Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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The Science isn't the Weird Thing

It's like there was a board meeting of Hollywood producers where everyone was put into an enchanted slumber. I expected, from its reputation, 1985's Weird Science to be bad and abrasive but in not quite the somewhat stranger ways it ended up being. John Hughes, who wrote and directed the film, created such effective and complex characters in The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off it's somewhat surprising that in his heyday he could fumble so totally as he did with Weird Science. But it's almost surreal, especially now where the 1980s conceits stand out more. It's like Hughes began with a broad concept and had no idea what to fill it in with despite having every confidence that he did. So it's filled with nonsense.

Maybe the best case in point would be the scene where the digitally created dream woman, Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), takes the two nerds, Gary and Wyatt (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Michael Smith), to the phoniest looking blues bar possibly in media history. This is part of the plan to fulfil the boys' desire to be popular party people. Gary gets drunk and inexplicably imitates Eddie Murphy for the bulk of the scene. It's funny, but it seems to have little to do with anything. It seems to be more about Anthony Michael Hall, the performer, and it almost seems like Hughes said to him, "This scene is going nowhere, why don't you think of something?"

The movie needed a Molly Ringwald. She seems to be the only girl Hughes felt really comfortable imbuing with character, aside from from Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club and to a lesser extent Mia Sara in Ferris Bueller. Because the whole lesson he's trying to convey in Weird Science is how these two unpopular guys can get girlfriends. It seems rather obvious the question ought to have been how should they relate and connect with girls--the two real girls apportioned for them by the plot are notably emptier of personality than the simulated girl.

The simulated girl, Lisa, after taking a shower with the boys immediately after her creation, consistently seems to do nothing make the boys uncomfortable in a rather smug manner, clearly as the agent of what Hughes has decided is the moral lesson, but because his lesson doesn't make sense, she doesn't make sense. Though nothing she does is as inexplicable as Wyatt comfortably roaming the house wearing her panties when he has a psychotic older brother played by Bill Paxton.

There is, quite simply, no reason for this except that the filmmakers thought it would be funny. It's not especially. The humour is lacking partly because of the latent homophobia but even more so for the disconnect it shows between the filmmakers and their work.

The message of the film kind of floats in an isolated bubble at the end and seems vaguely to be, "If you believe in yourself, you can convince girls to have sex with you and getting to know them isn't especially important."

I do like the Oingo Boingo song which thankfully has little to do with the film's plot, lyrically.

Tags: anthony michael hall, bill paxton, john hughes, movies, weird science

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