15 Fun Facts About Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Even if you’ve seen Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino go back to school, you can probably still find new nuggets to enjoy in their classic comedy, which was released 20 years ago today.
1. THE FILM BEGAN AS A STAGE PLAY.
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is based on an original play by eventual screenwriter Robin Schiff called Ladies’ Room, which featured Romy and Michele as marginal characters and took place entirely in a Mexican restaurant bathroom during happy hour. Legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling was the original financier of the play.
2. LISA KUDROW REALLY KNEW THE MICHELE CHARACTER.
Prior to Friends, Kudrow originated the role of Michele in Ladies’ Room when it premiered at the Tiffany Theater in West Hollywood in 1988. Kudrow got the part in the play because both she and Schiff were members of the LA-based comedy troupe The Groundlings, and she continued to play the character onstage until the movie was released in 1997.
3. ROMY AND MICHELE REALLY EXISTED IN A BATHROOM SOMEWHERE.
The idea for the characters of Romy and Michele first came to Schiff when she overheard a banal, cliché-ridden conversation between two women in a bathroom at a fashionable Los Angeles club.
4. ROMY AND MICHELE WERE ORIGINALLY DESTINED FOR A SITCOM.
But their creator didn’t think audiences would tolerate the characters.
5. THE FILM'S ROOKIE DIRECTOR HAD COMEDY CHOPS.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion marked the directorial debut of David Mirkin, who previously worked as a writer on Three’s Company, Newhart, and The Larry Sanders Show but is perhaps best known for his Emmy-winning work on The Simpsons.
6. HOMER SIMPSON MAKES A QUICK CAMEO.
The show that Ramon and the service workers are watching on TV when Romy comes to get the car is the “Deep Space Homer” episode of The Simpsons, where Homer goes to space.
7. SORVINO WAS FRESH OFF AN OSCAR WIN.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion was the first movie actress Mira Sorvino chose to appear in after winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite.
8. THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW GOT JANEANE GAROFALO HER PART.
Garofalo was chosen for the role of the chain-smoking Heather because she previously worked with Mirkin on The Larry Sanders Show, and he thought her trademark dry wit would be perfect for the role.
9. THE AMAZING COSTUMES ALSO HAD STAGE ROOTS.
All of the flamboyant costumes in the movie are from costume designer Mona May, who had also designed the costumes for the San Francisco production of the original stage play Ladies’ Room.
10. JUSTIN THEROUX PLAYED THE MYSTERIOUS COWBOY CLARENCE.
It was only his second movie role.
11. YOU CAN SPEND THE NIGHT AT ROMY AND MICHELE'S PLACE.
12. THE HIGH SCHOOL WASN'T REALLY IN TUCSON.
Exteriors of Romy and Michele’s Sagebrush High School, supposedly in Tucson, Arizona, are actually Valencia High School located in Santa Clarita, California (which was also seen in Pleasantville and Bio-Dome).
13. QUENTIN TARANTINO'S FAKE BRANDS ARE SPRINKLED INTO THE FILM.
Big Kahuna Burger and Red Apple Cigarettes make appearances.
14. THERE ARE SEVERAL POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE TARANTINO NODS.
Tarantino and Sorvino dated for a time during the ‘90s. Romy and Michele’s production designer, Mayne Berke, is also friends with Jerry Martinez, the designer who created the fake brands for Tarantino. "It’s a signature thing,” Martinez told Entertainment Weekly. ”It’s Quentin’s way of saying all these different characters share the same universe.”
15. ARTHUR FRY DID, IN FACT, CREATE THE POST-IT NOTE.
But he did not attend business school as Janeane Garofalo’s character says.