Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
|Romy and Michele's High School Reunion|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Mirkin|
|Produced by||Laurence Mark
|Screenplay by||Robin Schiff|
|Based on||Ladies Room
by Robin Schiff
|Music by||Steve Bartek
James Newton Howard
|Editing by||David Finfer|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is a 1997 comedy film starring Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo, Camryn Manheim, and Alan Cumming directed by David Mirkin. The plot revolves around two 28-year-old women who appear to have not achieved much success in life and decide to invent fake careers to impress former classmates at their 10 year high school reunion. The characters are taken from the stage play Ladies Room, which also featured Kudrow.
Romy White (Mira Sorvino) and Michele Weinberger (Lisa Kudrow) are two superficial 28-year-old friends living together in a beachfront apartment in Los Angeles, California. Romy works as a cashier in the service department of a Jaguar dealership; Michele's unemployed. They're both single and live a life of partying and fun. Romy encounters former high school classmate Heather Mooney (Janeane Garofalo) at the dealership, who informs them of their upcoming 10-year high school reunion back in their hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
Desperate to make good impressions, Romy and Michele make last-ditch attempts to get boyfriends, better jobs, lose weight, and hopefully avoid a second round of the torture they endured during their days at Sagebrush High, mostly at the hands of the "A-Group", led by cheerleader Christie Masters (Julia Campbell). The most humiliating incident happened at their high school senior prom, when Romy asked her crush Billy Christensen, Christie's jock boyfriend, to dance. He promised her he would but told her to wait a minute. Instead, Christie tells Romy that Billy was in love with her and they broke off as an act, then she rode off on Billy's motorbike with him, leaving Romy tearfully waiting all night.
Failing in their attempts to get jobs and boyfriends, Romy and Michele decide to pretend to be successful by showing up in an expensive car and business suits. They then think of what they believe is a highly impressive story; saying that they are very successful businesswomen who invented Post-it notes. However, during their drive, Romy plans their success story where Michele felt that her role is too small. Romy tells her that she's more like the designer type, and not the inventor, which Michele finds as an insult (since she isn't very smart). They then get into an argument about who's cuter, (by comparing themselves with Mary and Rhoda) and who would be clever enough to think of as a better story of inventing of Post-it notes in the reunion, and their friendship dissolves.
When they arrive at the reunion, Romy says that she invented Post-its all by herself, while Michele looks on in disdain. Michele then discovers that the A-Group girls that picked on her in high school have stayed in touch. Michele convinces the four girls that she invented a special kind of glue. Sandy Frink (Alan Cumming), the nerd who had a crush on Michele in high school, turns out to be incredibly wealthy and gorgeous (with the help of cosmetic surgery) and hits on Michele. Soon both Romy and Michele are winning awards as most successful members of their graduating class. Though still refusing to speak with each other, they went on their separate ways while looking at each other with longing.
Seventy years later, a severely ancient Michele learns that Romy is sick and near death and calls her up to make amends only to rehash the same argument they had in the car those many years ago. Romy dies and they never get a chance to resolve their issues—that is, until Michele wakes up in the car, parked outside the hotel where the reunion is being held, and realizes that it was all just a dream. At the reunion, Romy has begun to spread around her story about Post-its; Michele, on the other hand, only talks about her recent falling-out with Romy. Heather Mooney arrives and unknowingly reveals that Romy didn't invent Post-Its, causing the A-Group girls to turn against her, while Michele attempts to defend Romy.
Later, in the stage, Christie further humiliates the two in front of the entire room. Because of that, Romy runs away from the crowd with Michele, who then convinces her that she genuinely thought that their entire high school and adult life was a blast, up until Romy said that it is not. Michele also says that they should just have fun like they intended to and not care what everybody else thinks. They change out of their businesswomens clothes and into sexy, handmade club outfits, and return. They confront Christie for all of the bullying they had to endure in the past and at the reunion, where Romy gives a strong speech about only making up a story in order to be treated as a human being, but not caring anymore because Christie's just "a bad person with an ugly heart." Just as Christie attempts to make fun of their clothes (which Romy and Michele designed and sewed), former classmate Lisa Luder (Elaine Hendrix), an ex-member of the A-Group who has since changed her ways and became an associate fashion editor for Vogue, announces her professional opinion that the outfits are actually very well-done. Christie then retaliates by saying 'they' still think that the outfits are bad, but Lisa tells her to let her sidekicks think for themselves even just for once. Christie then tells her that she's just a bitter, dried-up career woman while she's happily married, to which Lisa answers, "That's right Christie, keep telling yourself that." Christie's left in the dust and everyone congratulates Romy and Michele. Heather apologizes to Romy and Michele for unintentionally revealing their story and tells them that while the A-Group made their lives miserable, the two of them managed to made hers bad as well, for she was in love with Sandy. Romy and Michele then make her feel better that she too had the luxury of making a person's life miserable, pertaining to a classmate that Heather was sarcastic to back in high school.
Then, in a fairly coincidental parallel of Michele's dream, Sandy arrives in a helicopter and turns out to actually be a billionaire who made his fortune from a special rubber he invented. When he comes in to the hotel, Christie immediately tries to approach him. However, he politely ignores her advances and goes over to talk to Romy and Michele. Michele remarks to Sandy that he must be the most successful person in their class; Sandy responds that despite all the wealth and success he has, the one thing he doesn't have is her, and asks her and Romy to dance with him.
After an interpretive dance to Cyndi Lauper's hit "Time After Time" that receives huge applause from the rest of the class, he escorts them to his helicopter and the three prepare to fly away together. Heather walks out during the dance, finding it schmaltzy, and is apparently not interested with the new Sandy. On the grounds outside, she is offered a light by a mysterious classmate who always dresses in a cowboy style. Heather remembers him from her high school years, where he would offer her a light by flicking his lit cigarette butts at her. This time, Heather demands that he man up and talk to her instead of giving her the silent treatment.
Once the dance is over, Romy and Michelle exit the building to leave with Sandy. On their way out, they encounter Billy Christensen, who's now Christie's husband. Far from being the handsome jock he once was, he's now become an overweight alcoholic, is living a very poor, miserable life with Christie, and is doubtful the baby Christie's carrying is actually his. When he tries to proposition Romy for sex, she tells him to go to his hotel room and wait for her with his clothes off. He excitedly shuffles off, and Romy revels in her revenge for when he made her wait for him at the prom. Everyone at the reunion comes out to wave goodbye as they take off, except for Christie. As she calls out for Billy, Christie has her dress blown up by the chopper, which further humiliates her, much to Romy and Michele's amusement.
Six months later back in L.A., Romy and Michele use money loaned to them by Sandy to open their own clothing store. Heather Mooney has stayed in touch and has become friends with the girls, shopping in their boutique.
- Mira Sorvino as Romy White
- Lisa Kudrow as Michele Weinberger
- Janeane Garofalo as Heather Mooney
- Camryn Manheim as Toby Walters
- Alan Cumming as Sandy Frink
- Julia Campbell as Christie Masters
- Mia Cottet as Cheryl
- Kristin Bauer as Kelly
- Elaine Hendrix as Lisa Luder
- Vincent Ventresca as Billy Christensen
- Justin Theroux as Clarence the Cowboy
- Jacob Vargas as Ramon
- Mark Pasqualone as Mark
- Tate Taylor as Casey
The film is rated R by the MPAA for the scene when Romy goes on a tirade towards some of her classmates after the lie her and Michele had made about inventing the Post-it note is uncovered and subsequently says the word "fuck" and variations thereof. This is not unlike the earlier movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where Steve Martin goes on a similar tirade against a car rental agent (Edie McClurg) and says the word "fucking" 18 times in a minute. It ends with the agent stating "Oh, boy... you're fucked." Despite that, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion airs regularly on ABC Family with Romy's tirade being the only scene edited from the movie. Likewise, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is also aired on cable television on a regular basis with only Martin's tirade being edited out.
An even earlier incarnation of the Romy and Michele characters appeared in a sitcom pilot entitled Just Temporary. Based on the stage play Ladies Room, this pilot was written by its author Robin Schiff. Both Lisa Kudrow and Christie Mellor reprised their roles from the play for this pilot. Although the show wasn't picked up for the fall schedule, NBC did air the pilot on September 1, 1999.
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