Werth: On the whole, pretty darned swell. I haven't seen Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion, but I assume my reunion was very similar... only with more Mike's Hard Lemonade—
Wise: And less Alan Cumming in freaky make-up.
Werth: Alan Cummings wishes he was in the class of '91.
Wise: High school reunions have often provided fodder for great films, and one of my all-time favorites is Francis Ford Coppola's Peggy Sue Got Married (1986). Kathleen Turner plays Peggy Sue, a woman flummoxed by adulthood and by the infidelities of her husband Charlie (Nicolas Cage). Despite her marriage being in shambles, she decides to attend her 25 year reunion. After a few awkward encounters with barely recognizable old friends, Peggy is stunned to discover that she has been elected queen of the reunion, but when she ascends the stage to accept the honor, the lights and her confusion cause her to faint.
Werth: Being married to Nicolas Cage would make anyone pass out.
Wise: She wakes up only to realize that somehow she has been transported back to her senior year of high school. At first she thinks she has died, but gradually she realizes that she has been given a second chance at figuring out her life. She begins by telling off the mean girls in high school and informing her math teacher that she will never, in fact, use algebra ever again.
Gradually, however, she starts to explore the possibilities her youth had offered but which she never explored until, ultimately, she must decide between the future she knows and the one she doesn't.
Werth: I'd go for the one without Nicolas Cage.
Wise: The film is full of great performances, most notably Kathleen Turner's Oscar nominated Peggy, but also memorable turns from soon-to-be stars like Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, and Jim Carey, as well as established stars like Barbara Harris as Peggy's mother. But the two most touching performances come from Leon Ames and Maureen O'Sullivan as Peggy's grandparents. These stalwarts from the Golden Age of Hollywood both ground the film's emotions and allow for the supernatural flights of fancy that make the film's slippery chronology possible.
Werth: Speaking of slippery, did Maureen wear her Jane costume?
Wise: Part of what makes Peggy Sue Got Married so moving is that it doesn't simply cater to nerd revenge fantasies or romantic pipe dreams; instead, the film is a meditation on the passage of time and the consequences of small decisions as they reverberate throughout the years.
In Thirteen Girls she is lithe in form-fitting, exotic gowns with eyes that are both wicked, sexy and pitiless. Like a cobra she glides into the lives of those she wants to manipulate, literally hypnotizing and using them to fulfill her righteous rage at these privileged girls who teased her mercilessly.