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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 5/15/00

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
1997 (1999) - Touchstone

review by Dan Kelly of The Digital Bits

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Film Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/A-/D

Specs and Features
92 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical trailer, production featurette, film-themed menu screens, scene access (17 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1) and French (DD 2.0 surround), Closed Captioned

"You know, even though I had to wear that stupid back brace and you were kinda fat, we were still totally cutting edge."

Dim-witted but charming observations like this are what make Romy and Michele's High School Reunion as fun and original as it is. Movies about ditzy women are nothing new in Hollywood, but they are rarely handled so well, and with so much humor, that they end up being funny the whole way through.

While at work at a Jaguar shop, Romy (Mira Sorvino) runs into Heather (Janeane Garofalo). She's an old classmate and has made a mint with the invention of Lady Fair Cigarettes: "Twice the taste in half the time for the gal on the go" she reminds Romy. Romy immediately calls her best friend Michele (Lisa Kudrow) and tells her about the upcoming reunion. Initially, they decide not to go because their lives are not all that impressive. Romy works as a cashier, Michele doesn't work at all, they drive a Nova and neither of them have boyfriends.

They decide at the last minute to go to the reunion after all (a good thing too - otherwise there wouldn't be much of a movie). But they've decided not to go as themselves. They're planning to impress the four evil girls who taunted them throughout high school, by going as the inventors of Post-It Notes. Romy invented them, and Michele thought of making them yellow. "I just think you're more believable as a designer rather than as an inventor," Romy reassures her. Naturally, things don't go quite as well as they planned.

There's enough humor in the movie to keep you entertained, and fans of Clueless and Revenge of the Nerds will surely get a kick out of it. Director David Mirken (The Simpsons) is not afraid to get flat out goofy with Romy and Michele's antics. They're sly, naive, cute, and incredibly funny. Robin Schiff has created a very original and sidesplittingly funny script, and the humor is maintained right through the movie's conclusion. It does give way to convention occasionally, but chances are you'll be too absorbed with Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow's winning performance to notice.

As far as non-anamorphic transfers go, Romy and Michelle looks very good. A clean print was used for the transfer (probably the same as used for the laserdisc), and there is virtually no dust evident at all. There are a lot of bright colors used in the movie and they all come across bold and solid with little bleed. Skin tones are also nicely maintained. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is excellent. There are some nice panning effects used in both the front and rear channel speakers, and dialogue levels are well balanced.

The usual boring, effortless extras are included. The trailer and a featurette are all you get. To be honest, the featurette is pretty much a waste of time and space. It's the two and a half-minute trailer with one minute of behind-the-scenes interviews thrown in to break it up a bit. Nothing spectacular at all and hardly worth mentioning.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is lots of fun. If you can turn off your brain and watch a whole cast of people make fun of each other, and themselves, then you'll have fun. The film is a definite recommendation for the upcoming reunion season. And even though the disc doesn't exactly give you a lot of bang for you buck, it's still the best way to watch this movie at home.

Dan Kelly

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