This post is not spoiler-free, and neither are any in the Chick-Flick Movie Challenge. To learn more about Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, I recommend checking out its IMdB page.
Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion was released in 1997 and directed by David Mirkin. Let’s dive right in—this one wasn’t for me and I don’t think it’s survived the test of time very well. For me, too many body-shaming jokes and mean humor. I can’t say I would’ve liked it had I watched it in 1997 (especially since I would either have been a fetus or a newborn at that point), so I wonder if maybe some of it was lost to me because I’m watching it 22 years later.
Had I heard of this movie before the challenge? No, this was one of the very few on this list that I’d actually never heard the title of beforehand. I looked forward to it though when I found out Lisa Kudrow and Alan Cumming were in it.
Had I seen it before this challenge? No.
My Rating: 3.7/10
- Was it entertaining? 5/10
- Did it have The Heart? 4/10
- Were the characters likable? 3/10
- What about the plot? 2/10
- How did it look? 4/10
- How did it sound? 7/10
- Would it be good if it premiered today? 1/10
I have a feeling this was one of the lowest scores I’ll likely give during this challenge but y’all this movie wasn’t for me. Like I said before, there were a lot of body-shaming jokes and just general nasty behavior that was trying to come off in a care-free, endearing way, but I think it just fell flat. And by flat, I mean it was just kind of mean. It wasn’t flippantly mean, the way Mean Girls is, I think they needed to lean into the humor a little more for it to come across.
I think overall the movie was trying to balance being a heartfelt story about prioritizing friendship and being yourself, but the protagonists, Romy and Michele, were not likable people. They were apathetic and vindictive to the people around them, and for that matter so were a lot of the side characters too.
The plot wasn’t bad, it was just generally meh overall. High school reunions are always fun, expectation versus reality situations, and the whole lying-about-your-success is a classic plotline. The thing is, the pacing was wack. There was way too much on the front end of the movie in terms of flashbacks to high school, developing characters that were irrelevant, and attempting to set up weak character arcs (like Heather Mooney crushing on Sandy Frink and inventing a cigarette). The plan to fake their success didn’t come into well into the second act and felt loose.
The cinematography was a little all over the place in terms of movement and lighting. The soundtrack was maybe one of the strongest parts of the movie. There were a lot of classic hits, from Cyndi Lauper to Bananarama, so that part was fun.
I found out that it was adapted into a musical in 2017, which I think would have been a much better medium for the story overall. The movie itself though? I could see if being someone’s guilty pleasure movie, but it wasn’t for me.