Weird Science (1985) popped back onto Netflix and since we haven’t seen it since it first came out, we thought we’d amuse ourselves with a trip down memory lane. What sucks is that usually stuff that seemed hilarious in high school isn’t quite as funny in middle age. Cynicism borne of life-wearying, soul-sapping experience? You bet your sweet ass.
The acting was mostly awful. The premise, so juvenile. The storytelling, so unabashedly steeped in stereotypes. The fashion, oh so outdated. The partying, so hedonistic. And it was still a blast even with mid-life cynicism trying to roadblock the trip down memory lane.
Nutshell: Two very uncool dudes have troubles with the ladies and with other dudes that intimidate them. And to make matters worse, Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), are terrorized by Wyatt’s older brother Chet (Bill Paxton). Bemoaning their state of affairs, they decide to create a computer-generated woman. Through Wyatt’s computer (was that a Commodore 64?), and a modem, the boys juice up the processing power of their program by tapping into the power of a military supercomputer. They hook up some miniature clamps to both ends of a Barbie-ish doll and let loose an awesome electrical dynamo and what do you know – Gary and Wyatt create Woman.
The woman (played by Kelly LeBrock) is dubbed Lisa by the boys, and she is a gorgeous bit of heaven — too much for the awkward lads. Lisa is affectionate and protective of the guys, and she creates opportunities to overcome their social fears and sexual frustration. In all, what teenage male could want anything more? Long story short, like all 1980’s teen comedies, the film ends with the boys getting real girlfriends and a departing tender moment when Lisa proudly but sadly sends her owners/wards free.
We had forgotten how adorable Kelly LeBrock was. She has wonderful screen charisma and is easy on the eyes to boot. It was also funny to see Robert Downey, Jr. as a young smart ass. You know, back before he was an old smart ass. We like Bob. Additionally, Peter Garrett jointed in as a Mutant Biker. Peter was taking a break from his Midnight Oil bandmates due to creative exhaustion and the fact that he was wanted for Crimes against Capitalism in his native Australia.
So, this John Hughes vehicle turns out just enough silliness to be a lot of fun. It probably doesn’t deserve 3 out of 4 stars, but we’ll give them to it anyways. Oh, and it has an Oingo Boingo theme song, so that’s an extra touch of 80s nostalgic goodness.