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Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Romy and Michele's
High School Reunion
Romy and michele s high school reunion.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Mirkin
Screenplay byRobin Schiff
Based onLadies Room
by Robin Schiff
Produced byLaurence Mark
Starring
CinematographyReynaldo Villalobos
Edited byDavid Finfer
Music bySteve Bartek
Production
company
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • April 25, 1997 (1997-04-25)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20 million[1]
Box office$29.2 million[2]

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.

The film received positive reviews from critics and is considered a cult classic.[3][4]

Plot

Romy White and Michele Weinberger (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow) live together 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. While working, Romy encounters former high school classmate, Heather Mooney (Janeane Garofalo), who informs Romy about their upcoming ten-year high school reunion in Tucson, Arizona.

As high school students in 1987, they were picked on by the "A-Group", led by cheerleader Christie Masters (Julia Campbell), who humiliates them repeatedly. Finally, at the prom, Christie tricks Romy into believing that her boyfriend Billy Christianson (Vincent Ventresca) was in love with Romy, and had dumped Christie to be with Romy. Romy waits all night to dance with Billy, who had already left with Christie. Michele dances 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.

Having failed to secure better jobs and boyfriends, Romy and Michele 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 (Alan Cumming), 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 car, realizing that she was dreaming. At the reunion, Romy starts to tell the 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. Former A-Group girl Lisa Luder (Elaine Hendrix), now a fashion editor, announces that the outfits are actually "not bad". Christie verbally attacks Lisa, who coolly dismisses her. The other A-Group girls abandon Christie, while everyone else congratulates Romy and Michele. Heather apologizes to Romy and Michele and admits she was miserable in high school because she was in love with Sandy, who was in love with Michele. Romy and Michele comfort her by reminding her that she was always successful at making classmate Toby Walters (Camryn Manheim) miserable.

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" receives huge applause, Sandy escorts them to his helicopter. On their way out, they encounter Billy. Once a fit and handsome athlete, he is now an overweight alcoholic who is married to Christie, 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. 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.

Cast

Production

Development

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.[1] 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."[1]

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.[1][5] 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'."[1] 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 spent the next five years developing.[1] 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."[1]

Casting

Kudrow's rising stardom from the show Friends played a part in the film successfully getting through the development stage.[1] Toni Collette was a strong contender for the role of Romy and met with director David Mirkin.[6] 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.[6] 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.”[6]

Filming

Filming took place between April and June of 1996 in Los Angeles.[7] Exterior shots of Romy and Michele's fictional Sagebrush High School were filmed in Santa Clarita.[8] Much of the film’s $20 million budget was spent on securing the licensing rights for the song “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper.[1] Mona May, who served as the costume designer for Clueless, provided the film's outfits.[9]

Touchstone initially found David Mirkin's final cut of the film to be too quirky and wanted to sweeten the tone, but Mirkin insisted on keeping the edgier tone.[10][11]

Release

Box office

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.[2] 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.[12]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 73% based on 60 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."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[15]

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.”[16]

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.”[17] 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.”[18] 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."[18]

Accolades

The film won and was nominated for a number of awards throughout 1998.

Year Ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
1998 MTV Movie Awards MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence Mira Sorvino
Lisa Kudrow
Alan Cumming
Nominated [19]

Home media

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion was released on DVD on August 24, 1999.[20] It was also reissued as a special edition Blu-ray for the film’s 15th anniversary in 2012.[21]

Legacy

Though a modest success at the box office, the film steadily gained a cult following on home video since its release.[4][11][22]

In 2005, Romy and Michele: In the Beginning, a prequel television film written and directed by Robin Schiff, premiered on ABC Family.[1] Katherine Heigl played Romy and Alexandra Breckenridge starred as Michele.

A musical adaptation premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington in June of 2017.[23] 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.”[1][24]

Soundtrack

Romy and Michele's High school Reunion:
"Original Soundtrack" /
"More Music from the Motion Picture"
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedApril 15, 1997 (1997-04-15) (album 1)
August 19, 1997 (1997-08-19) (album 2)
November 18, 1997 (1997-11-18) (Double Features re-release)
GenreAlternative pop/rock, alternative indie rock, club/dance, contemporary pop/rock, dance-pop, new wave, punk, synth pop
Length39:14 (album 1)
47:08 (album 2)
86:22 (Double Features re-release)
LabelHollywood Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic (first album)[25]
Allmusic (second album)[26]
Discogs (first album)[27]
Discogs (second album)[28]

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
No.TitleWriter(s)Performer(s)Length
1."Our Lips Are Sealed"Terry Hall, Jane WiedlinThe Go-Go's2:45
2."Venus"Robbie van LeeuwenBananarama3:39
3."(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me"Burt Bacharach, Hal DavidNaked Eyes3:41
4."Dance Hall Days"Darren Costin, Nick Feldman, Jack HuesWang Chung3:58
5."Turning Japanese"David FentonThe Vapors3:44
6."Blood and Roses"Pat DiNizioThe Smithereens3:36
7."Karma Chameleon"George O'Dowd, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Phil PickettCulture Club4:12
8."I Want Candy"Bert Berns, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard GottehrerBow Wow Wow2:46
9."Everybody Wants to Rule the World"Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris HughesTears for Fears4:12
10."Heaven Is a Place on Earth"Rick Nowels, Ellen ShipleyBelinda Carlisle4:11
11."We Got the Beat"Charlotte CaffeyThe Go-Go's2:30
More Music from the Motion Picture
No.TitleWriter(s)Performer(s)Length
1."Everybody Have Fun Tonight"Nick Feldman, Jack Hues, Peter WolfWang Chung4:44
2."Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)"Moon MartinRobert Palmer3:11
3."Whip It"Gerald Casale, Mark MothersbaughDevo2:38
4."Stayin' Alive"Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Dale Longworth, Kevin O'Toole, Ricardo LytheN-Trance4:02
5."She Blinded Me with Science"Thomas Dolby, Jo KerrThomas Dolby5:08
6."Cruel Summer"Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, Steve Jolley, Tony Swain, Keren WoodwardBananarama3:29
7."No One Is to Blame"Howard JonesHoward Jones4:11
8."Steppin' Out"Joe JacksonJoe Jackson4:19
9."You Keep Me Hangin' On"Holland-Dozier-HollandKim Wilde4:15
10."I Think We're Alone Now"Ritchie CordellTiffany Darwish3:47
11."Be My Lover"Melanie Thornton, Uli Brenner, Gerd Amir Saraf, Lane McCrayLa Bouche4:00
12."Together Forever"Stock Aitken WatermanRick Astley3:24
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion – Double Features reissue
No.TitleWriter(s)Performer(s)Length
1."Our Lips Are Sealed"Terry Hall, Jane WiedlinThe Go-Go's2:45
2."Venus"Robbie van LeeuwenBananarama3:39
3."(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me"Burt Bacharach, Hal DavidNaked Eyes3:41
4."Dance Hall Days"Darren Costin, Nick Feldman, Jack HuesWang Chung3:58
5."Turning Japanese"David FentonThe Vapors3:44
6."Blood and Roses"Pat DiNizioThe Smithereens3:36
7."Karma Chameleon"George O'Dowd, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Phil PickettCulture Club4:12
8."I Want Candy"Bert Berns, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard GottehrerBow Wow Wow2:46
9."Everybody Wants to Rule the World"Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris HughesTears for Fears4:12
10."Heaven Is a Place on Earth"Rick Nowels, Ellen ShipleyBelinda Carlisle4:11
11."We Got the Beat"Charlotte CaffeyThe Go-Go's2:30
12."Everybody Have Fun Tonight"Nick Feldman, Jack Hues, Peter WolfWang Chung4:44
13."Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)"Moon MartinRobert Palmer3:11
14."Whip It"Gerald Casale, Mark MothersbaughDevo2:38
15."Stayin' Alive"Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Dale Longworth, Kevin O'Toole, Ricardo LytheN-Trance4:02
16."She Blinded Me with Science"Thomas Dolby, Jo KerrThomas Dolby5:08
17."Cruel Summer"Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, Steve Jolley, Tony Swain, Keren WoodwardBananarama3:29
18."No One Is to Blame"Howard JonesHoward Jones4:11
19."Steppin' Out"Joe JacksonJoe Jackson4:19
20."You Keep Me Hangin' On"Holland-Dozier-HollandKim Wilde4:15
21."I Think We're Alone Now"Ritchie CordellTiffany Darwish3:47
22."Be My Lover"Melanie Thornton, Uli Brenner, Gerd Amir Saraf, Lane McCrayLa Bouche4:00
23."Together Forever"Stock Aitken WatermanRick Astley3:24

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 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.
  2. ^ a b "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  3. ^ Vorona Cote, Rachel (September 27, 2017). ""Romy and Michele" Is Still a Powerful Ode to Female Friendships". Bitch Media. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ Friedman, Kim (September 1, 1989), Just Temporary (Comedy), Spelling Television, retrieved April 9, 2022
  6. ^ a b c 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.
  7. ^ Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) - IMDb, retrieved April 9, 2022
  8. ^ "15 Fun Facts About Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Mental Floss. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  9. ^ Lodi, Marie (April 1, 2022). "14 Fashion Facts From 'Romy And Michele's High School Reunion'". Nylon. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Jacobs, Matthew (April 27, 2017). "Your Favorite Comedy Involved A Lot Of Drama Behind The Scenes". HuffPost. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Romy and Michele's High School Reunion at Rotten Tomatoes
  14. ^ "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  15. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Romy" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  16. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 25, 1997). "Romy And Michele's High School Reunion movie review (1997) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  17. ^ Maslin, Janet (April 25, 1997). "Being Smart Isn't, Like, Everything". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  18. ^ a b Mathews, Jack (April 25, 1997). "'Romy and Michelle' Goes to Two Delightful Reunions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  19. ^ "MTV Movie + TV Awards (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  20. ^ "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion". Amazon.
  21. ^ Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Blu-ray (15th Anniversary Edition), retrieved April 9, 2022
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Romy and Michele Musical Eyes New York City Bow After Developmental Workshop". Playbill. March 10, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  25. ^ "Original Soundtrack: Romy & Michele's High School Reunion". AllMusic. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  26. ^ "More Music from the Motion Picture: Romy & Michele's High School Reunion". AllMusic. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  27. ^ "Romy And Michele's High School Reunion (Original Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  28. ^ "Various – Romy And Michele's High School Reunion (More Music From The Motion Picture)". Discogs. Retrieved March 4, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 May 2022, at 04:53
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