At the height of Friends-mania in the mid nineties, all six of the principal cast attempted to make the leap to movie stardom. Jennifer Aniston made some moderately successful rom-coms and Courtney Cox landed the Scream franchise, but Lisa Kudrow made by far the most interesting choices of the bunch. (The films the men made are barely worth talking about).
On paper, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion should play as a fairly standard popcorn comedy, and many critics dismissed it as such at the time. But over the years, like many of Kudrow’s underrated projects, the film has deservedly picked up a sizeable cult following, thanks to its endlessly quotable script, two genuinely incredible lead performances and a delightful streak of weirdness that runs through the whole movie.
Kudrow is paired with Mira Sorvino, who was fresh from an Oscar win for Mighty Aphrodite. She has spoken about being advised against doing the movie for fear it would harm her serious actress credentials. Thankfully she didn’t listen – in a fair world her accent work alone would have netted her Oscar number two.
What really makes Romy & Michele a cut above though, is the genuine heart the movie exhibits through its broad comedy. The title characters are idiots, but they’re also good hearted, and their friendship, like all the best ones, feels genuine and rooted in a deeply shared sense of humour and world view. We laugh with them, not at them.
On this week’s podcast, we break down some of our favourite moments, the most quotable lines, a soundtrack that absolutely slaps and much more. We also brainstorm some drinking game ideas, check in with our listeners and pitch sequel ideas to give this movie a long-overdue big screen revival.
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Next week, we stay on the teen comedy tip with a classic Shakespeare adaptation that helped launch one of the most interesting movie careers of the 00s. Until then, happy listening and remember – it’s now very easy to Google who invented the post-it.