Romy White and Michele Weinberger Are 45
by Bobby Finger
This is part of a week-long series celebrating the 45th birthdays of characters from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
After a year of steadily increasing sales at Romy & Michele, Romy and Michele paid Sandy back. Their store was such a success that he suggested they open another location, but the two thought a second store would affect their ability to provide personalized service to their customers. One store was enough, they thought. One store was good.
In 2000 they moved out of their apartment in Venice and found two adjacent units in West Hollywood. It took some time for them to adjust to being neighbors and not roommates, but eventually they were happy in their new homes. Romy’s decor was mostly shades of red. Michele’s was mostly shades of turquoise. Apart from the colors, their furniture and overall decor was almost identical. To this day they say it wasn’t planned. “We have the same taste!”
For their 35th birthdays, they threw a joint party that remains infamous to this day. No one knows if it was because the party itself was expertly planned or because there was literally nothing else happening in Los Angeles that night, but all of Hollywood was there. Colin Farrell made a pass at Romy. When she turned him down, he made a pass at Michele. When she turned him down, Leonardo DiCaprio took note and poured them champagne. But Romy and Michele weren’t interested in being wooed by celebrities. They just wanted to dance. Their rendition of “Yeah” received thunderous applause, and the attention of two best friends named Remy and Maxwell — industry types with no public name recognition but plenty of influence.
“Remember those two hot guys from last night?” asked Romy the next day.
“Ooo, which ones?” asked Michele.
“Ooo, in the suits?”
“Yeah. I think we should call them.”
“Do we have their numbers?”
Romy opened her clutch and retrieved a napkin with their numbers scribbled on it.
“Yes. We do.”
“Ooo, let’s do it!”
“Michele. I just had the best idea. Wouldn’t it be fun if we called them at the same time?”
“You mean like a four-way?”
“Yes. Like, wouldn’t that be memorable? Wouldn’t that be quirky?”
“Oh my god, yes. I love conference calls!”
Remy and Maxwell, as it turned out, were the two most charming and wonderful men Romy and Michele had ever met. They were supportive. They were generous. Romy and Michele would listen to their discussions of Hollywood’s inner workings as intently as Remy and Maxwell listened to them discussing fashion. Remy made Michele a better everything, and vice versa. Romy made Maxwell a better everything, and vice versa. These were two happy pairs made even happier by the other’s presence, and their joint wedding brought tears to everyone in attendance.
Not having kids was their decision, and the questions by friends and family have finally stopped. But even without children, the sounds of laughter and glee fill both their homes (on adjacent lots in Laurel Canyon). They keep in touch with old friends, and have made plenty of new ones since the reunion — but, mostly, they find life’s joy in their foursome. At a recent movie night (it was Romy and Maxwell’s week), a slightly drunk Michele approached Romy as she poured popcorn into a bowl.
“Hey, um, have you ever considered having a foursome? Like a sexual one?”
“Oh god, yes! But then the thought of being next to you and Remy’s naked bodies while my husband and I are also naked gives me the urge to, like, vomit up food I haven’t even eaten yet. Do you know what I mean?”
“Yes. Totally. Remy and I just wanted to ask because whatever!”
“Of course! But also…ask me again when we’re 50.”
“OK! Amazing popcorn by the way!”
“Thank you! I added truffle oil.”
Friends — particularly friends who meet at a young age — have a way of growing apart as they get older. Their dreams change. Their goals change. The world around them changes. But sometimes you’re lucky enough (and it is luck) to form a bond that just won’t quit. One that slowly solidifies at a molecular level over years of stretching and twisting. And then, way down the road, you realize…that’s it. There’s nothing you could ever do to get them out of your life, and that there’s nothing they could ever do to make you want to.
You realize that, and then you decide to keep them. You just keep them.
Bobby Finger will just have two burgers, fries, and Diet Cokes because he’s in a hurry.