You know, was there anyone more powerful in Hollywood in the 80’s than John Hughes. I mean, this man made some of the most iconic movies to exist in pop culture in the span of a decade.I honestly don’t know anybody that hasn’t seen at least one of his movies over the years, or referenced one of them. Today’s movie has always been one of those movies that I found entertaining. I think the fact that it seemed to almost always be on TV at one point or another probably helped with that. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Weird Science.
The plot: Nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly are standing outside the gym watching the girls participating in their gymnastics class. As they fantasize about what they would like to do, including with Deb and Hilly, their boyfriends Ian and Max sneak up behind Gary and Wyatt and quickly pull down their gym shorts, then yell out to the girls, leaving Gary and Wyatt exposed in their underwear to them. Later, Gary goes to spend the night at Wyatt’s house and is upset to learn that while Wyatt’s parents are gone, his brother Chet is coming home from military school for the weekend to look after the house and Wyatt while they are gone. That night, as they are watching Frankenstein, Gary comes up with the idea to use Wyatt’s computer to make a female simulation so they can try and practice talking with girls. As they get more involved in their project, they end up hacking into a military computer to boost their simulation’s abilities, then hook the computer up to a doll as a body for the program. AS they are doing this, strange red strom clouds appear over the house and as lightning hits the house and cause complete chaos in the town, they end up creating a real woman from their experiment. After taking a shower with Gary and Wyatt, who both keep their pants on, the woman says she wants to go out and so they head out, with the woman magically changing their clothes as they exit the room. As they are driving downtown in her pink convertible, the woman says that since they created her, they should give her a name and Gary suggests Lisa. Arriving at a bar, Lisa produces ID’s for the boys so they can get in and they proceed to mingle. Gary and Wyatt are uncomfortable at first but soon loosen up, with Gary proceeding to get drunk during the night. On the way home, Wyatt ends up driving and Lisa asks him what he is going to tell Chet about her but Wyatt says he hasn’t thought of it. When they get back to Wyatt’s house, Wyatt runs into Chet, who proceeds to pick on Wyatt and Gary, and demand money to buy his silence, before he goes to bed. After putting Gary to bed, Wyatt heads back down to sneak Lisa inside and she talks to him for a little bit, and works on teaching him how to kiss, and though she doesn’t like it, she agrees to stay hidden from Chet. The next morning, Gary and Wyatt think that everything was a dream until they hear Lisa calling them down for breakfast and Wyatt is shown to be wearing Lisa’s clothes from when she first appeared. They head to the mall with Lisa and while they are waiting for her as she shops, Ian and Max dump an Icee on them. As the two bullies laugh at their prank, Deb and Hilly consider breaking up with them but decide to forgive them, as they didn’t want to be social pariahs. As they are leaving, Ian and Max see Lisa going up the escalator in the opposite direction and quickly leave their girlfriends behind to chase after her. When they catch up to her, they try talking to her but are shocked to find that she is with Gary and Wyatt. As they are leaving, Lisa says that there is a party at Wyatt’s house and she tells them to spread the word and they drive off, leaving a stunned Ian and Max staring after them. At Wyatt’s house, Wyatt is asking Lisa why she is throwing a party and she tells him that they wanted to be popular and have fun and they needed to loosen up. Lisa then goes to pick up Gary and meets his parents, who get upset and angry at what she tells them about Gary and threaten to call the cops but she uses her powers to make his dad forget about Gary and they leave. As Lisa finishes setting up, Gary and Wyatt admit that they have no friends but Lisa opens the door and they see the whole school there for the party. As the party goes on, Ian and Max show up with Deb and Hilly and as Ian and Max go to the bar, then try to hit on Lisa, Deb and Hilly wander around the house. The end up at the bathroom where Gary and Wyatt were hiding and they end up talking briefly before the girls leave. Deb and Hilly run into Lisa, who asks if they met Gary and Wyatt and tells them they should shower with them. Meanwhile, Ian and Max apologize to Gary and Wyatt in the hopes they will set them up with Lisa and Gary and Wyatt tell them about creating her. Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to try and make them a woman of their own and they proceed to do it, causing chaos to occur at the party. When Lisa appears in the doorway, she chastises Gary and Wyatt, then reminds them that they didn’t hook up a doll to the computer, just as a ballistic missile comes up from the ground and into the house. Wyatt’s grandparents show up to pay a surprise visit to Wyatt and they start yelling at all of the kids to get out when Lisa confronts them and puts them in suspended animation. When Wyatt and Gary find out, they start freaking out and Lisa decides to cause a situation to give them a confidence boost. Suddenly, a gang of mutant bikers crash the party and begin terrorizing all of the guests. Ian and Max decide to run and hide, leaving Deb and Hilly to find for themselves. When the bikers grab Deb and Hilly and confront Gary and Wyatt, Gary and Wyatt stand up to the bikers and manage to make them leave. Afterwards, Deb and Hilly talk with Gary and Wyatt respectively and the girls end up falling for the two guys. The next morning, Chet returns from his hunting trip and when he sees the disaster the house has become, he confronts Gary and Wyatt over what happened. When he continually mocks Wyatt, Lisa stops him and tells the boys to take the girls home while she deals with Chet. Wyatt takes Hilly home and kisses her and as she walks to her door, he tells her he loves her, just as the lawn sprinklers come on. Meanwhile, Gary avoids getting a speeding ticket as he takes Deb home and when they get there, he tries explaining that the car, clothes, and everything isn’t really him but she tells him that she wants to know the real him and they kiss. When they return to Wyatt’s home, they find Chet had been turned into a talking piece of crap and Chet apologizes for how he treated Wyatt in the past. When Wyatt and Gary go see Lisa, she assures them that Chet will be back to normal in half an hour. They guys then tell Lisa that they have girlfriends now and don’t need her and she tells them she is happy for them and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Once she is gone, the house, and Chet, are returned back to normal, just as Wyatt’s parents return. The next day in school, Lisa is shown to be the new gym teacher and as all of the guys faint, she winks at the camera.
Weird Science met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Hardly in the same league as John Hughes’ other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.” During the movie, Gary, played by Anthony Michael Hall, mentions having a girlfriend in Canada, a line Hall used earlier in the year in another John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club. The movie was a box office success, earning $38.9 million off of a $7.5 million budget, and has spawned a television series in the mid 90’s, while a remake has been in the works since 2013.
This is still a ridiculous movie that is pretty entertaining. The acting was pretty good, with Anthony Michael Hall (Gary) and Ilam Mitchell-Smith (Wyatt) doing good jobs in their roles. Kelly LeBrock was great as Lisa, but I honestly thought that Suzanne Snyder and Judie Aronson were kind of boring as Deb and Hilly. The story was a great mix of teenage drama with some science fiction added to it. I thought the nod to “Frankenstein” was a great way to introduce Lisa, who went from being their “ideal” woman to helping them actually gain the confidence to get a real girlfriend. The special effects were good but most of the story was carried by the drama and comedy aspects of the movie. It’s a fun movie to watch when you just want to have some laughs.
Rating: 4 out of 5