Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino—riding high on the success of Friends as the eponymous stars of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Both Grosse Pointe and Romy and Michele ended up being profitable at the box office. Schiff based her protagonist on her relationship with her best friend. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion . an enjoyable push-pull relationship to its leads, and swiftness in its pacing that keeps it from ever. Romy and Micheles High School Reunion, Anniversary you know, because no relationship's gonna be as good as Romy and Michele!" and not that they're representing anything except just being yourself in the end.
Creator Robin Schiff mined her own experience of adolescence and poured the findings liberally into her acerbic script.
But the film flopped. Despite warm reviews at the time, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion was considered a poor career choice by Oscar winner Sorvino and Kudrow, who was swiftly becoming known the world over as Phoebe From Friends.
The film gained a cult appeal for its sarcastic wit, flamboyant costumes and, of course, preposterous dance scene. But when she moved to Los Angeles in the late Eighties, she found herself taking lessons at The Groundlings, an improv theatre and school in the city that has become famous for producing stars such as Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell — who was cast as a waiter in the film but left on the cutting room floor.
It was here, inthat she met Robin Schiff and came to define her future movie role with her first ever audition. So I came up with these two club girls. These characters were only on stage for a total of seven minutes.
The parts were really small, in and out, comic relief in the middle of a comedy. Because I was taking Groundling classes, one of my teachers recommended me to Robin Schiff. And she sent me Lisa and this other girl [Christie Mellor] who was the original Romy.
That was my first audition ever. It gave me the foundation for the character, because it made her into the follower and gave me a funny thing where you could say: So they backed the play.
I think she was only in the intermediate class.
It was a huge break for her. A female counterpart to jock locker-room humor. That doesn't mean ladies'-room jokes can't be funny. But it also means they're going to be racy, rowdy and trashy. We got laughs no matter whether the play was going well with the audience that night or not. But these two female executives at Touchstone named Alex Schwartz and Gaye Hirsch had gone up to see a San Francisco production and had been sent the play as a writing sample.
The characters, Romy and Michele, whatever it is that got created, captured people. And they did from their very first entrance.
It was after San Francisco that people at one of the Disney companies started talking to Robin about doing a movie. But I especially love how much their friendship means to them. That was the key. The intriguing notion of taking two supporting players who were scoring on the stage and developing their story into a movie seemed like a terrific idea. It served as a way for us to educate ourselves in preparing the movie. I started with characters, what kind of world do I want to put them in, because they were in my play.
Romy and Michele go to Japan, they go to college, oh, they go to their high school reunion. For the movie it was a different dynamic because Mira [Sorvino] was more vulnerable than the Romy from the play, and Robin had to fill them out. It got bought in the room by a guy named David Hoberman who was the head of Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures at the time.
And it took five years of development. It was very early development stages, so you never pin your hopes on anything like that. While Kudrow remained attached to the project, the studio was keen to be rid of Schiff. Eventually, Disney brought director David Mirkin, best known for his efforts on The Simpsons, to the project.
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In the process, he laid the groundwork for its future success. There were a bunch of re-writes. It just took forever. I was working on The Simpsons.
I was interested in directing something with funny women and this script came along and I just loved the relationship that these characters had and I saw enormous potential there.
The script had been in development hell and stuck there for a long time and I had ideas. It still needed an ending, it still needed various structural things to happen.
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I went and met with the studio and told them what I wanted to do and they were incredibly supportive and so I became attached to it and around the same time I became aware that Lisa Kudrow was attached and I had known her and seen her before and was a huge fan of hers.
That really made it even more exciting to me. I was fired off the movie for a year. They brought this other guy on. Neither Lisa nor Janeane Garofolo Heather had wanted to do it after that. Mirkin signed up to the project in He and Schiff got along straight away. They asked me to fire Robin about five times.
But I said I wanted both those girls and five years later Lisa was on Friends so her stardom was one of the reasons the movie got made. The challenge was finding a Romy that went with our Michele.
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Lisa wanted a very strong person to play against. At the time I was working at the Walt Disney company, and I was in charge of all the feature film casting.
They asked me to cast it for them. Marcia Ross was assigned to the movie. You would normally hire your own casting director, and then you might try and have to convince the head of casting you did it. She totally got that, she only brought me the best.
This leads to a further argument about who's the cuter of the two. The argument results in their decision to go their separate ways once they reach their destination. When they arrive, Michele hears Romy saying that she invented Post-its all by herself. Michele convinces the A-Group girls that she invented a special kind of glue, explaining the glue's complicated formula in great detail.
Sandy Frink, the nerd who had a crush on Michele in high school, turns out to be incredibly wealthy and gorgeous and hits on Michele, while Billy and Romy reunite and hit it off. Both Romy and Michele win awards as the most successful members of their graduating class. Though still refusing to speak with each other, they look back at each other with longing. Seventy years later, an elderly Michele learns that Romy is on her deathbed, so she calls her to make amends.
However, they rehash the same argument. Romy dies, flipping her the birdand they never get a chance to resolve their issues. Michele wakes up alone in the car in the present day, disturbed by the previous dream sequence.
At the reunion, Romy has begun to spread her story. Heather Mooney disrupts their lie by revealing the real name of the person who did in fact invent Post-It notes something Heather learned in business school. The A-Group girls begin a vicious verbal attack on Romy. Michele ineptly defends her.
Christie further humiliates the two in front of everyone by revealing Romy's lie. Romy runs out, with Michele chasing after her. Michele then tells Romy that she genuinely thought that their lives were wonderful just the way they were, before Romy said that they were not good enough. Michele also says that they should not care what everyone else thinks. They change into fun, stylish outfits they've designed, and return to the reunion, determined to have some fun at any cost.
They confront Christy about her bullying. Romy says she no longer cares about Christy because Christy is just "a bad person with an ugly heart". Christy makes fun of their clothes. Christy begins to attack Lisa, but Lisa coolly dismisses her in front of the crowd that has gathered to watch. The other A-Group girls defect and Christy is left by herself, while everyone else makes their way over to congratulate Romy and Michele. Heather apologizes to Romy and Michele and tells them that the two of them had actually made her unhappy in high school, for she had been in love with Sandy.
Romy and Michele then make her feel better by saying that she too had the luxury of making someone miserable, referencing former classmate and reunion committee head Toby Walters, to whom Heather was always cruel in high school.
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Sandy Frink then arrives via helicopterand turns out to be a billionaire who made his fortune from inventing a special shoe rubber. He goes over to talk to Romy and Michele. Michele tells Sandy that he must be the most successful person in their class.