The popularity of movie reunions is telling of the surge of nostalgia people feel for an era in cinema they (rightly) deem to be better than the current one. The public craving to see the casts of their favorite movies reunited again is, however, never beneficial to those who would prefer to leave the film in its time and place. Below are some of the most prime examples of cast member reunions that sullied rather than enhanced one’s original perception of the movie.
Cruel Intentions (released 1999, cast reunited 2015): Cruel Intentions is the most recent example of a cast getting back together to celebrate a film’s anniversary. Though, in this case, it was a somewhat arbitrary get-together sixteen years later, with only three cast members showing up to The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions (and you know since Reese was there, Ryan wasn’t going to show up). The banal display of social media photos and another kiss shared between Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar was, indeed, a paltry tribute.
Mean Girls (released 2004, cast reunited 2014): Although Mean Girls got the elegant, tasteful print reunion it deserved via Entertainment Weekly in November of 2014, it just proved that none of the cast members had shit to do. And that Lindsay Lohan was probably pushing for it more than anyone else.
Napoleon Dynamite (released 2004, cast reunited 2014): No one believed that Napoleon Dynamite would have the devout following that it did when it was first released in 2004. But lo and behold, the film went on to rake in $45 million on a $400,000 budget. The low-budget value, 80s-inspired soundtrack and time-warp fashions all helped to endear audiences to it. But alas, the cast and crew couldn’t seem to leave well enough in the past, reuniting in 2014 for a number of interviews and enjoying a photo op in front of the Napoleon Dynamite statue erected on the Fox lot in honor of the ten-year milestone.
Wayne’s World (released 1992, cast reunited 2013): Like Cruel Intentions, the cast of Wayne’s World came together again on a non-milestone year–21 years after the movie was released in 1992. Bringing together the likes of Lara Flynn Boyle, Rob Lowe and Tia Carrere for a screening of the film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, this reunion was a prime instance of preferring to remember the cast members as they were (see: Flynn Boyle’s blatant plastic surgery transformation).
Pretty Woman (released 1990, casted reunited 2015): In celebration of the twenty-five year anniversary of the most mainstream prostitute movie of all-time, Julia Roberts, Richard Gere and director Garry Marshall assembled for an interview on The Today Show to discuss lesser known details of the filming, like how Roberts’ hair turned blonde by the time she was done filming the famous bathtub scene and that she had to have an emergency hair dying session that night before filming the next day. And while, sure, that’s interesting to know, wouldn’t it be nice for some of the mystique of a film’s greatness to remain unearthed?
The Breakfast Club (released 1985, cast reunited 2010 and 2015): Out of all the films on this list, The Breakfast Club seems to be the fondest of getting back together (though Emilio Estevez can’t be bothered to participate in such things). For the twenty-fifth anniversary back in 2010, the quartet gathered for an interview on ABC News to divulge the story behind the famed dance sequence in the movie, which was again retold for the thirtieth anniversary. Essentially, the scene never would have happened had John Hughes not gotten the rest of the cast to dance with Ringwald, who was too shy and embarrassed to do so on her own. Again, in the vein of Julia Roberts’ hair situation, is this a tidbit we really needed to know?
Scarface (released 1983, cast reunited 2011): Easily the most random anniversary to choose to reunite for, the cast of Scarface met up again in 2011 in honor of the Blu-ray (as if that’s a thing anymore) release of the movie. With Al Pacino coerced out of his lair for $100,000 and other fellow cast members like F. Abraham Murray, Steven Bauer and Robert Loggia in the wheelchair-bound mix, it was something of a sad affair that Tony Montana would have balked at. The drug lord would rather die in a blaze of glory than ever be caught looking old or sober.
Clueless (released 1995, cast reunited 2014): For the nineteen year anniversary (again, not sure why they couldn’t hold out until the twentieth for a more milestone effect) of Clueless‘ release, the cast assembled in honor of an L.A. Film Festival screening of the movie at Nokia Theater. Aside from the grim fact that Brittany Murphy is now dead and therefore couldn’t be in attendance, the aged appearance of Elisa Donovan and Jeremy Sisto added to a certain tinge of bleakness. Maybe that’s way harsh, but whatever.
And so, with this evermore present yearning to resurrect the past as a result of the cultural void of the moment, it seems that the prevalence of movie reunions will only increase. And with them, so too, will the ruination of an untarnished perspective.