Five kids are left home when their mother leaves town on a three-month vacation to Australia, only to have their geriatric babysitter die of a heart attack, leading to the eldest teen, Sue Ellen, to scam her way into taking a job at a hip Los Angeles fashion company to feed and support her needy siblings.
Romy and Michelle have been through it all including being tortured by the Popular crowd when in high school. When they receive word of a 10 year reunion, they come to realize their lives aren't as impressive as they'd like them to be. Instead of staying home they go to the reunion with business outfits, cell phones, and one heck of a bogus success story. Written by
"Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" is a movie that I've heard about for a long time, having seen the video stored at someone's house or whatnot. But I've never gotten a chance to see this movie until now. The verdict is while there are some funny moments, and the ending is good, there are enough dead spots to only get it a lukewarm recommendation.
Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) are two best friends...and first class ditzes. Both of their IQs are far below what is considered normal, and the term "Valley Girl" seems to have been tailor made for them. They are living "stylishly" in LA when an old school chum Heather Mooney (Janeane Garafalo) tells them about their high school reunion. But seeing as the only reason to go to the high school reunion is to boast about their careers (neither Romy or Michele has an enviable job), they decide to lie and pass themselves off as rich and wealthy business women. And the creators of Post-It Notes.
The problem with the film is that it's too plot heavy for its own good. These two bimbos are hilarious in their own right, but Robin Schiff's screenplay (based on her play) spends too much time developing the story and not enough time letting the characters be themselves. There are plenty of flashbacks about how the Queen Bees of their school bullied them, but this material comes off as cruel, rather than funny. The movie is at it's best when it allows them to be the ultra-dim bulbs that they are, but there just aren't enough of these moments.
Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino are terrific as the leads. Romy is the smarter one, although that's not saying much. Neither one is a stranger to playing a mental vacuum, and they're pretty funny. Surprisingly, Janeane Garafalo is ineffective as the cynical Heather. The character has to add a dose of emotional damage to her character, but Garafalo goes way far over the top. Garafalo can play a dramatic character, but she's just not very good in this film. Alan Cumming is good as the geek who has long held a torch for Michele. Camryn Manheim steals her scenes as the organizer. She's one of those people who is so into this thing that she doesn't realize that no one else really cares. We all know someone like this, and that's what makes it funny.
Some people have been calling this a chick flick, and that's not necessarily true. It's not a sappy romance, and while the central characters are girls, the humor is such that members of both sexes can get it.
Fluff, but not that great fluff.
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