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May 21, 2015 3:41 PM   Subscribe

 
Yes. Yes, it is.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:46 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Great movie. Also, in retrospect, Jordan was a pretty big influence on my taste in women.
posted by brundlefly at 3:49 PM on May 21, 2015 [30 favorites]


I am reminded of the immortal words of Socrates, who said: "I drank what?"
posted by steef at 3:53 PM on May 21, 2015 [26 favorites]


I am acquainted with one of the women Jordan was based on (she was interviewed as part of the script research), and yes she was that terrifyingly energetic and uber-competent. Though apparently it took her more like two nights to knit the sweater.
posted by tavella at 3:55 PM on May 21, 2015 [23 favorites]


Nice to finally see a film that celebrates the often overlooked demographic of nerd culture.
posted by Ratio at 3:57 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


You see Mitch, I used to be you. And lately I've been missing me so I asked Dr. Hathaway if I could room with me again and he said sure.

When I got to college, I did this. Because of this movie.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:58 PM on May 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


How long did it take you to choose a headline? I thought about posting this but was paralyzed by an abundance of choice.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:59 PM on May 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


I loved this movie so much when it came out.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:02 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved this movie as a teenager, and then as a physics major. Now that I am a professor, I can tell you the exact moment when my sympathies shifted from Chris Knight to Gerry Hathaway.

(But in my heart, of course, I am Mitch. We are all Mitch.)
posted by BrashTech at 4:04 PM on May 21, 2015 [20 favorites]


I ❤️ TOXIC WASTE
posted by Aznable at 4:11 PM on May 21, 2015 [15 favorites]


I remember watching this as a teenager and thinking how wonderfully bizarre it was. It was very good, but very different, in the best of ways.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:11 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is the year I finally throw my Real Genius party. Except I don't know what to serve besides popcorn.
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:13 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I took me a while to pick a title. There are so many quotable moments, but I decided to go low-key, so others could have the fun of posting.
posted by fings at 4:13 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel guilty about it, but Real Genius is probably my favorite movie.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:19 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I ❤️ TOXIC WASTE

I actually had this shirt made, and wore it.

"Surf Nicaragua" would be harder to reproduce. Attempts have been made (including ones you can purchase) but they look like crap because the real one looks the way it does because it's faded, not because the letters were shaped like that to begin with.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:21 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh I do so love this movie. I always felt weird about being a girl nerd who was much more Mitch-like than Manic Pixie Dream Girl (I love Jordan but she is that), but Val Kilmer was lookin' good so it's alright.
posted by easter queen at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I took me a while to pick a title. There are so many quotable moments, but I decided to go low-key, so others could have the fun of posting.

Well, speaking of ice, Chris's response to Kent asking "what is all this" are probably my favorite spoken lines in all of motion picturedom.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:26 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


somehow val kilmer ended up in two of my favorite movies, this and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
posted by echocollate at 4:26 PM on May 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Kent, you know you're not allowed to park that on campus.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:26 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Look, it was hot and I was hungry, okay?
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:28 PM on May 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Val Kilmer in Real Genius and Top Secret! is such a joy to behold. It's the delivery:
"Jerry, if you think that by threatening me you can get me to be your slave... Well, that's where you're right. But - and I am only saying this because I care - there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:28 PM on May 21, 2015 [16 favorites]


YES YES YES YES YES YES I love this movie. So, so much.

Where's the laser?
It's coming.
It's coming?! It's not even breathing hard!
posted by duffell at 4:29 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


somehow val kilmer ended up in two of my favorite movies, this and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

"Top Secret!" Is in my view the very best of the Zucker/Abrahams films, better than the Airplane!s, Hot Shot!s and way better than the Naked Guns. Though not better than the original Police Squad! series because nothing is.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:30 PM on May 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's the only movie I've ever seen that had programming an EPROM as a plot point.
posted by rfs at 4:35 PM on May 21, 2015 [15 favorites]


Stop touching yourself.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:35 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


>

It really is God.
posted by duffell at 4:38 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Now that I am a professor, I can tell you the exact moment when my sympathies shifted from Chris Knight to Gerry Hathaway.

There there. Have an apple.

P.S. I aced this.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:41 PM on May 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


The popcorn scene at the end set to Tears for Fears is one of the defining cinematic memories of my childhood.
posted by echocollate at 4:42 PM on May 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Speaking of Jordan from Real Genius, here's a link to someone whom the character is based on, at least partly. At the very least, it looks like the producers chatted with her and picked up a bunch of her mannerisms as well as some stories of other Cal Tech women engineers to roll up into a composite.
posted by mhum at 4:42 PM on May 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


"This, for example, is filed under H, for toy" - I'm pretty sure that line calibrated my sense of humor in favor of the absurd for at least 20 years.

And I have, in fact, surfed Nicaragua - I forgot all about that shirt! To be fair it was some time after the Iran-Contra affair when I went, however.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 4:49 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


A girl's got to have her standards.
posted by delfin at 4:51 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


somehow val kilmer ended up in two of my favorite movies

That's because Val Kilmer is ridiculously awesome. Sometimes celebrity actor career arcs don't hit the mark you expect them to, and Val Kilmer is one of these. Don't mistake his relative obscurity today as some mark of real failure, Hollywood is a fickle beast. The Saint may have submarined him, though he was excellent in it.

I just deemed my 9 and 11 year old girls old enough to see this (probably a stretch, but whatever) and showed them Real Genius a few months ago. Still great.

"Kent! This is Jesus!"
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:54 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


This movie was very important to me during a rather difficult period of childhood. Glad so many people have come to recognize how special it is, although I guess really we've always known.
posted by absalom at 4:54 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, Lazlo is the best.
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:56 PM on May 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


I had forgotten how formative Jordan was to, like, my WHOLE DEAL.
posted by padraigin at 4:58 PM on May 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


Also the guy who plays Lazlo is the dirtbag uncle in Napoleon Dynamite and Mitch is a rando in Karate Kid 3 who gets a payoff from the SUPER over-the-top evil sensei to pick a fight with Daniel-san but that movie was terrible so don't bother.
posted by duffell at 5:02 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Second Airplane! wasn't the Zuckers.

I still give Val Kilmer a pass because of Real Genius. His career went off the rails pretty badly.
posted by Chuffy at 5:07 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quite apart from the limitless brilliance of the dialogue and the characters who will take up residence in your psyche as archetypes you didn't know you needed, particularly Laszlo and Jordan, the film has an incredible amount of soul as well.

You don't realize until you watch it for the second time that the juxtaposition of the title graphics and song are telling you exactly what the film is going to be about. And the Crossbow Project briefing was a notably great short film all by itself. And it came out my third year in college, so to me the soundtrack is exactly right: after I saw it I kept getting Chaz Jankel's "Number One" stuck in my head when I studied.

This is just all kinds of great film.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:09 PM on May 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Kilmer's great in Spartan if you haven't seen it.

Also: "May I say, sir, I admire your taste in footwear."
posted by brundlefly at 5:10 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


mmmmyes, well. Philomena likes them. ok now I'll stop.
posted by duffell at 5:13 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmmm. "Number One" might need to go in my 80s Fight Film Training Montage mix now. It's needed more keyboards for some time.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:14 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Goldfish in the water cooler, a not entirely stupid use of tech/computers in the plot and a B1 bomber...iconic film.

Knight's approach to Hathaway's girlfriend had that "tail end of the Caddyshack era" je ne sais quoi.
posted by Chuffy at 5:14 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jordan Cochran – Michelle Meyrink : Michelle did only a few more spots, but then decided to give up acting in 1988. She is now a Zen Buddhist with her husband and 3 children in Canada.
posted by odinsdream at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have probably used the response to "Do you run?" ("Only if chased") most of my entire life.

This movie never fails to reaffirm how much I love being alive.
posted by Kitteh at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'd applaud a deep dive FPP about Val Kilmer, but since there isn't one, I give for your consideration, his roles in:

Chris Shiherlis in Heat
Simon Templar in The Saint
Batman in Batman Forever
Doc Holliday in Tombstone*
The Sherpa in Entourage

* I'd probably rank Real Genius and Top Secret in the Kilmer canon, but damn was he good as Doc Holliday
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:27 PM on May 21, 2015 [15 favorites]


Everyone needs a weird guy in the closet to remind you of the important things in life.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:35 PM on May 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


The three films I've ever seen which are the most Shakespearean, in the sense of providing lines of dialogue that are perfectly iconic for the situations they represent, are

Casablanca, Real Genius, and The Big Lebowski.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:40 PM on May 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


I loved Kilmer as The Saint. If you ever listen to the director commentary, he talks about making the film and the moments when Kilmer was clearly going off the rails (this was at the tail end of one of his disastrous films where everyone hated everyone) and how that transformed what the movie ended up being - which is really a meditation on Identity.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:43 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Salton Sea ftw
posted by lalochezia at 5:47 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Everyone needs a weird guy in the closet to remind you of the important things in life.

True, but I just call him my husband.
posted by Kitteh at 5:53 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I admit that I still like Thunderheart.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:55 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maybe this is the year I finally throw my Real Genius party. Except I don't know what to serve besides popcorn.

Yogurt served in a pyrex beaker? Burgers which if you eat them will give you enormous breasts? Plus whatever they're having in the diner scene. Which I think is more hamburgers. Oh, and Jello, to be eaten naked. For any guests who are Kent.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:57 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Except I don't know what to serve besides popcorn.

Little pickles? You know, for throwing?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:00 PM on May 21, 2015 [16 favorites]


Except I don't know what to serve besides popcorn.

Well, if it's hot and you're hungry, I recommend eating Jell-O naked.

Edit: Damn it, beaten to the punch.
posted by duffell at 6:05 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


love this movie so much. Thanks for the post!
posted by curious nu at 6:07 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh. My. God. This is my #1 favorite film of all time. Whenever the question of what one's favorite film comes up, there's no in-brain discussion of "Kagemusha, no-- Three Colors trilogy but only Blue. No. White. No. Red. No. White. No. Wait. Mauvais Sang. No. Wait." It's just Real Genius. For all of the reasons written above.

Back in the LiveJournal days, I had written up a long discussion about Real Genius' religious themes. You know what I'm talking about: Mitch dropping his books and Lazlo appearing above him haloed by the sun. Or Bodie (Bodhisattva?), who suddenly stopped stuttering through the use of shock treatments. Which leads to Professor Hathaway who, despite being a dick, might really be "Professor Hathaway, with Everything," who encourages Bodie to attain true enlightening by upping the voltage. Somewhere along the line a Holy Trinity of Nerds was found, involving Knight, Hathaway, and Lazlo, that surpassed any particular religion and accomplished Pure Goodness and popcorn.

I could (and did) go on and on about this, but I cannot make it cohere, here. It's been too long ago, and things got purged.

Yes, I own a I Heart Toxic Waste shirt. I wear it to work sometimes, as a goof, for goofy T-shirt day during teaching weeks when the residents look like they're getting burned out (cf. scene in library with yelling). I've a friend we'll call Perfect Tommy (because that's his name), and I bought him an I Heart Toxic Waste shirt, too, because he loves the film as much as I do. We met up once in northern VA, around the time when things were not going so well for my pop. Went to a Korean restaurant, which some of you may know can be rather loud and boisterous: much food, much booze, much smoking, much laughter. Let me tell you this: the sight of one tall German and one slightly-less-tall Korean, in matching I Heart Toxic Waste T-shirts is enough to silence such a restaurant.

A fellow once skated past me on the street and yelled out "cool shirt, bro!" And we ended up sitting on a bench, which has since been ripped out in a foolish anti-homeless-person effort, talking about rumors of a sequel for the better part of half an hour.

I dream of a woman approaching me and asking me if I'd want to help test her rebreather.


This movie has obviously had a profound effect on a lot of people. Very briefly, it taught me that it was ok to be a nerd. That's it. I could go on and on about this specific point, but I know I've the tendency to be long-winded. And so allow me to pass on some tidbits of trivia:

- The fellow who's sitting down and targeting convoy to be destroyed by Crossbow? That's Stacy Peralta, who went on to form Powell/Peralta.
- Kent's name really is on his license plate: KENT TOR = Kent Torokvei.
- Kevin Bacon plays bass on Comsat Angels' song, I'm Falling.
- The bassist is not the same Kevin Bacon of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing (sigh).
- Lazlo's computer, if I recall correctly, prompts: "COMMAND, LASLO?," misspelling his name (or is this his true biblical/canonical name?).
- Jordan is so Jordan that when she signals to the others that the coast is clear she doesn't just go "psst," she goes, "PPPSSSSST!" with spittle and everything!


And now I leave you with some additional trivia.
posted by herrdoktor at 6:35 PM on May 21, 2015 [29 favorites]


Well, herrdoktor, that makes you King of the Winter Carnival.
posted by gwint at 6:45 PM on May 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


And now we're salsa-ing.
posted by armacy at 6:46 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I may have been the one entry in the Madame Curie lookalike contest, who was disqualified later.
posted by herrdoktor at 6:48 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was hot and hungry.
posted by jonmc at 7:04 PM on May 21, 2015


A girl's got to have her standards.

I had a friend that met Deborah Foreman, and his heart just about exploded.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:19 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Nerds :: The Well of Souls: Snakes

Nerds. Why'd it have to be nerds?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:22 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love this article, by the way. It had never occurred to me that Chris Knight asked to room with Mitch because he wanted to protect him.

Another thing I love about this movie (which the article points out): There are different kinds of nerds. Knight and Mitch are high-energy physics. Hollyfeld, though, is a CS guy, and Jordan's mechanical. In one of the montages, there are multiple people arguing over what looks like a blueprint or a plan, and you can tell they're all bringing different skillsets to the party.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:24 PM on May 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


Nerds. Why'd it have to be nerds?

Trekkers! Very dangerous. You go first.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:24 PM on May 21, 2015 [11 favorites]


I see everybody's forgetting one of Kilmer's best roles: The Mentor in True Romance.
"I like you, Clarence. Always have," *motions with hands* "Always will."
Not sure why this TV remake is a thing, I'm sure it will be all CSI: Cyber and full of sad.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:29 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Glad i'm not the only one who made their own "I <3 Toxic Waste" shirt.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:32 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I watch this move every year just to rebalance my sense of the universe. Thank you for a reminder.
posted by grimjeer at 7:42 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


This movie would've been a 10 if it hadn't ended with "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." But it did end with "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." So that makes it like a 1000.

Also, these are the best comments in any thread. Ever.
posted by jonathanhughes at 7:46 PM on May 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Fraud is a felony!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:53 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


And now we're salsa-ing.

No. "And now we're doing the cha-cha."
posted by BlueDuke at 8:01 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]




I loved this movie when I first saw it in the theater, loved it more with each rewatching into high school and college, but didn't fully appreciate until later how deeply responsible it was for organizing my thoughts about the relationships between scientists and engineers and the uses their work is put to.

It also depicts smart people in a way that celebrates their wonderful weird diversity, pokes fun with the kind of smart humor they enjoy, and avoids all the off-putting minstrelsy of stuff like "Big Bang Theory" despite being an eighties movie.

One of my very faves.
posted by Songdog at 8:11 PM on May 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I attended Caltech as an undergraduate from 1986 to 1990 and all I can say is "yeah".
posted by Slothrup at 8:16 PM on May 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't know what to serve besides popcorn.

Someone already got the little pickles and the jello, but allow me to add yougurt, McDonald's (in an 80s-style bag, if you can find one), and Limbo Burgers.

Or Enormous Swiss Cheese.
posted by chimaera at 8:20 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


For those who don't already own this, it is currently in rotation on the various Encore channels, so do a search and fire up the DVR.
posted by old_growler at 8:25 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Welp, there's one post on MeFi I don't need to RTFA on to agree with.

(I still sometimes get some mileage out of the cha cha line IRL, along with the "people change" speech from Top Secret!)
posted by Samizdata at 8:30 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


"And now we're salsa-ing."
No. "And now we're doing the cha-cha."


No, "and then we're cha-cha-ing."
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:31 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I love this movie unreasonably.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:31 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


LobsterMitten: "I love this movie unreasonably."

Why you gotta be lying like that? No such thing!

Also, I just remembered pulling a Lazlo premovie. Universal Studios had a "Spend the Night In The Bates Motel." Combine young cocky Samizdata, his Commodore 64, his cheesy Commy printer and a box of fan feed/tractor feed postcards and... Well, you do the math...
posted by Samizdata at 8:35 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


chimaera: "I don't know what to serve besides popcorn.

Someone already got the little pickles and the jello, but allow me to add yougurt, McDonald's (in an 80s-style bag, if you can find one), and Limbo Burgers.

Or Enormous Swiss Cheese.
"

Dry ice for the bevvies?
posted by Samizdata at 8:36 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread restores my faith in the internet, or at least Metafilter. Favorites for all! And I'll let you know how the Real Genius party comes out, thanks to all your suggestions.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:41 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, did anyone suggest having a kiddie pool and scuba gear?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:49 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely sure I could fit one on our balcony...
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:52 PM on May 21, 2015


One of my favorite movies as well. You must watch it. It's a moral imperative.
posted by bitmage at 9:00 PM on May 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


On the party-food note: wasn't Lazlo's contest sponsored by Frito-Lay? So chips would work.

Also, exploding apples.
posted by rewil at 9:00 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


God I love this movie.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:11 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to address problems and dilemmas by asking myself, "what would Lazlo Hollyfeld do?"

I gave it up when I realized that nobody but Lazlo Hollyfeld is smart enough to know what he would do, let alone actually do it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:29 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Real Genius is the closest we'll ever get to a film version of Neal Stephenson's The Big U. Discuss. (The Big U was really more tuned into the generic big university experience, but the really nerdy parts had something going on, especially with the bits with the steam tunnels and the reclusive genius with his secret hacking hideaway.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:41 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thumbs up. I've always loved Real Genius, and certainly regarded it in a different league -- by a mile! -- from "smart guy" flicks, say 'Revenge of the Nerds". Or even more current fare, say "Big Bang Theory".

The article did a bang-up job of putting a thumb on that difference, spelling it out: how the movie portrays "smart" as something that encompasses "creativity and intelligence within the big picture" rather than a narrower "crafty problem solver" or "admire my clever adaptation!". Shoot, it's nearing 30 years (!!!) of viewings of the film; I carry that distinction with me, in part, due to the film (and/or Laszlo slinking out of the closet...).

If straight-up 'cleverness' was all that mattered, I'd argue that, of the tricks pulled in this movie, none resonate with me nearly as much as another Val Kilmer scene from the mid 80's.

Also, as others have mentioned upthread: Chaz Jankel. This movie introduced me to him; he's a stone cold genius.
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:46 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Theophrastus Johnson: "Thumbs up. I've always loved Real Genius, and certainly regarded it in a different league -- by a mile! -- from "smart guy" flicks, say 'Revenge of the Nerds". Or even more current fare, say "Big Bang Theory"."

I think the real key to Real Genius is that the movie, despite its puckishness, is just that is is fundamentally kind and goodnatured, and does a pretty damn good job avoiding the sexually sophomoric behaviour in so many similar movies. All the "heroes" are extremely easy to identify with and empathize with because they never actually do anything unjustfiably mean.
posted by Samizdata at 9:51 PM on May 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


My oldest nephew is a nerd who was not yet born when the movie came out. I am going to DVR it on Sunday morning. He's coming to visit later that day so we can see the new Mad Max and I am going to try to convince him to stay over and then try to convince him to watch Real Genius with me. I hope he goes for it.
posted by old_growler at 10:29 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Jordan from Real Genius, here's a link to someone whom the character is based on, at least partly.

Link says she frequented alt.callahans & alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo, called herself Liralen Li . I remember her; she was a part of that Interactive Fiction crowd, collaboratively writing a story involving all of their personas. It was a much much smaller Internet back then; if you were involved at all you eventually bumped into pretty much everyone sooner or later.
posted by scalefree at 10:36 PM on May 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Michelle Meyrink was also in the criminally unappreciated Valley Girl, along with Deborah Foreman (who has her standards) and Nicolas Cage (who doesn't).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:43 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know Liralen too, although she mostly goes by her so-called real name now. I mean, we're friends on Facebook. She taught me to spin.

she is EXACTLY as cool as you'd think she would be. Possibly cooler.
posted by KathrynT at 11:29 PM on May 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


evidenceofabsence: “I feel guilty about it, but Real Genius is probably my favorite movie.”
I know, right? I mean I know I should say High and Low, The Naked Island, 2001, or hell even the obvious choice of Star Wars, but this movie probably has meant more to me over the years, and had a greater influence on my life and philosophy, than any other.

It is however quite horrifying to realize that one hasn't morphed from Mitch to Chris over the course of one's life, but rather from Mitch to Lazlo.

P.S. “They're beauticians?” “Not yet.”

P.P.S. “Coming? Ha! It's not even breathing hard.”
posted by ob1quixote at 11:38 PM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also the guy who plays Lazlo is the dirtbag uncle in Napoleon Dynamite...

Also the dude driving the van at the beginning of Men in Black.

I saw Real Genius in the theater when I was 14. At 'I drank what', I was the only one laughing, which was a weird tea/no tea moment - so alone/I'm part of a demographic!

Weird Science came out around the same time, and struck me as being the anti-this, and I hated people equating them and liking it.

Best movie ever. Excellent post!
posted by you must supply a verb at 2:21 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Big Bang Theory had half the heart that Real Genius has it would be a thousand times more than it exhibits.
posted by asok at 2:32 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am reminded of the immortal words of Socrates, who said: "I drank what?"

Why? Why on this earth did I not say this to my newly minted ex-wife when we had just signed the divorce papers? That beautiful line can be difficult to work into a conversation, and it would have fit so damn well at that moment. One more lost opportunity.

Hell of a movie, though.
posted by bryon at 2:36 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I read this thread last night and it bought some real memories. So much that I decided to watch it again and didn't get to bed until 0345.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:51 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


There also seems to be an early draft of the script online.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:07 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had forgotten how formative Jordan was to, like, my WHOLE DEAL.

I was fourteen when Real Genius came out. Unto this very day, a cute, nerdy, awkward woman will get my head turning like someone needs to summon an old priest and a young priest.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:58 AM on May 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Did anyone mention Deborah Foreman's other great role, in the movie "My Chauffeur"? So Eighties Movie, but also really great dialogue.
posted by wenestvedt at 4:01 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I never identified with Mitch or Chris. I was Lazlo. I even got to marry Sherry Newgill.

Now, sadly, I think I've turned into Dr. Meredith.

"I think the young people really enjoy it when I get down verbally, don't you?."
posted by panglos at 4:12 AM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Did anyone mention Deborah Foreman's other great role, in the movie "My Chauffeur"? So Eighties Movie, but also really great dialogue.

Oh shit yes. Upon finding out that her new boyfriend, played by Sam "Flash Gordon" Jones, is maybe her biological brother: "Uh-oh! We've been bad!" and his response, "We've been very bad."
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:46 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


What can I say that hasn't been said better already? 8-year-old me loved this movie and couldn't wait for college to be like this. I still appreciate Chris Knight's taste in footwear.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:54 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is that liquid nitrogen?
posted by Humanzee at 5:31 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you guys think it's getting weird around here?
posted by echocollate at 5:34 AM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I didn't notice.
posted by rewil at 6:00 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's not one of the common favorite lines, but "would you classify that as a launch problem or a design problem?" still kills me every damn time.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:17 AM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Always...no, no...never...forget to check your references.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:20 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


My brother's name is Kent, which makes the movie extra fun. Fortunately the resemblance ends there.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:25 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess it was a literally life-changing movie for me. I started undergrad as a physics major, and halfway through I freaked out at the thought of continuing through grad school and winding up working on some sort of weapons project. So I switched majors to English and never looked back. I never really thought of it this way before, but looking back I think that decision was about 95% based internalized Real Genius.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:32 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


This movie was released the summer before my senior year in high school and it, in retrospect, was a cornerstone for what my personality developed into. It certainly explains a great deal of the escapades I found myself involved in for the next several years. Those years were so much fun!

I ♥ Real Genius
posted by djeo at 7:37 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is the crown jewel in William Atherton's Asshole Trilogy. He's fun in Ghostbusters and Die Hard, of course, but he's just *fantastic * as Jerry Hathaway.

"Up the voltage."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:07 AM on May 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


I quickly scanned this (awesome!) thread and don't see reference to this: lovingly, profoundly exact reproductions of all of Chris Knight's shirts have been available through Found Item Clothing for years. I own several and they are perfection... all details have been nailed, transfers are top quality and the American Apparel shirts have handled their age very well:
- I ♥ Toxic Waste
- International Order For Gorillas
- Roy Rogers Olympics
- LA Summer Games 1984
- Surf Nicaragua
- and even the bunny slippers
posted by rodeoclown at 8:09 AM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


Did you wanna borrow my pajamas?
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:17 AM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Always...no, no...never...forget to check your references.

I think young people enjoy it when I "get down" verbally, don't you?
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


ob1quixote: "
evidenceofabsence: “I feel guilty about it, but Real Genius is probably my favorite movie.”
P.P.S. “Coming? Ha! It's not even breathing hard.”
"

Not exactly accurate, but I often make the joke when someone asks if I am coming, I say "No, but I am on the way."
posted by Samizdata at 8:28 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt: "Did anyone mention Deborah Foreman's other great role, in the movie "My Chauffeur"? So Eighties Movie, but also really great dialogue."

Nope. Gonna say her turn in Waxwork was a good bit cooler, IMO, as it steps way outside the comfort zone her prior roles had established. Also, Zach Galligan.
posted by Samizdata at 8:31 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have that International Order For Gorillas shirt rodeoclown links to, and it is great quality and looks great. The only reason I've worn out two of them and I'm on my third is that I wear them so damned much.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:34 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lazlo Hollyfeld: "I have that International Order For Gorillas shirt rodeoclown links to, and it is great quality and looks great. The only reason I've worn out two of them and I'm on my third is that I wear them so damned much."

Getting all epistonyerical up in here!
posted by Samizdata at 8:36 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


This thread has become a black hole for all my favorites. We're approaching peak favorites!
posted by echocollate at 8:39 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


echocollate: "This thread has become a black hole for all my favorites. We're approaching peak favorites!"

Might I say, "A classic example of elegant good taste."?
posted by Samizdata at 8:47 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


skycrashesdown: "I'm not entirely sure I could fit one on our balcony..."

Eponysterical.
posted by Reverend John at 9:04 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


For a long time I would go to this one vendor at the area swap meet that was selling off overruns for custom T-shirt orders. These would relate to obscure businesses, events or organizations. I never knew what I was looking for but I knew it when I found it. I'd usually manage to come away with two or three that hit exactly the right note of looking good and slightly surreally decontextified subject matter.

To this day I look at online t-shirt sellers with their forced jokes and think "trying too hard". Chris Knight would never wear one of those. Let alone anything that even suggested a recognizable brand name.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:18 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


*crosses "post something eponysterical to Metafilter without realizing it" off her list of things to do*
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:58 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I had a teacher who did 'take one and pass it back, just like your IQ was normal'.
posted by you must supply a verb at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Somehow I managed to not see this movie growing up.

I finished highschool and went to university, and it was big and daunting and for the first time since elementary I didn't know anyone anywhere in any of my courses, or even where I was supposed to be, and I kept to myself and felt all alone. But knew I needed to make an effort socially, so I joined a club, and made myself go on their first night. It was another daunting room filled with people I didn't know, and they screened a film I didn't know about - Real Genius.

Afterwards, I walked out of that room feeling like maybe this was a good place and good people for me, and maybe this university thing was going to be ok. It was the reassurance that I needed, but that I would have brushed off if it came from someone directly.
I didn't make my Mitch-to-Chris transition until well after graduating, but I wasn't working on weapons, so that was ok too :)

In hindsight, the choice of movie was no accident. Whoever you are, good work, and thanks :)
posted by anonymisc at 2:03 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


A life error will be corrected today ... First ever viewing coming up
posted by doogyrev at 2:56 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favourite scene is that one where Chris and co. are in gasmasks pumping ether or some other sleeping-type gas under someone's doorjamb (forgive me if I'm getting the details wrong; I'm not in a Googling mood here), and a random student comes walking up the corridor. Everyone looks up and there's a panic that their cover has been blown, but the student just walks by as if he's seen weirder things that same week. I was in high school at the thime, and that scene more than anything made university seem like the coolest place imaginable.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Your mother puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?"

I loooooved this movie too. Now I gotta find a way to watch it again...in a hotel room, 800 miles from home.
posted by hearthpig at 5:24 PM on May 22, 2015


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