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Mar 21, 2011

Introducing...the Ladies of the 90s Tournament

Just under a year ago, I brought you the Ladies of the 80s Tournament. 32 sexy stars from the Reagan Era, paired off in a bracket-style tourney with one sole survivor: Elisabeth Shue.

Well, it's time to move along, away from spandex and valley girls and into the land of grunge and extreme sports. Isn't it fun to distill entire decades down to a mere two artifacts?!? I sure think so.. (I wonder what the 00s will be narrowed down to...9/11 and Apple products, maybe? American Idol? Anyway...)

Not too much explanation is necessary. I've put together a list of 32 contenders, seeded them each 1-8 and built a tournament bracket. Every weekday (or so), I'll post a new matchup, complete with an in-post poll. Your job is to fawn over the idea and/or the women and then vote on who you think represents the 90s best. If there's one guideline I have, it's this: try to judge the contenders based on their "stats" circa 10-20 years ago and not on their current stage in life.

Additionally, the criteria for who should win is hard to put a finger on, but I think it's roughly equal parts looks and cultural relevance (I've tried to seed it as such as well). Cindy Crawford might have been the face of the early 90s, but her one role in Fair Game doesn't count for shit in the world of the movies. Likewise, Linda Hamilton might be a wonderful person, and an icon of the 90s thanks to T2, but outside of those guns she sported, I don't know many that would ever confuse her with a model.

Below are all of the seeds (click here for the full bracket). Proceed bitching about who made it, who didn't, and/or where those that made it were seeded. The first matchup ought to be up tomorrow.

Finally, many thanks to my friend Alex (aka commenter Nic Cage) for his input on the ladies/seeds and his photo research skills.

1Julia Roberts
1Sandra Bullock
1Sharon Stone
1Heather Graham
2Winona Ryder
2Denise Richards
2Salma Hayek
2Halle Berry
3Cameron Diaz
3Uma Thurman
3Alicia Silverstone
3Charlize Theron
4Gwyneth Paltrow
4Milla Jovavich
4Demi Moore
4Nicole Kidman
5Bridget Fonda
5Jennifer Connelly
5Jennifer Love-Hewitt
5Angelina Jolie
6Natasha Henstridge
6Neve Campbell
6Elizabeth Hurley
6Jennifer Lopez
7Sarah Michelle Gellar
7Famke Janssen
7Ashley Judd
7Shannon Elizabeth
8Liv Tyler
8Patricia Arquette
8Linda Fiorentino
8Courtney Cox

And yes, Demi Moore and Jennifer Connelly are the only two holdovers from the 80s tourney. As for Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer (two that I mistakenly omitted from the prior tourney)...well, they were left on the cutting room floor this time. Sorry, ladies.

16 people have chosen wisely: on "Introducing...the Ladies of the 90s Tournament"

Nick said...

Whoo! I know all of them this time (unlike the 80s bracket). Can't wait for this.

Dan said...

Some that are reasonably considered missing...

Jamie Lee Curtis
Cameron Diaz
Minnie Driver
Jodie Foster
Helen Hunt
Rene Russo
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Kate Winslet

Kaiderman said...

I'd put Sarah Michelle Gellar higher than a 7. I know I've been watching Buffy and all but everyone always calls it one of the best TV characters ever so that should bump her cred. Rest looks good though.

Fletch said...

@ Nick - Great to hear! :D

@ Dan - To be honest, I really tried to avoid any repeats from the 80s bracket, but Moore and Connelly were probably equally famous in both decades (just as some of the ladies here might have been more famous in the 00s, but oh well, will deal with that problem in 10 years).

Diaz is on there - as a 3 seed.

Driver, Russo, and Winslet were all considered but missed the cut for whatever reason. Hunt and Foster were never considered. Tripplehorn would have been another (had I thought of her) that would have likely just missed. To be honest, there's probably a bias towards the late 90s (that affected her), but I did my best not to do so.

Kai - But you said it - Buffy is TV, and we're talking movies here. And in that regard, she didn't have all that much (to go with the fact that I think she's kind of a butterface, which you already know).

Nic Cage said...

I tried to get Minnie Driver and Madeline Stowe on this one too, but they were booted at the end. I'm hoping that Bridget Fonda tears this one up!

Jess said...

Well done. I think the other factor that might determine the winner is current relevance as much as past icon status. We'll see! PS - WHERE ARE THE GUYS?

Fletch said...

@ Nic - Who would you have booted to get those two on? We'll see about Fonda - I always liked her, but I don't think she's thought of favorably enough in either regard by most folks...we'll see.

Jess - I'm sure; sadly, we can't make people forget about the present day.

And LOL - Mrs. Fletch is already thinking of guys for it. You should help her...otherwise, it'll be my input in there. :D

Anonymous said...

Let me know when you get to Ladies of the '30s.

Alex said...

Awesome! I don't know why but I think this whole thing is totally fun. I'm pulling for Winona Ryder all the way. Not only is she adorable and funny, but she's definitely my perfect 90's girl next to Janeane Garofalo and Daria Morgendorfer.

Mayday said...

I was surprised that Courtney Cox made it and Jennifer Aniston didn't, but apparently Ace Ventura and a couple Scream movies had a bigger impact on you than The Leprechaun, Office Space, and a bunch of chick flicks. Or, you just think Monica is hotter than Rachel.

Other notable exclusions besides the aforementioned Basinger and Pfieffer include:

Drew Barrymore
Diane Lane
Meg Ryan
Bridgette Wilson
Catherine Zeta-Jones

I also have to call you and Alex out for your straight-up racism! Besides the obvious (Berry, Lopez, and Hayek), this list is so white it hurts my eyes! OK, so maybe it's Hollywood that's racist, since I can't come up with any examples right now. Stacey Dash and Nia Long come to mind, but neither were in more than a couple movies I've seen. Penelope Cruz and Lucy Liu should make some noise in the 00's tournament. Wow... it'll be interesting to see if that ratio ever levels out.

Castor said...

Looking forward to vote on this!

Mayday said...

Damn I just thought of some more:

Reese Witherspoon
Renee Zellweger
Marisa Tomei
Alyssa Milano
Christina Applegate

OK, those last 2 don't have much of a film resume in the 90's, but their cultural relevance is huge with me. I've had a crush on both since I was a pre-teen.

Courtney Small said...

Neve Campbell?? Although I should support my fellow Canadian, I just never saw the appeal in her. Glad to see Linda Fiorentino make the list though.

Other ones who I would have included:

Elizabeth Berkley
Marisa Tomei
Gillian Anderson

Regardless, these brackets are going to be tough ones for sure.

Fletch said...

@ James - Ha! Maybe you could run that one in tandem on your site. Something tells me it will be wildly popular...

@ Alex - that's because it is a bunch of fun! No, I know what you mean. It's totally silly and unimportant, but makes for some good debates and such. And I think I'm pulling for Ms. Ryder, too. Where's her RDJ-like comeback? And no, THE DILEMMA doesn't count.

@ Mayday - You pretty much hit the nail on the head. I think Cox made much more of an impact on the 90s, movie-wise, and hell, she was actually a known quantity before Friends while Aniston wasn't really (the Ferris Bueller TV show doesn't count). But looks-wise, I'd take Aniston every day.

Barrymore and Lane were considered. I nixed Meg Ryan early as I thought she was more known for the 80s, even though she might've been the most famous in the early 90s. Zeta-Jones was considered, and Bridgette Wilson is a good one that wasn't considered...

And yeah, it's Hollywood. I tried to de-white the list, but Angela Bassett sure as shit wasn't gonna make it. Robin Givens was never famous enough. Whitney Houston? No way. Penny Cruz was strongly considered, but was in hardly any English-language flicks in the 90s, and I didn't think her other work was widely known enough.

Reese was too young (a la Portman). Zellwegger - haha, fuck that fugly, squinched-up bitch. As for Milano and Applegate, yeah, you nailed the reasoning.

CS - To be honest, I was never really a fan of Neve Campbell, either, and her inclusion here is certainly debatable, but I figured that enough people (somewhere...) must like her, and the Scream franchise is pretty emblematic of the 90s as a whole.

Showgirls alone can not help Liz Berkley. Tomei was highly considered. Gillian Anderson - was she even in any movies in the 90s?

Mayday said...

Damn I didn't know you had such a powerful hatred for Zellweger! Sure, she's a bit of a butterface, but Jerry Maguire and a very memorable role in Empire Records gives her more "cultural relevance" than most of the 6 through 8 seeds. It doesn't seem like you quite stuck to the even split between looks and relevance. It's more like 75-25 in favor of looks. Thus the inclusion of Shannon Elizabeth (for literally one scene/2 boobs), Milla Jovovich (pre-Resident Evil), Famke Janssen (nobody else like Rounders as much as we did), and the legendary "chick from Species." Not that I'm complaining.

BTW, Reese was 20 when Fear and Freeway were released. That's plenty old enough :) Throw in Pleasantville and Election later in the decade and she's a shoe-in. I'm not taking the time to check, but I bet you have someone younger than her in the tournament (Elizabeth, maybe?). As for Ryan, I felt the same way about her being more 80's, but it looks like all of her big roles were in the 90's except for WHMS, which was '89. Top Gun doesn't count. I guess you're just not a fan of these "wholesome" types. I'm sure they wouldn't have won anyway, so whatever.

Fletch said...

@ Mayday - yup, the Zellwegger blows.

Perhaps I didn't quite stick to a 50/50 split; I felt the need to get in some of those one-hit wonders like we had in the 80s tourney. If it was at the expense of some of the lesser leading ladies of the 90s, so be it (which also means Bridgette Wilson should have made it all the more).

Reese is a solid miss. She probably shoulda been in here somewhere. Oh well, such is life.

As for Ryan...well, maybe so, but I somehow don't feel too bad about that one, either.