Oct 292004

“D’you wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang,
D’you wanna be in my gang (oh yeah)
D’you wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang,
D’you wanna be in my gang”

From I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am) by Gary Glitter

Last night, I watched a movie called Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.” It was about two young women, who have been best friends since high school, contemplating their impending high school reunion.

They haven’t seen their friends for ten years and are desperate to make a good impression. Unfortunately, Romy works as a cashier and Michelle is unemployed. They are also both single and need to lose weight. How to come up with a fabulous job for Michelle, drop a few kilos and find two eligible guys in two weeks? They soon give up on their diet and finding boyfriends. There is still the question of a job for Michelle. And then Romy has a brainwave. Why worry about a job when you can invent a career for the reunion? Romy comes up with the perfect job – they are inventors of “Post-It Notes.”

Armed with a rented Jag and looking very business-like in their power-suits, the girls are ready to face their past. Romy is also hoping she could link up with the boy she’s always fancied in school. But things didn’t go according to plan. An old school friend, whom Michelle served recently at work, reveals their secret, that the two best friends are nobodies. The two girls are the subject of much ridicule. Romy and Michelle finally realise they’ve always been trying to fit in. At school, they were rejected by the A-List students who were the popular students; they didn’t fit in with the B-Group who were ordinary; and they certainly had nothing in common with the C-Group who were all geeks. One particular geek had always carried a torch for Michelle, but she didn’t want to know. In high school, there was always someone being bullied.

The leader of the A-Group is now married to the boy Romy always had a crush on. However, one former A-Group girl had long since broken away and is now a successful editor of Vogue, a magazine Romy and Michelle are crazy about.

Romy is in despair over her embarrassment. Michelle reminds her that she has always been happy with her life, and happy living with Romy. As far as Michelle is concerned, she’s having a good life and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Michelle never wanted to fit into any group and tells Romy to stop caring about what other people think about her. They can only be themselves. They swap their power-suits for pretty dresses and head for the dance floor to do what they do best. The members in the A-Group, all three of them pregnant, laugh at the girls’ outfits. But the former A-Group girl, now fashion editor, doesn’t share their opinion. She thinks the girls look very stylish in their outfits, which Michelle had actually designed. The leader of the A-Group looks to her two friends to support her but for the first time in their lives, they find they have their own opinion independent of their “leader.” Poor leader of the A-Group is now embarrassed. It also turns out that the leader’s wonderful husband is not the devoted husband. During the reunion he asks Romy to sleep with him, which Romy is shocked about as he is married. Oh dear!

In the meantime, the geek of yore who used to fancy Michelle arrives at the reunion in a helicopter! The geek has apparently filled out in more ways than Michelle could ever have imagined – he is now a multi-millionaire. He still has a crush on Michelle and very keen on having a relationship with her. The geek also helps to finance Michelle and Romy’s business as both girls are mad about fashion, Michelle being a talented designer. They end up opening their own boutique.

What struck me about this movie was the group mentality. You think that people grow up when they leave school but it’s the same old group-consciousness. Wherever you are: – playground, work, politics, religion, discussion forums – it’s the same old, same old. Who fits into my group? Who doesn’t? Who conforms? Who doesn’t? Who gets chucked out? Who stays in but has to play the game? Fortunately for me, I have always been an independent thinker. I have never done groups, not do I do rules. I’m a free Spirit, me.

In the movie, Michelle and Romy realised that the only people whose opinions mattered were their own. They eventually attracted people who accepted them for who they are.

As far as I see it, Life is a party and everyone is invited, no matter where they are coming from. It wouldn’t be fun now, would it?

Love Enocia

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