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Face Off (90s Edition): Winona Ryder vs. Drew Barrymore

05.07.2012by: Droz
Ya'll gave Italian beauty Monica Bellucci the prize in our last Face Off, overwhelming her competition, Salma Hayek, by a 3 to 1 vote. That is a tough call. Two really amazing women. It's a troubling process to select one over the other.

But on to new business - or should I say old business. Let's get in the way back machine again and take a journey in time to the days of flannel and angst. Back to a time when boy bands roamed the Earth and a newfangled thing called "the internet" was still just a toy for basement-dwelling geeks - kind of like now. This was the time when indie movies matched big budget epics for box office dollars and everyone was completely nostalgic for bygone eras - kind of like now.

This was also when two of Hollywood's hottest young stars were at the pinnacle of their careers and their mutual hotness. Today, we compare two of these hottest hotties of the 90s, Winona Ryder and Drew Barrymore, to find out which fly honey was the most wicked awesome, straight up bangin' betty of the decade. So no more frontin'. Let's hit it.


Unfortunately, Winona was not so quick to give up the goods back in her prime. Though many a lucky young Hollywood stud had access to her hidden gems, Winona unfortunately stayed pretty much covered throughout the decade. This was especially troubling for those of us who adored her, because from what we could glean from brief skin glimpses and surmise through the occasional tight piece of clothing, Winona was rocking a pretty sweet little body under all those clothes. Shame.

I give Drew the prize here, not only because she had one hot little frame, but also because there was a time in the mid 90s when she couldn't help but show it off to everyone. You might remember the infamous flash on David Letterman or her 1995 Playboy spread (NSFW). Freshly recovered from a prolonged, adolescent drug binge in the 90s, Drew wasn't interested in letting any silly notions of modesty or decorum slow her down. And we all loved her for it.


Being the sucker than I am for a big set of doe eyes, this was was a pretty easy choice for me. Winona was the gorgeous, pixie-like creature with the delicate features. She's always had to work extra hard to be pissy or hard-assed, as that sweet-face always wanted to betray her efforts there. She's also one of those adaptable beauties, who can go back and forth between blond and brunette with ease, looking just as good with either hair color. I have to give extra special kudos to such ladies, as I consider that kind of flexibility a sign of true beauty.

Being a child from the 80s, I remember far too well the tiny Drew from movies like ET or FIRESTARTER. Considering all the relevant characteristics of her face have gone mostly unchanged over these last 30 years, it's still possible to see the little girl in the face of the woman she's become. Maybe I'm weird, but I find it unsettling to be reminded of little kids when admiring hotties. I'm funny that way.


Both these ladies had their own specialties when it came to the kinds of roles they played. Winona's preference seemed to be more for the moodier, troubled characters with the secret lives and even more secret desire. Being very much like that sort of person back in the day, and understandably drawn toward characters like myself in the films I watched, Winona's square peg alter egos held a special kind of fascination and desire in my eyes. Thus my choice here.

Drew's characters seemed much more of the "shiny, happy" variety, if I might use some terminology from the time. Those parts always felt like an attempt to defy those folks who may have sought to use her troubled youth as a means of imbuing their troubled youth roles with a little more authenticity. Drew's bubbly personality was better suited to those upbeat roles, but they still weren't my thing. I guess I like 'em moody.

Body of Work

I'm not going to say that everything Winona did in the 90s was my thing, because there was plenty that didn't really interest me in the slightest. However, she did feature prominently in a number of movies I consider to be cherished from the decade in question, among them obvious choices like EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and DRACULA, but also lesser known films like LOOKING FOR RICHARD and WELCOME HOME, ROXY CARMICHAEL. She also spoke for a generation in movies like REALITY BITES, which pretty much defined what it meant to be a member of Generation X, at least as far as movie roles went. Not too shabby.

Not quite as much to enjoy, at least in my opinion, in Drew's 90s filmography collection. Couple of fond memories in the way of SCREAM and THE WEDDING SINGER, yet way more I wouldn't care to see again. Not that Drew was necessarily bad in them. I'm just not interested in the goofy romcom crap she made so much of in this time. She's never really been one for the harder-edged stuff. I guess once you've lived it for real, there isn't much of a desire to re-enact it for a paying audience.


Both these ladies had a huge impact on culture as a whole in the 90s. When coming down to which of the two was more significant overall, I've got to say Winona. She reflected a lot of the angst-ridden youth of the time in those big, brown eyes and heart-broken personality. While things did go a little haywire for her in proceeding decades, she was very much on the top of the heap when it comes to young actresses of the 90s.

Who you got?
Tags: Face-Off


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