What to do while watching:
What to eat while watching:
Checking the official Romy and Michele Homepage (http://www.gate.net/~hagenp/pictures.htm) I found that these two lovely, albeit fictional, ladies graduated from high school the year after I did. I realize I'm dating myself here, but I just need to let you know, dear reader, that from my perspective, this reminiscence was dead on. All my favorite songs from the 80's are featured - and yes, I really did like them unironically. And the website actually has the lyrics to a lot of these songs. Sweet and useful, too!
Mira Sorvino plays Romy, and Lisa Kudrow plays Michele in this film. These two women are easy to characterize: ditzy, lovely, and good-hearted. They are thirty and living together since high school in Venice Beach, California. The movie opens with them watching Pretty Woman, the scene in which Julia Roberts is ostracized from a shee-shee clothing store. R & M sympathize with her outsider-hood. But at the end of the video within the video, Roberts is redeemed and Michele sheds a sentimental tear. Even the most ditsy among us will catch the foreshadowing: this relatively easy transition from ostracism to acceptance summarizes the story to follow...
Romy, a cashier at a garage, and Michele, unemployed, decide to go to their 10-year high school reunion after Romy runs into an old classmate at work. Jeannie Garafalo is comically effective as the over-sensitive, over-tabaccoed ouch-box who, in high school, was the angsty goth loser-brain type that we all knew so well.
As the more self-conscious of the pair, Romy feels that she and Michele have little to show for the past ten years. Amid flashbacks to high school, heavy-handed reiterations of the cruelty of popular kids, and the separateness of these two, Romy decides that they need a cover story. She decides to claim to have invented Post-It notes, a scheme which causes a schism between her an the more innocent and gutsy Michele. By the time they get to Tucson, they have parted ways. (Do you think it will be permanent?)
In the flashbacks, we get introduced to the jock, the brain, the mean cheerleaders, and the intelligent cheerleader. We also glimpse Garofalo's character from yesteryear and the mysterious cowboy she's going to wind up falling for at the reunion. Like clockwork, all the plots fall out exactly as you'd expect. It comes out in favor of R & M as smoothly as peanut-butter from the grinder at the health food store. You feel just fine about the outcome on all fronts, and it makes your heart a little gladder to see something so light and happy.
Instead of leaving me cold and empty, this flick left a perfume of humor that stays with me. Light as it is, it has enough naïve and native humor to brighten your day without making you feel like you've wasted your time. And I was impressed at the dance sequence between Romy, Michele, and the blossomed ex-nerd-a strange Isadora Duncan trio that embodied well the sort of unselfconscious abandon that R & M stand for.
From my first spoken inkling that I'd rent this movie, to comments from
strangers at the video store, everyone seemed delighted to have seen this
film, now old enough to have outgrown the excitement of its novelty. And
all these people were right. It's quite a lovely bit of folderol, and a
more pleasant evening, I couldn't imagine wasting.
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights happily reserved.