In the course of this delightful responsibility, I’ve come up against an array of excuses including “I stayed in contact with the only people I care to see again” along with the classic dichotomy “I don’t want a bunch of [married people/career driven women] making me feel bad about not having a [relationship /career].”
What is it about the high school reunion that has normal, happily satisfied people questioning what they’ve been doing all this time? Then when we get there, why do we insist on playing the one-upmanship game, overselling our achievements instead of just being ourselves...? It’s like a first date and job interview rolled into one night; you want to look sensational and sound really impressive - all without looking like you’re trying too hard! Why do we give so much credence to the opinion of people whom last week we didn’t give a rat’s?
As ever, I turned to movies for inspiration. The soundtracks in reunion flicks alone are often well worth the watch. For the classic reunion flick, you can’t go past Romy & MichelleI’s High School Reunion; the premise is inherent in the title! There’s the nerd, the overachiever, the rebel, the jock, the A group... what happens to all the cliques of high school after school’s out forever? The film focuses on what the girls hope will happen when they see them again, what might actually happen and how it all really goes down.
But by far my favourite reunion film would have to be Grosse Point Blank. After skipping town before graduation, Martin Blank “freaked out, joined the army: now I’m a professional killer”. He’s received an assignment back in his home town on the same weekend as the ten year reunion he was trying to avoid. Throw in the Feds, the former best mate, the high school sweetheart he stood up on prom night, an overly enthusiastic union advocate and Martin’s newly developing conscience – and this hit becomes far more complicated than expected.
I particularly love the little sarcastic responses Martin gets when he tells people his profession: “Does that come with dental?”
So what should you get?
GROSSE POINT BLANK
DIRECTOR: George Armitage (Hitman)
CAST: John Cusack (High Fidelity, Identity), Jeremy Piven (entourage), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), Dan Ackroyd (Ghostbusters, Evolution), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, Get Smart)
LOCATED IN: Comedy
For more reunions on film see:
- Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion
- Peggy Sue Got Married
- The Deep End of the Ocean (Note: drama not a comedy)
- Since You’ve Been Gone AKA Ten Years Later
Siblings John and Joan Cusack have done 10 films together. Two of their other siblings, Ann and Bill, also appear in this movie