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Real Genius: The Film That Flew Under The Retro Radar

How did this Underrated 80's go unnoticed?

By Samantha ParrishPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
The Genius that is Real Genius

Back to the Future, Sixteen Candles, St.Elmo's Fire, Weird Science, and The Breakfast Club all came out in 1985, all have stood the test of time for it's legacy and yet Real Genius had all of those qualities for a good movie yet it flew under the radar and has yet to be acknowledged for the great film that it is. Sure it's a cult movie, but more then that. If you were to look this movie up on tumblr for any fandom for this movie, it's nonexistent. If you were to look up for any possible merchandise for this movie, the only thing you'd find is a t-shirt which has a known band on there, which doesn't really count.

Real Genius came out in 1985 when the movies were thriving. This gem about young scientists used for the government's advantage sounds like a great plot without being generic. Yet not of movie goers flocked to see this film.

Val Kilmer played the character Chris Knight after the success of Top Secret! this was his second movie before Top Gun became his most prominent movie to put him on the Hollywood map. His performance in this movie is a rare occurrence since he doesn't do many comedy movies of this caliber. His character of portraying an intelligent character without all the cliche qualities. Most stereotypes for a smart character are almost always generic: small, sidekick, weak, gullible, targeted for bullies, and dressed with glasses and suspenders. It was refreshing to see an intelligent character that dresses exactly how he wants to, he even explains it in the movie how he had to change to be comfortable and not conform. Great idealism that is rarely done right.

This film also has made an inadvertent inspiration for two small, furry, cute Disney characters. The Chip and Dale characters were inspired by the character Jordan from this movie. If you watch the movie and compare her character to the chipmunk cartoons, you'll see the resemblance.

This wasn't a cardboard film, it can handle the most harsh topics of real life. One of the scenes that sticks out to me is the moment when the the character Mitch is humiliated in the cafeteria after his phone-call was recorded for a prank of his discomfort. His peers looked humiliated by association, Chris' reaction was one that got to me. He had mixed reaction of sadness and worry for this friend. Only a real friend looks distraught for another. He tries to make Mitch understand to use intelligence creatively when needed, and to be happy without having a breakdown like he did. To not end up miserable from conforming to what his intelligence is needed for. Many of our young millennial that choose to go to college, have suffered from many sacrifices to be made. To be sucked completely dry of their soul and lost that creativeness. Most importantly to forget how to laugh or smile again. Chris' message is one I wish most suffering millennial would see to have the sense of comfort the important lesson we all forget.

I'll give four more reasons as to why this film needs to be on your watch list

1. It's loosely based off a true story.

2. Every joke has it's payoff

3. It has a female director, Martha Coolidge, Known for Valley Girl as her first film to prominence

4. William Atherton who played the sleazy Walter Peck in Die Hard plays a sleazy College Dean. This was three years prior to Die Hard

With the rise in nostalgia for wanting to wear the styles, listen to the music, and watch the films no one was born at the time to watch. This film needs to go on everyone's list for a movie with all the makings of a classic.


About the Creator

Samantha Parrish

What's something interesting you always wanted to know?

Instagram: parrishpassages

tiktok: themysticalspacewitch

My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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