It's light, stupid, colorful, and clearly not good for you, but sometimes that's exactly what you are in the mood for. I was in the mood for it. There's nothing profound about it, but nobody turns to Romy and Michele's High School Reunion for profundity. Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino are not in it, but Courtney Wolfson and Stephanie Renee Wall have the airy affect down flat, they are funnier and more charming than photos suggest, and their chemistry and comic timing are unbelievably good.
The movie was written by Robin Schiff, and she is the author of the musical's book, so her jokes are all here, from the jokes about Pretty Woman to the jokes about Post-Its. They're jokes so dumb that their funniness is their dumbness—the joke within the joke is that the outer joke is not that funny, that the character is an idiot, that someone actually took the time to write down a joke like that. For some reason—maybe because I watched too much Dumb and Dumber as an impressionable child—I have a weakness for jokes like that.
Wolfson and Wall are powerful vocalists, as are the rest of the cast members, even if the music and lyrics are not particularly memorable. Still, the songs move the action forward with such ease it's hard to remember how the movie did without them. Director Kristin Hanggi and choreographer Peggy Hickey keep things moving, especially in act one; act two is slowed down by too many songs. The costumes by Amy Clark are clever, and I lost count of the number of quick-changes the actors do. Tear-aways galore.
Ultimately, the idea that the world's problems can be solved by wearing the right outfit, or looking a certain way, is, you know, toxic. But the idea that a single friendship can save your life? That's true. Or that some people from high school turn out wildly unlike your expectations? That's also true. I can't fully explain why the show worked so well for me, except that it's glossy and exuberant in its theatricality, and it's as funny as the movie is, and it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not.
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion: The Musical runs through July 2.