May 05, 1997 12:00 PM

Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow

It’s fitting that Cyndi Lauper is prominently featured on the soundtrack of this female buddy comedy, but the filmmakers use the wrong song. Instead of her torch-like “Time After Time,” Lauper’s 1983 pop anthem, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” would be a much better match for the merry mood and message.

Romy and Michele isn’t a good movie, but it is a fun one. The title characters (Sorvino and Kudrow) are a couple of relentlessly cheerful dim bulbs who, since finishing high school, have been rooming together in L.A., working at dumb jobs by day and going to discos at night. Now, with their 10th reunion looming, they suddenly realize that they have neither the jobs nor the beaus, much less the husbands, to cut much of a swath among their former classmates back home in Tucson. What to do? Why, dress like sexy business execs, claim to have made a fortune off inventing Post-it notes and hope for the best.

As written by Robin Schiff (cocreator of TV’s Almost Perfect) and directed by first-timer David Mirkin, the movie plays like an extended series of blackout sketches. None of it is very deep, but there are some zingy lines along the way (“I’m the Mary, and you’re the Rhoda. I’m cuter,” Kudrow tells Sorvino). Kudrow displays crack, comic timing, getting laughs with lines that would otherwise wilt, and Janeane Garofalo, playing an ex-classmate who has made good but still isn’t happy, is an acerbic delight. As for Sorvino, she’s just out to enjoy the ride. (R)

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