Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Rating: 15

Length: 1Hr 32

Release: 25.4.1997

About: Ten years after their high school graduation, Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) haven’t exactly accomplished everything that they set out to do. Despite their strong friendship, their personal and professional lives are still lacking. When they hear of their upcoming high school reunion, they take it as an opportunity to show their classmates how much they’ve changed — first by trying to reform themselves, then by creating a lie that eventually spins out of control.

First Thoughts

This was an Easter cinema trip for me and my mum in 1997. I’d wanted to see Men in Black, but mum refused point blank. The Lisa Kudrow film with the pinks and glitter would be more up her street, right?! Well, she took me and I enjoyed it. I remember her saying she regretted it, but I wasn’t certain why until rewatching it years later.

The Good

  • It’s a cool, quirky and funny story that nearly everyone can relate to. It’s retro camp, styled beautifuly and the only thing that improves it, is going to an independent cinema and being handed a post-it by the boy behind.
  • The sound track is fabulous. It’s that retro vibe that’s in right now. Hadn’t spotted it the millions of times before, but Whip It is played at the prom.
  • Janeane Garoflo was the definition of angry sarcasm in the 90s and she steals any scene she’s in. Underused, as she is in many movies, but she’s certainly memorable and the film manages to give her a strong story arc that I prefer to the main two.
  • Alan Cumming is a sweet, low key Hugh Grant in this. He’s able to switch from geek to chic with ease, but the perfect part is that he’s a likeable love interest. Perhaps rather unknown at the time, to me he was part of the High Life cabin crew and has forever remained a joy to watch.
  • It’s as quotable as other 90s films, but the killer line comes after the quick outfit change. Who hasn’t wanted to bark Romy’s Line “and I don’t give a flying fuck what you think…” to their bully? It’s pure brilliance.

The Bad

  • I still find that the dream sequence throws off the narrative. While it’s weird enough for me to like it in itself, as part of this film it’s very out there.
  • The tone and it’s perceived target audience is totally off. It’s not the double entendre humour of Shrek; that ‘he’s making up for something’ that gets the parents chuckling but goes over a kid’s head, but a much more obvious humour that doesn’t altogether fit well with a film that could double with Clueless.

The Ugly

  • That dance. It’s unbelievably cringe. As with the dream sequence, there are times when I watch and love it and its certainly what makes this film a cult classic, but it would never help Romy and Michele’s cause.
  • Alan Cumming in the dream sequence is too ‘blow up doll’. It freaks me out and is as not, as Michele puts it, ‘dreamy’. I’d put it in with the same trope of the ‘ugly’ girl who just needs her glasses taken off to make her ‘hot’.

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