|Romy and Michele's |
High School Reunion
|Directed by||David Mirkin|
|Screenplay by||Robin Schiff|
|Based on||Ladies Room|
by Robin Schiff
|Produced by||Laurence Mark|
|Edited by||David Finfer|
|Music by||Steve Bartek|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution|
|Box office||$29.2 million|
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is a 1997 American comedy film directed by David Mirkin and starring Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, and Janeane Garofalo. The plot revolves around two 28-year-old girls who appear to have not achieved much success in life, and decide to invent fake careers to impress former classmates at their ten-year high school reunion. The characters are taken from the stage play Ladies Room, which also featured Kudrow.
Two 28-year-old women, Romy White and Michele Weinberger, live together in an apartment in Venice, Los Angeles, California. Romy works as a cashier in the service department at a Jaguar dealership and Michele is unemployed. They are single, unambitious, and enjoy a casual lifestyle of slacking, mocking TV and movies, and elaborate amateur dressmaking. While working, Romy encounters her former classmate from high school, Heather Mooney, once a rebellious, troubled girl who frequently smoked cigarettes in school, who is now a businesswoman, having invented the paper of a special type of cigarette. Heather informs Romy about their upcoming ten-year high school reunion in Tucson, Arizona.
As high school students in 1987, Romy and Michele were continually bullied by the "A-Group", a small group of popular, yet mean, girls, led by cheerleader Christie Masters, who humiliated them repeatedly. Romy also had a crush on Christie’s boyfriend, athlete Billy Christianson. Heather was in love with a geek named Sandy Frink, but Sandy had a crush on Michele. Heather often blew off steam by bullying a girl called Toby Walters. Finally, at the prom, Romy asked Billy if he would dance with her. Though he agreed, when he spoke to Christie about it, she decided to take advantage of the situation. Christie tricked Romy and Michele into thinking Billy was in love with Romy, and had dumped Christie to be with her. Romy waited all night to dance with Billy, who had already left with Christie. Michele danced with her instead.
Romy realizes that their lack of achievements will not make a good impression at the reunion. Desperate to impress their former classmates, Romy and Michele make last-ditch attempts to improve themselves, hoping to avoid being bullied again.
Romy tries to find boyfriends for her and Michele by going to different gyms, to no avail. Michele applies for well-paid, difficult jobs but fails to get the two of them hired. In the end, they decide to fake success by showing up in an expensive car and business suits. Romy borrows a Jaguar XJ-S from a co-worker, and Michele makes their outfits. En route to the reunion, they decide to claim that they invented the Post-it Note, believing that no one will know better. They argue over the details of their lie, which escalates into an argument about their friendship. They decide to go their separate ways once they reach the reunion.
At the reunion, Michele hears Romy claiming that she invented Post-its by herself. Michele convinces the A-Group she invented a special kind of glue. Sandy Frink, the nerd who had a crush on Michele in high school, has become wealthy and attractive since high school, and hits on Michele after hitting her with his limo. Billy and Romy reunite and hit it off. Both Romy and Michele win awards as the "Most Changed For the Better Since High School" members of their graduating class, but still refuse to speak with each other. Seventy years later, an elderly Michele learns that Romy is on her deathbed, and calls her to make amends. However, they rehash the same argument and Romy dies without resolving their issues.
Michele wakes up alone in the Jaguar, realizing that she was dreaming. At the reunion, Romy starts to tell the Post-it story to the A-group, who are all pregnant. Christie Masters is now a mother of two children, (with a third on the way) and married to Billy, who she says works in retail. Heather arrives (hoping to seduce Sandy Frink) and Christie mentions Romy’s Post-it story, but Heather blows the lie by revealing the real inventor's name. Christie and her friends taunt Romy, and Michele ineptly defends her. Romy runs out, and Michele chases after her. They reconcile and decide to be themselves instead of trying to impress other people. They change into brightly colored homemade outfits and return to the reunion.
They confront Christie, who makes fun of their clothes. A-Group girl Lisa Luder, who lost touch with the A-group after high school and has changed for the better, is now a fashion editor, and announces that the outfits are actually "not bad". Christie verbally attacks Lisa, who coolly dismisses and mocks her. The other A-Group girls abandon Christie, while everyone else congratulates Romy and Michele. Heather apologizes to Romy and Michele for ruining their story, and admits she was miserable in high school because Sandy was in love with Michele, and didn’t even want to be friends with her. She also mentions that she had no idea Romy and Michele were so badly bullied by the A-group, thinking their lives were perfect. Romy and Michele comfort her by reminding her that she was always successful at making Toby Walters miserable. Just at that moment, Toby asks Heather if she will sign her yearbook as she never did in high school. After Toby admits Heather upset her when they were teenagers, Heather is amazed and happily agrees to sign Toby’s yearbook.
Sandy, who turns out to be an actual billionaire, arrives via helicopter. He confesses that he still loves Michele and asks her to dance with him. Michele agrees, as long as Romy can dance with them. After their interpretive dance to Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" they receive huge applause, Sandy escorts them to his helicopter. On their way out, they encounter Billy. Once a muscular and handsome athlete, he is now an overweight alcoholic, has a dead-end job working for Christie's father, and is unsure if he is the father of her latest pregnancy. He hits on Romy, who tells him to wait for her in his hotel room. As revenge for making her feel so insecure because of the Prom trick, she plans to do the exact same thing to him. She then leaves the reunion with Michele as the two women join Sandy in his helicopter. The reunion guests watch as the helicopter takes off.
Six months later, back in Los Angeles, Romy and Michele use money loaned to them by Sandy to open a successful fashion boutique with their homemade designs.
- Mira Sorvino as Romy White, a cashier in the service department of a Dealership. In high school, Romy was unpopular and bullied frequently. She has been best friends with Michele since high school.
- Lisa Kudrow as Michele Weinberger, a ditzy woman who is unemployed. In high school, Michele was unpopular and bullied frequently, and made fun of because of her Scoliosis brace.
- Janeane Garofalo as Heather Mooney, a businesswoman who invented the paper in a special type of Cigarette. In high school, Heather was troubled and insecure. She frequently skipped classes and hid behind the school building to smoke. She also had a crush on Sandy Frink.
- Alan Cumming as Sandy Frink, a wealthy, successful businessman who invented a special kind of rubber. In high school, he was an unpopular geek who had a crush on Michele, but she ignored him as much as she could.
- Julia Campbell as Christie Masters, a housewife who is married to Billy Christianson and has two children, and is pregnant with a third child. In high school, she was a popular cheerleader and leader of the A-group (the most popular clique in school) where she regularly bullied other students (most often Romy and Michele) and is a cruel and shallow person. Christie dreamed of becoming a TV Anchor woman, but didn’t succeed in her ambitions.
- Vincent Ventresca as Billy Christianson, an alcoholic who works an under-paid job for his father-in-law. He is married to Christie Masters though their marriage is strained and he is unsure if Christie’s latest pregnancy is because of him. In high school, he was a popular and handsome athlete who Romy had a crush on. Now, however, he is overweight and unhappy.
- Camryn Manheim as Toby Walters, a naive woman who organises the school reunion. In high school, she was friends with Sandy Frink and idolised Heather Mooney, though Heather hates her and often bullied her to blow off steam.
- Mia Cottet as Cheryl Quick, a member of the A-group who is pregnant.
- Elaine Hendrix as Lisa Luder, a Fashion editor. In high school, Lisa was a member of the A-group. Lisa joined in when the A-group were bullying their peers, though admired Romy and Michele’s bold sense in fashion. She later became a nice person.
- Kristin Bauer as Kelly Possenger, a member of the A-group who is pregnant.
- Jacob Vargas as Ramon, a co-worker of Romy’s. He is in love with Romy.
- Justin Theroux as Clarence the Cowboy, an outcast who frequently stalked Heather in high school. It turns out he had a crush on her.
- Tate Taylor as Casey Deegan
- Rick Pasqualone as Mark Black
The Romy and Michele characters first appeared in the 1988 stage play Ladies Room, which was written by Robin Schiff. Schiff was in the comedy troupe The Groundlings with Lisa Kudrow, who starred in the play as Michele opposite Christie Mellor as Romy. Schiff said her inspiration for the characters of Romy and Michele “were loosely based, just visually, on these girls I used to see going into a club on Sunset Blvd. You'd see these two friends, and they looked like they got dressed together and were wearing different versions of the same thing."
Ladies Room was then adapted into a sitcom pilot called Just Temporary, with Kudrow and Mellor reprising their roles, but the pilot was not picked up. Around this time, film executives at the Disney subsidiary Touchstone came across Schiff's play while "looking for a ‘female version of Wayne's World'." Schiff was initially reluctant to adapt the play into a film, thinking some scenes would not transfer well to a movie. After Schiff pondered about what it might be like if Romy and Michele were invited to their high school reunion ("…And it wasn't until they fill out the questionnaire when they realize their lives hadn't amounted to anything. That seemed funny to me.") Schiff began work on the script, which she would spend the next five years developing. Schiff based the characters' friendship partly on her relationship with her best friend. “One day we were stuck on a plane on a tarmac, and started reading the Sky Mall catalog and laughing our asses off. That was the kind of friend you want to hang out with—that even stuck on a plane on the tarmac you can still have fun."
Kudrow's rising stardom from the show Friends played a part in the film successfully getting through the development stage. Toni Collette was a strong contender for the role of Romy and met with director David Mirkin. The studio offered the role to Mira Sorvino, who at that point was about to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film Mighty Aphrodite. Said Mirkin, “It was definitely a long shot, but I heard she wanted to meet so we had lunch, and I instantly knew that she could do it. Romy and Michele were conceived as one tall and one short, but I loved the idea of Lisa and Mira playing this idiot blonde power couple.”
Filming took place between April and June 1996 in Los Angeles. Exterior shots of Romy and Michele's fictional Sagebrush High School were filmed in Santa Clarita. $240,000 of the film's $20 million budget was spent on securing the licensing rights for the song “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. Mona May, who served as the costume designer for Clueless, provided the film's outfits.
The film opened at number two in the North American box office, making $7.4 million in its opening weekend, finishing behind Volcano. It grossed a total of $29 million in North America. In the United States, it was released the same month as Grosse Pointe Blank, another 1980s-themed high school reunion film that Disney was involved with.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 75% based on 63 reviews, with an average rating of 6.20/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion has an admittedly slight premise, but it's elevated by ample heart, an infectiously playful spirit, and the buoyant chemistry of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, declaring, "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, written by Robin Schiff (based on her play) and directed by David Mirkin, is one of the brightest and goofiest comedies in a while, a film that has a share of truth, but isn't afraid to cut loose with the weirdest choreography I have seen outside a 1960s revival.”
Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote the “candy-colored 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion’ [is] cheerful, giddy fun” and praised the two female leads, saying “Ms. Kudrow and Ms. Sorvino make a fine team, elevating bubble-headedness to new levels of comic ingenuity.” Jack Mathews of the Los Angeles Times said "beneath the endless silliness of the movie beats a real heart, and its theme of loyal friendship keeps propping it up every time the thin walls of the story seem about to collapse.” Mathews also praised "the dead-pan performances of Sorvino and Kudrow...Romy and Michelle are cartoon characters, but the actresses make them both real and enormously sympathetic."
The film won and was nominated for a number of awards throughout 1998.
|1998||MTV Movie Awards||MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence||Mira Sorvino
In 2005, Romy and Michele: In the Beginning, a prequel television film written and directed by Robin Schiff, premiered on ABC Family. Katherine Heigl played Romy and Alexandra Breckenridge starred as Michele.
A musical adaptation premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington in June 2017. The musical was directed by Kristin Hanggi, director of Broadway's Rock of Ages, while actors Cortney Wolfson and Stephanie Renee Wall portrayed Romy and Michele, respectively. Orange Is the New Black and Weeds composers Gwendolyn Sanford and Brandon Jay wrote the music and lyrics to songs including “Business Woman Special,” “10 Years,” “I Invented Post-Its,” and “Changing Lives One Outfit at a Time.”
|Romy and Michele's High school Reunion: |
"Original Soundtrack" /
"More Music from the Motion Picture"
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||April 15, 1997(album 1) |
August 19, 1997 (album 2)
November 18, 1997 (Double Features re-release)
|Genre||Alternative pop/rock, alternative indie rock, club/dance, contemporary pop/rock, dance-pop, new wave, punk, synth pop|
|Length||39:14 (album 1) |
47:08 (album 2)
86:22 (Double Features re-release)
|Allmusic (first album)|||
|Allmusic (second album)|||
|Discogs (first album)|||
|Discogs (second album)|||
Two soundtrack albums featuring music from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion were released in 1997 courtesy of Hollywood Records. The first album, titled "Original Soundtrack", was made available ten days before the official North American film release, while the second album, "More Music From the Motion Picture", was released four months later. Due to copyright issues, several songs which featured in the film, did not appear on either soundtrack album; songs omitted include the film's opening song "Just a Girl" by No Doubt, "Y.M.C.A." by Village People, "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer, "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper, "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)" by Sub Sub, featuring Melanie Williams, "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins, "Hello Trouble" by The Desert Rose Band, "Don't Get Me Wrong" by The Pretenders and "Have a Good Time" by Talawah Crew. Both albums were reissued as a 2-CD set as part of the Double Features series.
- Original Soundtrack
|1.||"Our Lips Are Sealed"||Terry Hall, Jane Wiedlin||The Go-Go's||2:45|
|2.||"Venus"||Robbie van Leeuwen||Bananarama||3:39|
|3.||"(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me"||Burt Bacharach, Hal David||Naked Eyes||3:41|
|4.||"Dance Hall Days"||Darren Costin, Nick Feldman, Jack Hues||Wang Chung||3:58|
|5.||"Turning Japanese"||David Fenton||The Vapors||3:44|
|6.||"Blood and Roses"||Pat DiNizio||The Smithereens||3:36|
|7.||"Karma Chameleon"||George O'Dowd, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Phil Pickett||Culture Club||4:12|
|8.||"I Want Candy"||Bert Berns, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer||Bow Wow Wow||2:46|
|9.||"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"||Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris Hughes||Tears for Fears||4:12|
|10.||"Heaven Is a Place on Earth"||Rick Nowels, Ellen Shipley||Belinda Carlisle||4:11|
|11.||"We Got the Beat"||Charlotte Caffey||The Go-Go's||2:30|
- More Music from the Motion Picture
|1.||"Everybody Have Fun Tonight"||Nick Feldman, Jack Hues, Peter Wolf||Wang Chung||4:44|
|2.||"Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)"||Moon Martin||Robert Palmer||3:11|
|3.||"Whip It"||Gerald Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh||Devo||2:38|
|4.||"Stayin' Alive"||Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Dale Longworth, Kevin O'Toole, Ricardo Lythe||N-Trance||4:02|
|5.||"She Blinded Me with Science"||Thomas Dolby, Jo Kerr||Thomas Dolby||5:08|
|6.||"Cruel Summer"||Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, Steve Jolley, Tony Swain, Keren Woodward||Bananarama||3:29|
|7.||"No One Is to Blame"||Howard Jones||Howard Jones||4:11|
|8.||"Steppin' Out"||Joe Jackson||Joe Jackson||4:19|
|9.||"You Keep Me Hangin' On"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||Kim Wilde||4:15|
|10.||"I Think We're Alone Now"||Ritchie Cordell||Tiffany Darwish||3:47|
|11.||"Be My Lover"||Melanie Thornton, Uli Brenner, Gerd Amir Saraf, Lane McCray||La Bouche||4:00|
|12.||"Together Forever"||Stock Aitken Waterman||Rick Astley||3:24|
- Pirnia, Garin (April 24, 2017). "The Woman Who Created Romy and Michele Never Thought They'd Be So Popular". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Vorona Cote, Rachel (September 27, 2017). ""Romy and Michele" Is Still a Powerful Ode to Female Friendships". Bitch Media. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
- Levine, Nick (April 25, 2017). "5 reasons why romy and michele's high school reunion is a low key feminist classic". i-D. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
- Friedman, Kim (September 1, 1989), Just Temporary (Comedy), Spelling Television, retrieved April 9, 2022
- Bell, Keaton (April 27, 2022). "The Blonde Leading the Blonde: An Oral History of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Vogue. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
- "Romy & Michele's High School Reunion - Miscellaneous Notes". TCM Database. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
- "Filming Locations of Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion (part 1)". www.seeing-stars.com. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
- Blake, Lindsay (May 5, 2022). "Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino Call Venice Suites Home in 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion'". DIRT. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
- "15 Fun Facts About Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Mental Floss. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Lodi, Marie (April 1, 2022). "14 Fashion Facts From 'Romy And Michele's High School Reunion'". Nylon. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Wieselman, Jarett (April 24, 2017). "9 Things You Didn't Know About The Making Of "Romy And Michele's High School Reunion"". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Jacobs, Matthew (April 27, 2017). "Your Favorite Comedy Involved A Lot Of Drama Behind The Scenes". HuffPost. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- "Disney's Reunions at 25: Grosse Pointe Blank and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Paste Magazine. April 22, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
- "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Romy" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
- Ebert, Roger (April 25, 1997). "Romy And Michele's High School Reunion movie review (1997) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Maslin, Janet (April 25, 1997). "Being Smart Isn't, Like, Everything". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
- Mathews, Jack (April 25, 1997). "'Romy and Michelle' Goes to Two Delightful Reunions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Alan Cumming. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
- "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Amazon.
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Blu-ray (15th Anniversary Edition), retrieved April 9, 2022
- Nolfi, Joey (February 27, 2022). "Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino bring Post-its for 'Romy and Michele' reunion at SAG Awards". EW.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Hetrick, Adam (June 20, 2017). "What Do Critics Think of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion The Musical?". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 23, 2017.
- "Romy and Michele Musical Eyes New York City Bow After Developmental Workshop". Playbill. March 10, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- "Original Soundtrack: Romy & Michele's High School Reunion". AllMusic. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "More Music from the Motion Picture: Romy & Michele's High School Reunion". AllMusic. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "Romy And Michele's High School Reunion (Original Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "Various – Romy And Michele's High School Reunion (More Music From The Motion Picture)". Discogs. Retrieved March 4, 2018.