Cyberlizard goes to the movies

Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion (1997)

Starring Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofolo, Alan Cummings

Romy White (Sorvino) and Michelle Weinberger (Kudrow) are two old school friends from Tucson Arizona, now in their twenties and living in LA. Romy is a cashier, Michelle unemployed, and both are struggling in their search for slimness and men in their lives. A chance meeting with caustic but successful Heather Mooney (Garofolo) from their old school drives them to attend their ten year high school reunion, trying to pass themselves off as successful businesswomen.

The film

This is one of those films that will appear to people of a certain age, mainly anybody who ever remembers being unpopular, geeky or picked on in secondary school (probably the vast majority of the population, if truth be told). In that it has much in common with such films such as Never Been Kissed, where the apparently unsuccessful go back in time as it were to conquer past adversity. Both girls are essentially blonde airheads, neither in with the "A Class" (the ambitious and beautiful) nor the alternative types such as Heather Mooney. Both have either unsuccessful crushes or attract apparently unattractive boys at school.

This is not a bad film, and quite a pleasant if undemanding way to spend an evening. Both Kudrow and Sorvino are accomplished actresses, although Kudrow does seem to have made a career out of playing slightly ditzy blondes. At the same time one feels it could have been so much better. A lot of the film is spent not at the reunion but either in LA or on the road, so that when they do arrive at the reunion the viewer is conscious of the clock, giving the last third of the film a bit of a rushed feeling. And occasionally, as with Beavis and Butthead, the stupidity of the protagonists does grate somewhat. Most of the humour is of the wry sort that makes one sympathise with the hapless duo rather than laugh out loud. Nevertheless it is a fairly happy if somewhat predictable ending, and there are some lightweight lessons about the meaning of success and happiness in this life that are appropriate to the lighthearted nature of a film like this. With occasional strong language and a few scattered sex references, it's probably not one for family viewing.

There is a fansite dedicated to the film, and a prequel (apparently badly received) was made in 2005 using different actresses.

Back to Films | Back to Culture | Back to Home Page