The following free article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as scholarly research or as a final authority on the topic.
It’s Wild-Card Wednesday. Anything can happen. How about a little funny with our weird today? Nobody ever said weird can’t be fun.
Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997) is one of those movies I watch several times a year. And I still laugh. It’s based on characters from the stage play Ladies Room, which was written by Robin Schiff.
Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion is the story of how two bubble-headed friends make it through their ten-year high school reunion…without looking like losers.
The problems? Many.
- Romy White (Mira Sorvino) and Michelle Weinberger (Lisa Kudrow) were outcasts at Sagebrush High in Tucson, Arizona. The A-Group tortured them. Ten years later, they want to impress these people at the reunion. The problem?
- Romy and Michelle haven’t exactly set the world on fire. Romy works as a cashier in the service department at a Jaguar dealership. Michelle is unemployed. They live in a dumpy beachfront apartment in L.A. There’s no way anybody’s going to be impressed with how Romy and Michelle’s lives turned out.
The solution? Lying. They’ll say they invented post-its. Now, to make it believable:
- Michelle designs and sews sexy business suits…for the two to wear to the reunion. (I know, right?) Since they’re wearing business suits, surely everyone will believe they invented post-it notes.
- Romy bribes the mechanic at the Jaguar dealership to let her borrow his car so their ride backs up their lie. I won’t say how Romy gets the car. This is one of the funniest scenes of the movie.
- Romy obtains a “car phone” to carry around to show how successful she is. Here’s a picture of the thing:
What could possibly go wrong with a plan like this?
- Romy and Michelle get into a fight on the way to Tucson and dissolve their friendship.
- They get busted. Outspoken Heather Mooney (Janeane Garofalo) outs Romy on the post-its lie in front of the A-Group.
How do they fix it? You’ll have to rent or buy the movie and see for yourself.
The poster image at the beginning of this post is linked to an online retailer who has the DVD for sale. iTunes has Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion for sale or rent. It also appears to be uploaded in its entirety to You Tube. Click here for Part 1.
Why on earth would I try to convince you to watch a stupid comedy from the 90s?
Well…there are lessons to be learned here.
I know a lot of fiction writers visit my blog. If you have trouble creating conflict for your characters, this movie is like a class in creating conflict. The secret? Hit ’em where it hurts.
Romy always wanted to accepted by the A-Group. It’s still driving her crazy ten years after all the drama is over. Instead of skipping the reunion, she concocts this elaborate scheme to try to impress her former tormenters.
None of her plans could possibly work because Romy’s character is an airhead; thus, her plans are not very well thought out.
Every single thing Romy tries blows up in her face until she comes to the realization that impressing the A-Group is a) probably impossible and b) doesn’t matter because they’re cruel, sick individuals.
My favorite theme of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion is “Everybody made somebody’s life suck.” Toward the end of the movie, Heather Mooney (Garofolo) states the theme and even gives an example. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how obvious a theme is if it’s done in an entertaining way.
Romy spends a lot of her time worrying about how the A-Group ostracized her. However, she treats people the same way the A-Group treated her. Michelle does it, too.
- Romy ditches a guy who tries to talk to her at a club because he doesn’t have a good enough job.
- Michelle snobs Sandy Frink–who has an insane crush on her–because he’s a dork.
- The flashback from Romy and Michelle’s prom is a great example of this theme.
Romy and Michelle’s friendship feels genuine. They complement each other. Romy is obviously the leader, and Michelle is her sidekick. It is with Michelle’s support that Romy realizes the friend she has is the only one who matters.
In high school, I was part of a Romy and Michelle-esque duo. When I watch Romy and Michelle, I do it with a good bit of fond nostalgia. Those were fun times, and I didn’t even realize I was having them. Sort of like Romy.
After high school, I lost touch with that friend, but she’s never far from my thoughts. When I create characters in my writing, it’s always that friendship I call upon. And it’s always that friendship I regret letting go.
The last lesson of Romy and Michelle is a more personal one, I guess. Love the people who love you and savor every moment. Nothing lasts forever.
Do you have a movie that reminds you of a special person in (or out) of your life? Tell me about it.
For another 80s blast from the past, visit my good buddy Stacy Green’s Turn the Page blog to talk about License to Drive.
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