- Movie News -Which 'Mixtape' Kid Has The Most Authentically '90s Bedroom?
Set on the eve of Y2K, Netflix's Mixtape invites you to party like it's 1999 again. And let me be clear: the movie is a joyous experience from start to finish, but I do question just how committed it is to its '90s aesthetic. First, the basics: at its core, Mixtape is the story of a 12-year-old girl, Beverly, who is trying to better understand her parents by tracking down all of the songs on a mixtape they made before they died in a car accident. Also, Julie Bowen is her grandmother. I know.
Now, despite being set in the days leading up the Y2K apocalypse that was New Year's Eve in '99, there aren't a lot of visual cues that the movie is set in the '90s. That's especially true when it comes to Beverly and her friends Ellen and Nicky's bedrooms. As a person who actually was a young adult with bedroom walls plastered with cutout photos of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Backstreet Boys, Josh Hartnett, and David Duchovny like a stalker-in-training, I feel pretty confident about what a '90s girl's bedroom actually looked like.
See, back in the '90s, Pinterest didn't exist, and so preteens didn't have perfectly coordinated bedding or mood boards in their rooms. Instead, they decorated with posters pulled directly from YM magazines, stacks of Beanie Babies, and whatever random décor bits their parents had left over from the '70s and '80s. It was pure chaos, but it was also charming and full of personality — trust me, you knew what a potential new friend was all about the minute you walked into their room and saw which boy band they had pledged their allegiance to.
With that in mind, do the Mixtape kids' bedrooms pass the '90s aesthetic test? Let's find out.
Beverly's Room Is A Testament To Her Grandmother's Overprotectiveness
Okay, there's a lot going on here, and not much of it screams '90s. First things first, there's no way Bev doesn't have a single Polaroid picture on her wall of animal portraits. Those photos would have languished on the disposable camera they were taken with and the quality certainly wouldn't have been that good.
Next up, that Spam plushie didn't even exist in 1999. I understand that there's this whole running gag about Bev and her grandma basically living off of Spam, but that thing is literally a Funko product. Even if it did exist, do you know how hard it would be to track that sucker down before internet shopping was the norm? Next to impossible, so I'm calling shenanigans.
As for Bev's overall room aesthetic, it is mixed with just enough random crap that's clearly been laying around the house forever that it gives off a sad '90s girl vibe. The furniture definitely feels dated, and I appreciate the cutout moons and stars, but the lack of a well-read collection of The Baby-Sitters Club or The Saddle Club books feels like a missed opportunity to give Bev's room a bit more personality.
Ellen Has The '90s Room Most Kids Could Only Dream About
Ellen would have been the envy of all her friends thanks to her iMac computer. That blue beast is a thing of beauty, and it was also a total status symbol. I personally don't recall ever seeing one in person, but you better believed I drooled over quite a few photos of them in various magazine advertisements and TV shows.
Cutting edge computer aside, Ellen also has a fairly traditional corkboard full of mementos and a map of the United States — which trust me, maps and globes were standard preteen room decorations in the '90s for some reason, especially if you were trying to give off nerd vibes. I'm also clocking some anime that I'm not cool enough to recognize and a pretty sweet lava lamp that despite looking fairly new still feels '90s.
However, I have to quibble with Ellen's stunning wallpaper and her sloth plushie. The whole sloths are adorable thing feels like a more recent development, and '90s wallpaper was across the board atrocious. I promise you, no one has ever walked into a '90s home and willingly kept the wallpaper, and yet, I would totally move into Ellen's room as is.
Nicky Has The Room Of A '90s Grunge Queen
Full disclosure: I've never known anyone as cool as Nicky clearly is, but I still feel like her room is the most '90s room in the entire movie. From the green carpeting and bizarre plaid wallpaper to the posters that were clearly pulled out of magazines, her room gives off the chaotic energy of a '90s preteen in spades. Granted, I can't identify the bands on her wall, but that's because I'm too square to know anything about grunge.
However, the mishmash of her own art combined with stacks of records and CDs definitely seems like something straight out of My So-Called Life. Nicky's room feels '90s, because you know who she is the minute you walk through the door. She's a punk rock-loving artist with a sensitive soul who is making lemonade out of the lemons that is '90s interior design.
For that reason, I'm declaring Nicky's room the most authentically '90s room in all of Mixtape. No shade to Bev and Ellen, but they should definitely ask Nicky for some pointers before they redecorate their bedrooms for the inevitable sequel.
Images: Jake Giles Netter/Netflix; Netflix