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
|Edited 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 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 is unemployed. They are both single and unambitious. Romy encounters former high school classmate, Heather Mooney (Janeane Garofalo), who informs Romy about their upcoming 10-year high school reunion back in Tucson, Arizona.
At first excited at the prospect of attending, Romy then has the realization that they will not be able to make a good impression at the reunion. Desperate to impress their former classmates, Romy and Michele make last-ditch attempts to improve themselves to avoid the bullying they endured, mostly at the hands of the "A-Group", led by cheerleader Christie Masters (Julia Campbell).
In a series of flashbacks, Romy and Michele's suffering is revealed; Christie attached magnets to Michele's back brace and once took a bite out of the burger Romy was eating. Christie humiliated them once again at the prom. Christie tells Romy that her handsome jock boyfriend, Billy Christensen, was in love with Romy all along and has now broken up with Christie to be with her. Christie tells Romy to wait for a dance with Billy. Christie and Billy then ride away together, leaving a tearful Romy behind.
Failing in their attempts to get jobs and boyfriends, Romy and Michele decide to simply pretend they have been much more successful by showing up in an expensive car and business suits. Romy attains the car from the Jaguar dealership and Michele makes their clothes.
On the way to the reunion, they decide to claim that they invented Post-it notes. Romy wants to claim it was her idea to invent Post-Its, which Michele takes an insult to her intelligence. This leads to an argument about who's cuter. The argument results in their decision to go their separate ways once they reach their destination.
When they arrive, Michele hears Romy saying that she invented Post-its all by herself. Michele convinces the A-Group girls that she invented a special kind of glue, explaining the glue's formula. Sandy Frink (Alan Cumming), the nerd who had a crush on Michele in high school, turns out to be incredibly wealthy and gorgeous and hits on Michele, while Billy and Romy hit it off. Both Romy and Michele win awards as the most successful members of their graduating class. Though still refusing to speak with each other, they look back at each other with longing.
Seventy years later, an elderly Michele learns that Romy is on her deathbed so calls her to make amends. However, they rehash the same argument. Romy dies and they never get a chance to resolve their issues.
Michele wakes up alone in the car in the present day, disturbed by the previous dream sequence. At the reunion, Romy has begun to spread her story. Heather Mooney reveals the name of the person who did invent Post-Its. The A-Group girls turn against Romy. Michele ineptly defends her. Christie further humiliates the two in front of everyone by revealing Romy's lie. Romy runs out with Michele chasing after her.
Michele then tells Romy that she genuinely thought that their lives were "a blast" before Romy said that it was not good enough. Michele also says that they should not care what everybody else thinks. They change into outfits they have designed and made themselves and return to the reunion.
They confront Christie about her bullying. Romy says she no longer cares about Christie because Christie is just "a bad person with an ugly heart". Christie makes fun of their clothes; former classmate Lisa Luder (Elaine Hendrix), an ex-member of the A-Group who has since become a fashion editor for Vogue, announces that the outfits are actually very well made.
Christie insults Lisa, who coolly dismisses her. After the confrontation with Lisa, Christie is left alone while they make their way to congratulate Romy and Michele. Heather apologizes to Romy and Michele and tells them that the two of them had actually made her unhappy in high school, for she had been in love with Sandy. Romy and Michele then make her feel better by saying that she too had the luxury of making someone miserable, referencing former classmate and head of reunion committee Toby Walters (Camryn Manheim) that Heather was always mean to in high school.
Then Sandy arrives in a helicopter and turns out to be a billionaire who made his fortune from a special rubber he invented. He goes over to talk to Romy and Michele. Michele tells 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 to dance with him. Michele agrees, so long as Romy can dance with them too.
Heather walks out, not interested in the new Sandy. While smoking, encounters a mysterious classmate dressed as a cowboy (Justin Theroux). Heather remembers that he would offer her a light by silently flicking lit cigarette butts at her. This time, Heather demands that he talk to her. The cowboy lights her cigarette with matches and apologizes for his previous behavior, stating that he had suffered from a speech impediment in high school.
Romy and Michelle leave with Sandy. On their way out, they encounter Billy Christensen, who is now Christie's husband. He's an overweight alcoholic, living a miserable life with Christie. When he propositions Romy, she tells him to go to his hotel room and wait for her. He excitedly shuffles off, and Romy laughs, reveling in her revenge. They board the helicopter and see Heather making out with the cowboy.
Six months later, back in L.A., Romy and Michele use money loaned to them by Sandy to open their own boutique. Heather Mooney has stayed in touch and has become friends with the girls, shopping in their store.
- 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 she and Michele had made about inventing the Post-it note is uncovered and subsequently says the word "fuck" and variations thereof. 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.
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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