill, director of the film, portrays the essence of being a skateboarder in the 90’s with careful detail down to the personal styles of each character, the scenery, the language, and the skating (Hill cast skateboarders who learned how to act rather than using actors who learned how to skate).
The soundtrack is PERFECT — I mean it’s absolutely flawless. All of the music is up to date with the time period and fits the mood of each scene perfectly. The hip-hop genre makes its appearance during most of the skateboarding scenes. During the deep, vulnerable moments of the film, Hill incorporated songs that emphasize and heighten the emotions of the scene.
Whether you’re an adult in your 50’s or a teenager, you can easily relate to the characters in this movie. A big part of what makes this movie great is the nostalgia effect: reminding each audience member of those certain experiences that defined their own growth from child to adult. This movie relays the value in making mistakes, falling hard on your face, and getting back up.
I won’t ruin the ending, but I will say that it brought it all together while still leaving plenty to the imagination. All in all, this was a fantastic coming of age movie that highlights the importance of friendship and loyalty.