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If someone were to say that ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION ($30) is like DUMB AND DUMBER on estrogen, they wouldn’t be far off the mark. The movie is incredibly silly, but it is so good-natured and funny that I couldn’t help liking it. ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION stars Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow as the title characters, two carefree and clueless women who are shocked to discover that ten years have passed since their high school graduation. Never being part of the "in crowd" at high school, Romy and Michele decide to make a triumphant return to the hometown by pretending to be rich and successful at their ten-year reunion.

Unfortunately, Romy and Michele end up falling flat on their faces, when Heather (Janeane Garofalo), an old acquaintance from their high school days, reveals the truth about them. Instead of being humiliated, Romy and Michele make the best of a bad situation and end up enjoying the reunion even more, just by being themselves. Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow are absolutely delightful as the film’s dense, but vivacious heroines and they look incredible to boot. Believe me when I say Lisa Kudrow never looks as good on FRIENDS as she does in this movie. Additionally, Janeane Garofalo is perfectly cast as the actual high school success story, with a chip on her shoulder. I don’t think that another actress could bring off the character’s sarcastic humor as well as Garofalo, yet remain sympathetic. The cast of ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION also includes Alan Cumming, Julia Campbell, Mia Cottet, Kristin Bauer, Elaine Hendrix, Vincent Ventresca, Camryn Manheim and Justin Theroux.

Touchstone Home Video has released ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION on DVD in a wide screen presentation that restores the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but has not been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. On a 4:3 display, the Letterboxed transfer of ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION looks absolutely marvelous, delivering an image that is bright, sharp and crystal clear. Color reproduction on this DVD is excellent. Every highly saturated hue is perfectly rendered without a trace of chroma noise or bleeding. Flesh tones are more appealing than they appear in real life. Blacks are of the midnight variety and the image has incredibly smooth contrast. Digital compression artifacts remained in check throughout the presentation.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a terrific mix that highlights the film’s killer music. Since this is a comedy, directional effects are used rather sparingly, but they make use of all the discrete channels when required. The surrounds are primarily utilized for ambient sounds and musical fill, however one will find occasional localized effects in the rears. Dialogue reproduction is clean, precise and never drowned out by the other components of the mix. The bass channel exists to add punch to the music. A French language soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

The interactive menus are very basic, providing access to the standard scene selection and set up features. Also accessible through the menus are a theatrical trailer and brief production featurette.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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