Real Genius (1985)

Real Genius (1985), directed by Martha Coolidge.


Mitch: Something strange happened to me this morning.

Chris: Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?

Mitch: No...

Chris: Why am I the only one who has that dream?

I had this on beta-tape and could not estimate how many times I played it. Now: the non-stop gags and quotable dialogue seem a bit forced and the (very light) sex comedy is getting painful.

Still: it was an early entry into the "smart can be sexy and fun" genre. I knew outlaw physics student laser jocks who picked locks and lived in forgotten steam tunnels under the campus. A lot of the movie rings true. I'm not sure the people I knew would have objected to military applications for their death rays; maybe at "Pacific Tech".

We don't have orbiting lasers but the recent work with weaponized drones amounts to much the same thing.

This was Val Kilmer's second film. His energy and goofy charisma powers the whole thing.

One of the minor characters -- Sherry Nugil, who "collects" geniuses -- is played by former model Patti D'Arbanville, who had two Cat Stevens songs written about her, including the one using her name.

Lively 80s soundtrack, bringing up Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" for the credits. This was the band's first soundtrack appearance. How many times has that song been used since?