The 90s: Diary of a Mess

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The title admittedly intrigued me, too; I was not yet versed in the kind of dry British humo u r that it nodded to, the mixed sardonic tones that could poke fun at matrimony and death. But let's be honest: The thing that really appealed me at the time was Hugh Grant and his haircut.


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Four Weddings and a Funeral was not Grant's first movie role, but it was indisputably the movie that made him an international star—and the movie that essentially established the on-screen persona he maintained throughout the '90s, the awkward and harmless romantic leading man. In Four Weddings and many of the movies that followed, Grant played a sort of '90s update to the British fop—the kind of man who would walk into a room and stumble or fall over, but ultimately he would make at least one person in that room fall in love with him thanks to his sincerity and charm.

I've always held a theory that his haircut was part of the appeal—or, at least, it appealed to me.

Elvis's pompadour might have encouraged young men to stock up on pomade, and Luke Perry's sideburns likely influenced teenage boys to grow out their own wispy versions of facial hair. But for me, in , I was ready to ditch the side part my mother forced on my head and let my hair flop on either side of my head just like Hugh Grant's.

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I wanted that voluminous hair so badly, and I was convinced it was attainable. Alas, my hair has always been too thick and coarse to be that soft and floppy. The best I could do was a late '90s butt-cut, seen at right. That full-bodied mess of hair seemed to offer a softer form of masculinity in the '90s, when most men with muscles wouldn't be caught in a drug store aisle lined with neon bottles of styling gel.

And the freewheeling disorder of Grant's hair, particularly in Four Weddings , suggested a boyish sensibility. No matter that Grant's character in the film—the hopeless romantic Charles, who falls for a beautiful American woman he keeps meeting at various social engagements over the course of several months—is actually kind of a pig; the dorky hair overwhelmed his worst qualities as a serial monogamist with a trail of broken hearts behind him.

Thompson figuring out the mess

By the time I saw Four Weddings a few years after it came out in theaters my parents had given up their restrictions on R-rated movies by the time I was able to drive myself to the video store and rent movies , I likely didn't recognize that Charles isn't exactly a romantic hero simply because Grant himself was so endearing and attractive.

And while Grant's roles in subsequent films maintained a certain goofiness and social ineptitude, that character had fallen out of fashion by the turn of the century. So whatever happened to the teens? But the zeroes never gelled into a decade, and — so far — neither have the teens.

You could probably spout a few off-the-dome cliches about the s the Gay Nineties, twirly mustaches, robber barons or even the s Oscar Wilde, gunfights at the O. But not the s or s.

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The Netflix sitcom Everything Sucks masterfully used indie rock like the Softies to evoke a Oregon high school; it got instantly cancelled, a tres Nineties fate. Bring on the Roaring Twenties. Jacob Bixenman.

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