Fun facts and food for thought are in no short supply here, and some truly entertaining truths emerge in Raftery’s extensive research (which includes 100-plus new interviews with directors, writers, and actors). Movie and pop-culture nerds will relish this fizzy, nostalgic trip.
Raftery makes a persuasive, entertaining case for the enduring impact of a passel of classics ... His tone, like the period’s, is jaunty but jaundiced ... Raftery’s voice and thesis suit today’s craving for Nineties Nostalgia ... has its hiccups. Raftery, despite a nice shout-out to John Hughes, favors ’90s kids-in-crisis films over 'crummier Reagan-era teen movies' ... may also be biased, inflating the significance of the cultural touchstones of its author’s youth.
Raftery doesn’t just recap the movies or rely solely on previously published pieces meticulously acknowledged in endnotes. He conducted 130-plus new interviews with actors, directors, writers and crew members, and the distance allows reflection and freedom to relive jubilation, anxiety or disappointment ... a chance to revisit films you loved or loathed, a guide for what to stream, and a reminder that movies were written off once before and then the lights went down and 1999 came up.