Grosse Pointe Blank and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion :: Tuesday Double-Feature

GPBGrosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Written by Tom Jankiewicz, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink & John Cusack
Directed by George Armitage

“They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they’ve all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? ‘I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How’ve you been?‘” ~ Marty


For this week’s “Tuesday Double-Feature” I thought I’d pair up high school reunion movies, namely Grosse Pointe Blank, starring favorites of mine John and Joan Cusack and Minnie Driver, and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, with Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo and Alan Cumming. I never went to my high school reunion, mostly because I changed schools my senior year, and most of my friends were younger than me. Not really up for sitting around with a bunch of strangers who are all waxing nostalgic, I’d rather gather up my own group of friends and do that on any old Saturday, or something. But, the idea of going back to something, home, or to a time in your life, has always held intrigue and interest to me. So, let’s dig in and go back, at least vicariously, and see who all shows up for the reunion. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your old true love again.


Some people say forgive and forget. Nah, I don’t know. I say forget about forgiving and just accept. And… get the hell out of town.” ~ Debi

When Grosse Pointe Blank came out it was the same year as my own 10 year reunion, an event I did not attend (see above). Looking back now, those years did not hold the real punch of significance. No, it was those 10 years after graduation that held the big significance in my life. If I could go back to some surreal kind of reunion to my twenties, well maybe that would be a harder one to say no to.


I digress. My point is that maybe Debi has it right. Sometimes we need to take our regrets, along with the things that we wish to seek forgiveness for, and those things that we need to forgive in others, and just accept them – and, yeah, get the hell out of town (someday, I hope).

Or maybe that’s how it seems in the film. Marty leaves, disappears, on the night of their Senior Prom. No word to Debi in ten years, but he is sure full of feelings still. Not the best way to break-up with someone, to just vanish, and not the best way to try to reconnect either, to just show up, unannounced, for the reunion. But maybe that’s the only way it could be. Perhaps its the only way Debi would have given Marty the time of day.


Coming home helps Marty deal with the confusion and confiction he’s been wrestling with, and hijacking a therapist to try to sort out. We never know if he will be changed completely, if he and Debi will stay together and he will find a new career, or will he continue his contract killing gig and maybe Debi comes along for the ride? Partners with him? Becomes a DJ and gun for hire?


The Bonnie and Clyde for a new generation. Can’t you kind of see it?

GPB4Maybe it’s because this would have been the same year of my 10 year, but the music in this movie is a complete high school flashback to me. The thing I like best, though, is it isn’t the “typical” 80’s fare, but music that my friends and I actually listened to. The soundtrack plays like mix tapes we made for each other back then.

There’s a playlist full of songs from the film here that’s a great listen – check it out here.

“Life in progress”


Did you go to your high school reunion? If so, what was it like? If not, why?


Intermission time!

RAMRomy & Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
Written by Robin Schiff
Directed by David Mirkin

You know, even though I had to wear that stupid back brace and you were kind of fat, we were still totally cutting edge.” ~ Michele


Same year as Grosse Pointe Blank, and same year as my 10-year high school reunion, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion took another look at going back, and going to your high school reunion. Both are comedies, though Grosse Pointe is more of a black comedy, where Romy and Michele’s is more farcical.

Though the movie is a story about friendship, about coming-of-age in the post-teen years, and about finding and being yourself, it is done in an over the top way. None of the characters are completely realistic. Sure, there are elements that are relatable, but they are blown way up and at times almost cartoonish. That said, this is one of my go-to movies when I need cheering up, and it always, always, always makes me laugh.

romyheaderI love the friendship between Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow). Their friendship is the most authentic thing about the story, their loyalty to each other, their understanding, and their differences. They know each other well enough to not always agree, or see eye-to-eye, but that is all part and parcel to best friendships. I love the scenes between the two of them, especially pre-reunion, as they plan their trip, and the selves they are creating to take there.

giphyThat said, it is Heather Mooney (Janeane Garofalo) that I love the most. She is the epitome of how I feel sometimes looking back at my high school days, especially growing-up in “The OC” around so many rich, judgmental, and vacuous people. I admire Heather’s bravado, and fuck it attitude, though I’m not so envious of her romantic obsession with Sandy Frink (Alan Cumming). She could do better, like hey, the Cowboy (oh my stars, that’s Justin Theroux!)

Heather & the Cowboy


Who was your favorite from the class of ’87? Which reunion movie do you prefer?

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