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Movie Review

Romy And Michele's High School Reunion

Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
17 to Adult
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
91 min.
R

Starring: Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo / Director: David Mirkin / Released by: Touchstone Pictures

Have you noticed the new trend of similarly-themed movies coming out at the same time? First big rivalry this year (1997) was “Dante’s Peak” vs. “Volcano”. Now, on the heels of “Grosse Point Blank” comes “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”.

Truth be told, both of the latter are an affront to Christian values—“Grosse Point” for its saturated violence, “Romy” for its recurring sexual innuendo. Both films offer a sarcastic attitude toward high school that fits the maturity level of a junior high-school dropout. And I seriously doubt anyone stays the same forever, much less ten years after a specified point in life. We all change.

Yet, there’s a few legitimate themes in “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”, including honesty and integrity. When Romy (Mira Sorvino), a cashier at a car dealership, and Michele (Lisa Kudrow), who’s unemployed, learn of their imminent reunion, they fret at what their former classmates would think of their lives now. Consequently, they concoct false personas in an attempt to impress everyone.

The whole premise is practically ripped from a bad television sit-com, though the movie’s perkier than Katie Couric. The title actresses, Sorvino and Kudrow, make the most out of a screenplay that gives us such cardboard-cutout characters as the school misfit (Janeane Garofalo), Miss Popularity (Julia Campbell), Miss School Spirit (Camryn Manheim), and the class nerd destined to be the next Bill Gates. we’re also given insight as to who in high school really was happy, then and now.

If you didn’t grow up in the 1980’s, you may not understand a lot of the in-jokes of Romy and Michele. The soundtrack is a major part of the movie—particularly 1980’s staples like The Go-Go’s, Wang Chung, and especially Cyndi Lauper. In other words, if none of that music rings a bell, don’t waste your money on this movie—you won’t like it and will likely be offended.

“Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” is rated “R” for profanity and recurring sexual innuendo. Parents, please note this IS NOT a kid’s movie. Incidentally, as someone who went to school in Tucson, Arizona (go Wildcats!), I’ve never heard of a “Sagebrush High” and don’t recognize any of the scenery.

Year of Release—1997

Viewer Comments
I recently viewed “Romy and Michele” on video and enjoyed it. As a Christian, I was disturbed by the language; however, I found this to really just be a fun movie for adults who did go to school during the 70’s or 80’s as they will appreciate the humor. I absolutely do not recommend this for children for a couple of reasons: the language and sexual innuendos, and the fact that young children would not be able to relate to or understand the movie.
—Susan Montgomery, age 36
Funniest movie I’ve ever seen.
—Crescent Jungle, age 21
I agree with another reviewer—this was the “Dumb and Dumber” for women. What could have been—a fun movie of reminiscing—was once again ruined by unnecessary profanity and numerous sexual innuendos. Definitely not a movie to recommend!
—Cindy Willison, age 46
As someone who went to high school in the eighties, I agree that there are aspects of the movie that took me back, and that was somewhat entertaining. Otherwise, I would say to stay away, especially men. There was hardly a scene without plenty of cleavage, although never any full nudity. Also the use of the F-word was rampant, as well as using our Lord’s name in vain. As the reviewer noted, it was one long sexual innuendo (can they even be called innuendos anymore?) When my husband asked how it was (I went with some girl-friends), I told him it was a “Dumb and Dumber” for women.
—Alisa, age 24
Note From the Editor: Regarding statements which appear in these interactive comments sections—please keep your comments brief (up to 75 words) and avoid personal attacks on review writers and other commenters. Long-winded and degrading comments will be edited or removed altogether. Regarding Mr. McClimans frustration that his review of this film was not selected—his review was well constructed but was received two days after that of Mr. Nigro, and simply was not judged to be the better written or more appropriate of the two reviews submitted. Sorry, but we do have to make these kinds of decisions from time to time.
—Dale Mason, Editor
…this film depicted the attitude at my high school right down to the bare-bone. There were a number of cliques (cheerleader/athletes, thespians/artsy, stoner/skater, geeks/nerds, and the loners). Also… I think the movie had a good message to it in the end. That’s this… just because your not popular in high school… doesn’t mean you’re nobody. It took R and M a while to figure out they have some self worth. I could go on but I just wanted to say that despite the overuse of the f-word and the crude statements, this film really had a good story. …I gave the movie a 2½ or 3 Christian rating and a 5 Moviemaking Rating. It’s one of the “better” films in awhile and one of the greatest attempts to really depict cliques and how people treat each other in high school.
—Brian McClimans, age 22