SXSW 2024: Y2K

Anyone aware of what happened in 1999, particularly on New Year’s Eve, probably knows that the transition to 2000 was mostly uneventful. This movie presents the scenario where things go haywire when the New Year begins! Written and directed by Kyle Mooney, who co-wrote the script with Evan Winter, Y2K shows a very different experience from what was expected and what occurred. The movie delivers a highly entertaining time capsule, full of pop culture references from 1999, that will entertain and amuse people who lived through this minor scare in human history.

Eli (Jaeden Martell) and Danny (Julian Dennison) are best friends who hope to turn their lives around on New Year’s Eve 1999. Though both of these buds find themselves low on the totem pole of high school popularity, the two young men see the New Year festivities as the opportunity to change this. However, the threat of a Y2K disaster proves accurate, and when things go wrong, all high school cliques must put their differences aside to cooperate for mutual survival.

This entertaining comedy combines elements from Superbad, Can’t Hardly Wait, and This Is the End in a primarily hilarious comedy that celebrates the year 1999. The movie relies heavily on humor based on the trends of the time, but it still works well enough to charm anyone familiar with this era. Its mixture of characters, portrayed well by the cast, helps sell this premise and its craziness.

I enjoyed the performances by Jaeden Martell and Julian Dennison, who come across as typical nerdy teens hoping to break free from their stigma. Rachel Zegler is charming and likable as Eli’s love interest, Laura. The film also features great turns by Daniel Zolghadri, Mason Gooding, Eduardo Franco, filmmaker Kyle Mooney, and Lachlan Watson.

I was also particularly tickled by Fred Durst’s special cameo, in which he hilariously portrays himself. This film won’t appeal to everyone, given that younger generations won’t appreciate the humor regarding the pop culture of the time. However, this movie will surely be a blast for those like myself who lived through and “survived” Y2K.

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