Here’s the second of the ten year high school reunion triumvirate, after “Grosse Pointe Blank” and before “Til’ There Was You” or whatever it’s called now, and amazingly, it’s really good.
Now if you haven’t figured out the plot from the trailer, here it is: Romy(Mira Sorvino) and Michele (“Friend” Lisa Kudrow) are two best friends and roommates who have been partying and generally having a good time in Los Angeles for, oh, about ten years. One day they get notice of the ten year high school reunion in Arizona. Planning the trip, they find their lives lacking. Being neither rocket scientists nor popular in high school, they fear the same treatment on their return. The pair then make up fake lives for themselves to impress their former classmates, which include Janeane Garofalo who was an even bigger outcast. Hilarity ensues.
With that out of the way, let me say that I sympathize with their plight. Two years ago I went to my ten year reunion in West Virginia. I was STILL carrying a grudge against high school. I thought I’d come back from California and just be hell on everyone for my crappy teenage years. When I finally got there, I’d like to think I grew up a little bit. I decided to just be myself. Apparently, that was more than enough. Despite being VP of Development for a San Francisco software company, I had purple hair, a goatee, 80 hours of tattoo work and a few piercings. I had a GREAT time. My
sister is still not talking to me because of that weekend. Buy me a beer sometime and I’ll tell you the war stories.
I brought this personal note up to indicate my relief that the film doesn’t dwell on the fake history thing too much. The film is about the two girls, their friendship, and being happy with who they are. It’s also about losing the psychological scars you keep from your own teenage hell. Garofalo is amazing, as always, and the film is almost about her as much as the leads. The recreation of the casts’ high school years is wickedly funny and dead on. Your life may have sucked, but so did everyone else’s. Just be happy your glory years didn’t end before you were old enough to drink.