Today’s great thing is a performance in one of my favorite movies. Is the word ‘genius’ too much to use when describing “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”? I don’t think so. If it is, I keep good company as it is in British film director and all around smartypants Ken Russell’s top ten as well–so there.
It’s a fantastic movie and a supremely quotable one but Janeane Garofalo’s performance as Heather Mooney is a shining star to zone in on.
15. Janeane Garofalo as Heather Mooney in “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”.
As she was only a minor character in the film, she didn’t do much press to promote it. In fact, the only thing I could find video-wise was this interview from “The Daily Show”. This was way back when Craig Kilborn was hosting it. She, of course, is intelligent and adorable in the interview but it’s also got a worthy little clip from the film in it. It’s the first appearance of Janeane’s character, Heather Mooney, in the film and already, you get a sense of what her character brings to the table. Heather is smokey, bitter, sarcastic and though she is revealed to be a bit sensitive later in the film, she can’t be bothered with anybody’s crap. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.
I’m a big fan of Garofalo in general. So, of course, I wanted to find out all about her experiences on the set. In my dream world, I want everyone that I get these little fan-girl urges for to get along. For instance, it irks me to read stories about the ladies from “Sex and the City” not being friendly with each other in real life, or when I heard that Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah couldn’t stand one another on the set of “Kill Bill”. I like to imagine that there are no divas or personality disorders in Hollywood and that in between takes, everyone is the best of friends and that maybe, just maybe they all have the same taste that I do. They all worship at the alter of Amy Sedaris, love Ben and Jerry’s Fossil Fuel, and watch “The Simpsons” rerun every night at 6PM. So, I was really hoping to learn about all the laughs that Janeane Garofalo had with her fantastic co-stars, Mira Sorvina, Lisa Kudrow, Camryn Manheim, and Alan Cumming but there really isn’t much out there. It worried me further when I watched the DVD’s gag reel and saw that she was barely featured in it. You know, you just kind of think, maybe she didn’t fit in? Maybe nobody got her humour? Maybe it was cliquey and they just kind of ignored her? Why doesn’t it come across more like everyone was really chummy? I really feared for the worst.
As it turns out, Lisa Kudrow is a real-life friend of Janeane Garofalo’s (not just in my head!!!) and it was an excuse for them to work together. Probably the only reason that she’s not very prevalent in the gag reel is because she’s not in it that much. Whew. My anxiety is quelled.
This is a perfect role for Janeane. I can’t imagine anyone else being as succesful spouting the following dialogue:
[ Romy ] WELL-- [ Clears Throat ] I GUESS I WON'T BE SEEING YOU AT THE REUNION, BUT I'LL TELL EVERYONE YOU SAID "HI." [ Heather ] WHY DON'T YOU TELL EVERYONE TO GO FUCK THEMSELVES FOR MAKING MY TEEN YEARS A LIVING HELL. or
[Heather thinks she's never made anyone's life hell]
Toby Walters: Since you never got around to it in high school, I was wondering if you would sign my yearbook. And please don’t tell me to fuck off, because it really hurts my feelings.
Heather: I hurt your feelings?
Toby Walters: Yeah, all the time.
Heather: Tremendous! That’s tremendous! Go get your stupid yearbook, I would be happy to sign it!
I wish there were more parts out there for Garofalo like this one. As it turns out, I’m not alone in that. When trolling the Internet for tidbits on this here great thing, I came across actual Janeane Garofalo fan-fiction. Well, it’s more like amateur fiction with her as the dream casting choice. For instance, I found a fanfic “My Name is Earl” script where the amateur author lists her as having a guest role. I also found a one act play about fairies in Ireland where the author would like for her to play the reporter character. So…you know…take note Hollywood. It’s obvious that people are desperate.