In an article at EW.com Owen Gleiberman re-watches Metropolitan, to which he gave only a C+ twenty years ago. This time around he’s more positive:
What originally tripped me up, I think, is that I took the slightly affected arch breeziness of this infant-society prepster set as affected filmmaking. And it’s not. Stillman, in fact, views the privileged faction all too clearly. He sees their innocence and their decadence (the sex is there, all right), the way that they’re spoiled yet haunted, the way that they use their outdated posh manners to signify to one another that they still belong in that club. Metropolitan gathers a prickly kind of emotional steam; it’s fun to watch because there’s so much going on beneath the manners. And because Stillman’s writing — why fight it? — is just so incredibly droll. I’m actually surprised, in hindsight, that several of the actors besides Christopher Eigeman didn’t go on to greater fame. I particularly liked Edward Clements as the carrot-topped, not-so-innocent newbie Tom, and the quizzical Taylor Nichols, who seemed a step ahead of geek chic. You’d think that Metropolitan might look even more relevant now than it did at the time, given that Gossip Girl culture is at its lavish, moneyed, backbiting height. But Stillman’s characters remain, more than ever, their own highly specific creations. Even though plenty of rich kids have come and gone since, they’re the last of a breed. I’m glad I finally got to know them.