Two unpopular teenagers, Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly, fail at all attempts to be accepted by their peers. Their desperation to be liked leads them to "create" a woman via their computer. Their living and breathing creation is a gorgeous woman, Lisa, whose purpose is to boost their confidence level by putting them into situations which require Gary and Wyatt to act like men. On their road to becoming accepted, they encounter many hilarious obstacles, which gives the movie an overall sense of silliness.Written by
Jeff Ranous <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The illogical and wild side of the John Hughes coming-of-age films
Even when John Hughes makes a mediocre film such as "Weird Science," the nature of his intent still shines through, to the point where you can't necessarily fault him for anything except not making a better one. "Weird Science" serves as the ultimate 1980s high school nerd fantasy, one in which babes see social awkwardness as a turn-on and bullies and extortionist older brothers help themselves to large servings of humble pie. The movie truly doesn't need to be anything more, even in spite of the shallowness of its characters and general disregard for logic.
Anthony Michael Hall (in his fourth Hughes film in three years) and Ilan Mitchell-Smith star as two losers who determine that if they can't get girls the "old-fashioned" way that they can use their computer smarts to play Frankenstein and create the ideal woman. After some illegal hacking they pack her with a high IQ (and an appropriate breast size) then hook a doll up to a machine. One crazy storm inside their house later and suddenly there's Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), who's every bit as stunning with a type A personality as a nerd could possibly imagine or desire.
The story then goes the unexpected route. Lisa, equipped with mad street smarts and magic powers, literally takes over the driver's seat and the young Gary and Wyatt for a wild ride. After helping them loosen up a bit, she determines they need a few tests to find the courage they need to stand up to bullies and go after the girl.
Hughes determines that Lisa needs no rhyme or reason other than causing an appropriate amount of mischief so the boys can learn a valuable thing or two. She's the fairy godmother of this fantasy; it's one thing to stand up to your parents, for example, and tell them you're going to a party, and it's another to have a hot model do it for you (and cause your father to forget who you are).
Hughes basically sticks it to everyone who made his life crappy during his teens, though to be fair, he recognizes the nerd's shortcomings and doesn't paint them as heroes. Hughes has always played things close to the chest, filming most of his movies in the Chicago suburbs where he grew up, even naming the high school in "Weird Science" after the main road where his actual high school was. In this film he has absolute loony fun with his usual tropes, going as far as turning Bill Paxton, who plays Wyatt's militaristic older brother Chet, into a steaming pile of crap that looks like Jabba the Hut.
Fans of the more romantic side of Hughes, who love his candid nature toward portraying high schoolers, might find "Weird Science" to be the wild mutt of the family with its irreverence, and high level of silliness. It could be considered the "cult favorite" of the Hughes collection and that's fine. It definitely caters to those who can relate to being a socially outcast teenage boy and not too many others, but by no means is it a slip-up for the coming-of-age master.
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