Romy & Michele's High School Reunion (12)

Directed by David Mirkin
Starring Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo

An attempt to do a sort of Heathers-meets-Clueless, we have another high school reunion film, soon after the vastly superior Grosse Point Blank. Recent Oscar winner, Sorvino, and Friends star Kudrow play the title characters, a couple af airhead goodtime girls, that are unexpectedly likeable-sort of like Cher in Clueless. However, these two are fairly talentless, and the upcoming reunion makes them think about their lives. A brief attapt to get good jobs and boyfriends soon passes, and instead they decide to pretend to be successful to impress the nasty a-group girls from school. Their attempt falters when they pick a daft business- claiming to have invented Post-Its, and another school pal(the fabulous Garofalo) exposes them. The pair soon decide that they will drop their pretense and be themselves- aahh!
This is a likeable but very lightweight film. The gags are lame, the situations cliched. A criminal act occurs when our own Alan Cummins gets to play a truly awful part, and Janeane Garofalo doesn't do much better, although at least she gets a couple of the films best gags.(I'd sue though Janeane- they make you look awful! Did anyone brush your hair or did it take the make up and hair people all day to do Sorvino and Kudrow?)
Of all the Friends bunch, I like Phoebe the best, and Kudrow is actually very good here, even if the character is VERY similar to Phoebe. Sorvino does a pretty good job too, but is not quite so comfortable and doesn't have Kudrow's comic timing. There are a few nice moments, for instance when Kusrow goes job hunting. She starts at Versace and ends up at a discount clothes store that is patronized by bag ladies! Sorvino's conversations with a queue of customers including Garofalo is a hoot- although those customers were incredibly patient. And I particularly enjoyed Kudrow's improvised explanation of how she developed the glue for Post-Its.
Sadly, the bad scenes also add up. A daft dream sequence that sees Romy and Michele as stars of the reunion but feuding friends, Most of the flashbacks to high school, the cliche of the beautiful high school bitches has been done so often, and better in many other films. I am undecided on the kitsch dance sequences- kind of fun.
Mildly entertaining, but too flimsy and insubstantial to be remembered for long I think. A promising movie debut for Kudrow, and its always good to see Janeane Garofalo. 6/10.

August 1997

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