Grosse Pointe Blank

I dug this old DVD out from our shelves recently because one of the Assholes (coughSeancough) is just old enough to be attending his own high school reunion. It’s impractical to tease him about it 24 hours a day, so I took a 107 minute break to watch this movie.

John Cusack is attending his own high school reunion in this movie – his 10th – and going back to grossepointeGrosse Point, Michigan means confronting the feisty prom date he stood up a decade ago (Minnie Driver) and his tenacious feelings for her. Oh, and did I mention he’s a hitman? You’d think ‘professional assassin’ would be a card you kept close to your chest, but actually Martin Blank plays it frequently, confessing to anyone who will listen, only no one ever believes him. I mean, would you, Sean, take the kid who repeatedly forgot his geography homework seriously if he told you he killed people for money? Or would it take finding a bloody corpse with a Bic pen sticking out of his neck crumpled by your old locker to think “Gee, this guy might be a psychopath”?

Going back to your old haunt after so many years away is never easy, and to be honest, I believe that high school reunions are for two types of people: 1) the geeks and nerds who have grown up to be either hot or rich or preferably both 2) the popular kids who ruled and peaked in high school and now, having gone down hill, want to relive their glory days. Not my cup of tea.

And for spouses, it’s even more awkward. This is not your school. These people are not and never were your friends. I liken it to being in a grocery store full of strangers, only for some reason you’re required to shake everyone’s hand and stand around making chit-chat with them as if you care. And you don’t care. You don’t want to see pictures of their stupid kids. You’re there for one of two reasons: either 1) you’re a trophy wife to show off or 2) you’re a crutch for when your spouse’s old high school insecurities start to flare. And now you’re obliged to stand around in uncomfortable shoes for hours while people you don’t know reminisce about things you weren’t there for. And it’s pointless to get invested – these people haven’t spoken to each other for 20 years and will go back to ignoring one another until their 40th. No one really cares, they just want to see and be seen. They hope that their social standing will have improved. They hope their successes will compare favourably to their peers’. But they don’t really care. If they really cared, they wouldn’t have lost touch. I mean, hello, it’s the age of Facebook. Aren’t high school reunions kind of obsolete now? What’s stopped you from Facebook-stalking any of these losers? They’re just somebodies that you used to know.

Okay, you can see that I’m hard on this whole high school reunion thing. I don’t get it. Have you been to yours? Would you? Was it terrible? I’m watching movies to prep myself, because that’s what I do. Next up: Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. That should be educational, right?

18 thoughts on “Grosse Pointe Blank

  1. mattasshole

    I think it’ll be fun, Jay. Nothing’s ever as bad as you think it’ll be.
    I would personally love to go to mine, if anyone in my grad class cared enough to organize one. I even thought of doing it myself. It’s way more fun finding out what everyone’s up to in person than stalking then looking at their Facebook page.
    It wouldn’t be nearly as great as Grosse Point Blank though. John Cusack’s best performance and the soundtrack kicks fucking ass.


  2. StephLove

    My 30th h.s. reunion is this year. I have no plans to go, but I’ve been to a couple college ones. My friendships were deeper in college. I’ve actually gotten to know a lot of my h.s. classmates through Facebook better than I knew them at the time (I was something of a wallflower) but it’s not enough to make me want to go.


    1. Jay Post author

      That’s true, and certainly my University friends have all scattered to the winds (all of us being from ‘out of town’). But I think a University reunion would be unweildly! Plus, I avoid all alumni mail because they seem to be 99% pleas for money.


  3. Maura

    I hated high school when I was there, why would I want to go back and see those people again? And I am approaching my 30 (yes, 30) year reunion. I have gone to my husband’s reunions since we lived in the town he grew up in. No excuses taken. They were horrible even though I did know some of the people. Reunions are to be avoided at all cost.


    1. Jay Post author

      Amen! I didn’t hate high school but I do love my life now and have no inclination whatsoever to relive another time. I guess I’m more about enjoying the now, and looking forward, than looking back.


  4. seanathant

    Well I’m excited to go and show off my trophy wife! And take her on a tour of my condemned high school, then to a rugby game, and then to the only bar in town!


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