Whether you were a Blockbuster kid or a Video Ezy goer, trips to the video store were all the same – they involved your mum driving down and letting you run in, several brawls with your siblings over what to hire and, almost always, the payment of one overdue return.
But nothing beat it. I loved wandering the Weekly aisles and perusing the New Releases. I loved picking up the video cases and reading the blurbs. I loved making inane small talk with the cute checkout guy who was three years above me and like, so cool because he had a job.
And while it’s pretty rad that we now have movies-on-demand, I still miss the video shop experience. So, if you’re like me and you’re craving a little old-school flashback, it sounds as if you need to get these classics into ya:
1. Cool Runnings (1993)
Three Jamaican sprinters, John Candy and one lucky egg take on the 1988 Winter Olympics in a heartwarming (and true) story. What more could you actually want out of a film? Not only did it provide an entire generation with a new countdown (“Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!”) but it also introduced me to my first ever crush – Derice Bannock AKA the fastest man on the island and my soulmate. Be still my pre-pubescent heart.
2. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Shakespeare doing his Shakespeare thing, Julia Stiles as the angsty Kat Stratford, Heath Ledger singing from the bleachers and pre-fame Joseph Gordon-Levitt in all his adorable glory, 10 Things I Hate About You may be 20 years old but it’s still relevant as hell. Like, I’m still trying to decide if I’m simply “whelmed” and I always think twice about my black lingerie.
Definitely worth a rewatch or three.
3. Freaky Friday (2003)
This is peak Lindsay Lohan. As in, post-Parent Trap but pre-naughty Lindsay Lohan. And don’t even get me started on how much I love Jamie Lee Curtis. I used to wish Jamie Lee Curtis was my mum (no offence, Mum. Love ya.) Nothing beats a good body-switching story and this one comes complete with auditions at the House of Blues, hot older high school guys named Jake and cursed fortune cookies. Geddit Disney.
4. The Princess Diaries (2001)
Anne Hathaway! Julie Andrews! Mandy Moore! Powerful female cast, guys. I’m very pro. While the “let’s do a makeover on the clumsy teen and her life will be better because she’s beautiful” storyline is a little, well, questionable as a modern-day theme, I can definitely still get around the whole finding-out-you’re-the-heir-to-a-European-throne-and-developing-a-maternal-relationship-with-your-estranged-grandma-who-looks-suspiciously-like-a-runaway-singing-Austrian-nanny plot.
5. Heavyweights (1995)
If you were one of those kids who missed out on Heavyweights, stop what you’re doing and watch it. This is a cult classic. Written by Judd freaking Apatow and starring Ben Stiller as a fitness-obsessed leader of a camp for overweight kids, Heavyweights is pure comedy gold. The binge-eating scene? The Hershey’s Kiss? I’m still loling.
6. Flubber (1997)
An underrated Robin Williams flick in my opinion. Williams plays a mad scientist with a heart of gold who discovers “flubber”- this, like, really, really bouncy jelly. And what kid doesn’t want really, really bouncy jelly? In classic Robin Williams style, it’s equal parts witticism aimed at the adults and a heap of slapstick for the little ones.
7. The Sandlot (1993)
According to IMDB, The Sandlot is: “A new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his rowdy team, resulting in many adventures”. But it’s so, so, so much more than that. The Sandlot is, to this day, one of the best ensemble films going around. It’s the perfect coming-of-age movie that makes you wish you grew up in 1962 America. Hell, it’s guaranteed to make you buy a baseball glove on eBay.
8. Holes (2003)
Based on the equally excellent book of the same name, Holes is a kids adventure-comedy-drama starring Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Sigourney Weaver and Patricia Arquette. Now, that’s a cast with some serious acting chops. Telling the tale of Stanley Yelnats and his cursed family, Holes is feelgood and touching and interesting and many other positive adjectives.
9. The Mighty Ducks (1992)
Do I really need to give you a 100-word paragraph on The Mighty Ducks? It’s The Mighty Ducks!
Quack. Quack. Quack.
You can catch all these flicks on Disney+ right now.