Yesterday my wife and I watched Mallrats, which she had never seen before. She's not seen any of Kevin Smith's stuff apart from Jersey Girl, in fact. We watched Clerks a while back, and she didn't hate it. She liked the salsa shark.
Watching Mallrats I felt like the seams were more visible than I remembered. The dialogue was more stilted than in my mind, and while it's still a pretty funny movie, it wasn't quite up to the memories I had of it. I find myself wondering how Chasing Amy holds up, particularly since I know it's often criticized for taking a very stereotypical view of lesbianism. Views on sexuality in our society have shifted a hell of a lot in 20 years time, and I suspect a lot of what was edgy in 1997 will seem almost quaint.
It makes me wonder just what it is that makes one thing seem dated and old, while something else from the same era remains fresh, or at least relatable. Clueless is just as much a product of the 90s as Mallrats, but I feel like Clueless holds up much better. Is it because it had higher production values? A better script? Maybe that it's so over the top in its 90s style that the aesthetic becomes almost fantastical?
Asimov's stories are decades old now, and often based on now-discredited science, but I can still reread them and enjoy them just as much if not more so than the first time. Preacher and Transmetropolitan both came out around the same time, and I loved them both back then, but now while Transmetropolitan still fires my imagination, Preacher makes me cringe a bit. Maybe it's simply that I'm not the same person I was 20 years ago. I've grown since then and my point of view is no longer the same.