A tale of American youth in the 90s

Recommendation: 3/5 Stars, STREAM

Plot: “’Mid90’s’ follows Stevie, a 13 year old in 1990s-era Los Angeles who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop,” according to IMDB.

Review: Like lots of movie-goers, I have been fascinated by the rise of Jonah Hill. From comedic actor to drama, and now in the writer/director role, his evolution has been a fun one to watch. For his debut film, he chose to bring our attention to a sibling rivalry that morphs into a search to belong to something/anything. In many ways, this a relatable tale for most American youth; particularly those lost to the 1990s.

We all have a need to belong. We want to fit in and find ourselves surrounded by people who see the world as we do. Some people search their whole lives for this type of community. Others are lucky enough to find it in their youth. Stevie, played by Sunny Suljic, is a 13-year-old boy growing up in Los Angeles looking for people he can call his own. Like lots of kids growing up in Southern California in the 90s, he found that community among those who skate. Where others see problem children, mischief, rulebreakers and disaffected American youth, Sunny sees family. There are older kids to admire and emulate, rivals, and guidance; all of the dynamics of a normal family but found in those who float on top of wood with reckless abandon.

Of course, kids are kids and one of Stevie’s great challenges in this movie is losing himself. Peer pressure and trying to be impressive puts him in a lot of dicey and compromising positions. There are moments in this movie where you fear for his safety and watch him grow up way too fast. For some, skating is a positive outlet. For others, it is an excuse to party and hook-up. Throughout this movie, Stevie has to confront what he wants from this world. The decision becomes extremely evident thanks to a wonderfully placed and unexpected turn near the end of the film.

Stevie’s home life isn’t great. His older brother has deep-seated issues and tends to take his problems out on his younger brother in a very violent fashion. His mother is absent a lot and can’t account for his whereabouts most of the time. Stevie takes a lot of hits in this film; both at home and while skating. One of the older boys reminds him of this truth. Laying in a hospital bed at the end of the film, we hope Stevie has learned his lesson. As we sit and wait for a full arch of character growth, the film ends with a skating montage video.

This is disappointing.

“Mid90’s” possesses the ability to be a really great movie. It doesn’t allow the audience to experience a full character arch. Instead, we feel like drones watching a story for a little while and then we fly away to something else never getting a complete picture. For this choice, I recommend you stream this one.

Be good to each other.

More in Life

The Soup Ladies need a new truck

Rotary Club of Maple Valley leads fundraiser for volunteers who feed first responders.

The Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra presents “Sunday Afternoon by the Sea” at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Tahoma High School Performing Arts Center. Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Maple Valley Youth Symphony to play with U2 tribute band

Other events include ‘Mamma Mia!’ at Kentlake HS; Harry Potter movie night.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com. To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
Pulling the right strings

What would we do these days without Father Google to teach us how to manage life’s challenges?

In May, Kentlake High School will present several performances of the ABBA-inspired musical “Mamma Mia!” Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Kentlake presents ‘Mamma Mia!’

Also on tap: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council will meet about water issues.

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

Always and forever

With the exception of my blackberry meltdown last week, I have finally… Continue reading

Fishing boats sit on the shore of Lake Wilderness during the Hooked On Fishing Derby. Photo by Kayse Angel
The 2019 Hooked On Fishing Derby

The derby took place at Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley over the weekend

Maple Valley wood carver creates chainsaw art

Ken Gruenes spends his retired days creating art out of tree stumps with his chainsaw.

Hunter Coffman and his family pose with Stitch in Hawaii. One of Hunter’s dreams was to meet Stitch and it was mad possible because of community support. Submitted photo from Laura Coffman
Hunter’s legacy lives on

Laura and Atom Coffman from Maple Valley started a nonprofit in honor of their son who passed away last year to cancer.

I can always grow blackberries

Blackberries are considered an invasive species in United States, because they are… Continue reading

Lake Wilderness Easter Egg Hunt

The egg hunt took place on Saturday, April 20.

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch at the Field House

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading