In the 1979 film they reminisce about the good old days, flirt and establish the basic theme of all reunion movies: “What’s a little reunion without a little drama?”
This weekend Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut are part of a core group of college friends who put that theory to the test in The Best Man Holiday. As IMDB says, expect “long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited.”
The idea of seeing old friends and frenemies after a long break offers loads of opportunities for drama and comedy.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion played their high school 10th anniversary get together for laughs. The pair of friends big up their post Grade 12 adventures in an effort to intimidate their old friends.
“Well, I thought the whole point of going to the reunion was to impress people,” says Michele (Lisa Kudrow). “I mean, how am I gonna impress anybody by selling ban-lon smocks at Bargain Mart.”
National Lampoon’s Class Reunion takes a different comedic approach to the subject.
Mixing murder with nostalgia, it’s the story of Walter Baylor (Blackie Dammett, father of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ singer Anthony Kiedis), an unhinged nerd seeking revenge during his 10th high school reunion as payback for a mean prank played on him during senior year.
“One more move and she gets a hole where she doesn’t need one,” says Walter.
Grosse Pointe Blank takes a more wistful approach to post school socials. John Cusack plays a mysterious graduate who has a life changing epiphany 10 years after graduation.
“You know,” he says, “when you started getting invited to your 10-year high school reunion, time is catching up.”
Complicating matters is his job. He’s a hit man.
“What am I gonna say? ‘I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How’ve you been?’”
He’s hired to bump off the father of his high school girlfriend for whom he still has feelings.
More somber is Young Adult, a Charlize Theron dramedy about Mavis Grey (Theron), a ghostwriter of novels for teens who accepts an invite for a baby shower from her high school ex-boyfriend, hoping that he will fall back in love with her during their reunion.
“Sometimes in order to heal,” Charlize Theron says, “A few people have to get hurt.”