Viking Night:
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

By Bruce Hall

February 2, 2016

This bit was cut out of Grease: Live.

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You know that weird time in the years right after high school when you constantly worried that every decision you’d ever made would turn out to be stupid, and when you went to your 10 year reunion your life would be exposed as a pathetic, hilarious joke? With people pointing and laughing? And possibly throwing fruit? No? Well, consider yourself lucky. For most, this period of concentrated angst is simply called “being in your 20s.” For others, it’s called “totally not having your shit together,” and it’s a terrifying phenomenon largely confined to chronic underachievers.

So if you’re like me, the year you graduated, you were pretty sure you’d somehow become a millionaire. The plan was, you’d show up at your 10 year reunion in a fully functional replica of the Batmobile, flanked by a pair of Victoria’s Secret models. You won’t stay long, of course, because you’d be running late for a party at Troy Aikman’s house. But you’d stay just long enough for all the girls who ever turned you down to meet Svetlana and Genevieve. And all the jocks who once tormented you would come to understand that yes, the Batmobile DOES have an ejection seat.

Reality would intervene six months before the reunion, when you’d finally come to realize that part-time secondary assistant shift manager at Circuit City was just an extended synonym for “failure.” Plus, you would no doubt come to learn just how prohibitive Batmobile rentals really are.


This is basically the plot of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. Except that the Batmobile is a Jaguar. And instead of a raunchy male bonding comedy, this is the lighthearted story of two girls who could be Bill and Ted’s slightly older, equally dopey cousins - just an hour down the road from San Dimas. I’m hardly the first person to point this out, but it’s kind of refreshing to watch a female oriented “buddy” flick that is not primarily a romantic comedy. Yes, there’s romance IN it, but it’s not exactly the point of the film.

The point of the film, as far as I can tell, is that you should look to the future, not the past. That your self-esteem should be derived from your own sense of personal pride, and not what others think of you. And also that lifelong dreams and ambitions can be realistically achieved over the course of one night, in a room full of people you haven’t seen in 10 years, and will probably never see again afterward.

Plus, unlike most “guy” movies, being a failure never looked so good. Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) are BFFs who are still living together 10 years on from high school. Their lives are ostensibly not going well, but you'd never know it by looking. If this were a Vince Vaughn film, there would be vomit and squalor and fast food involved. But even though Romy works the service desk at a Jaguar dealer, and Michele seems unfamiliar with the concept of employment in general, they manage to scratch out a living the way you can only in the movies.

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