OBJECTIVE: Watch a popular or critically acclaimed film we’ve never seen to the halfway point. Pause it. Work together to predict the ending.
WEIRD SCIENCE (1985)
THE LAST THING WE SAW: We paused at 00:47:52 (which was 52 seconds too late, as our timer did not go off), during Gary and Wyatt’s party, right as Deb and Hilly discover our intrepid protagonists in the bathroom.
And now… discuss!
Phil: So I’m going to throw this out: I think Lisa is somehow imaginary.
Ben: That theory was a real possibility for a moment, especially in the scene where Chet barely misses seeing Lisa in the kitchen. I was thinking the same thing myself, except that now, everyone in town has seen her.
Phil: Yeah, the bit where Chet didn’t seem to react to her was what I thought was a giveaway, followed by a scene where the girl behind the perfume counter was wearing a name tag with “I. Magnin'” on it.
But you are right that a lot of things have been spurred on by people seeing her, like Ian’s and “Mad” Max‘s (what the hey?) infatuation with her, and their girlfriends discussing her right before we finished. Thus, I am thinking that this whole thing is a dream right from the moment of the power surge.
Ben: Ah, now that’s more likely. Especially since this… “science” of theirs is a mix of magic, “science,” and dream logic, really. Nice catch on the name tag.
Phil: Yeah, this isn’t Weird Science, it’s Weird Magic. Also, that’s not how the internet works.
Ben: You mean to tell me that when I’m supervising a server room full of hard drives that back up to fucking tape, I can’t fend off hackers by summoning prison doors, the theory of relativity, and a skull by slowly typing the words “ACCESS DENIED”?!? Well, color me incredulous, with your weird, science-y markers.
Phil: Well, if it is a dream, then it’s some Inception-esque communal dream between the two main characters. Considering what this film accepts to be science and logical events, this is easily conceivable—especially when you take that post-Tron Matrix internet world into account.
Ben: If it is a dream, I think it’s a dream by one (or both) of our sexually earnest man-boy protagonists. But whether we’re predicting the rest of the dream or their “real” lives, what do you think will happen next?
Phil: Assuming then that this is a dream, Lisa is this part of their brains that is telling them to get over their worries, stop being so overly cautious about everything, get out there, and enjoy their lives. She is a “thinking id,” so to speak.
Ben: An “id-structor,” eh? I bet you encounter a lot of real egos in that line of work. Interesting theory!
Plot-wise, Gary & Wyatt will chill in the bathroom with Deb & Hilly (I admit, I had to look those names up). They’ll bond over the distressingly moronic antics of their bag-o’-dicks boyfriends, leading to the duos either falling for each other or actually hooking up a little.
Phil: Oh, absolutely. Rather than Lisa being these guys’ ultimate romantic interest, she’ll be what fuels them into believing in themselves enough to actually ask these girls out. It’ll happen in the dream, but it will definitely translate into their being able to approach them when they wake up. Lets’ face it: they were the girls that Gary and Wyatt fancied at the very start of the film, and the girls seem pretty fed up with Iron Man and… Babylon 5‘s Lt. Warren Keffer? (I dunno, what’s your favorite Robert Rusler character?)
Ben: Well, they have needed a confidence boost since the film’s inception. Speaking of needing confidence, the loathsome lotharios have been on a losing streak. First, they get showed up by the geek twins at the mall, and then the bartender puts them in their place. Hungry for a win, and with their ladies disappearing upstairs, they’re gonna try to mack on LisaTron 5000.
Phil: Yeah, but I think, even here, they’re going to come up short. She finds their bad-boy nonsense obnoxious and doesn’t mind snubbing them at every turn. She’ll do the same here.
Ben: Oh, they’re not gonna succeed, but they’ll give it the ol’ sloppily arrogant try. And that’s gonna force a confrontation between Gary & Wyatt and Ian & Max and Deb & Hilly and Lisa & bullshit powers.
Phil: Yeah, you’re right. I hadn’t thought of that, but they’re going to make a pass at Lisa, and Lisa’ll make this known to their girls. A fight will ensue, ending with the girls’ breaking up with their two beaustards.
Ben: Yarp. Then Chet, Wyatt’s dipstick of a brother, will try to extort him, forcing him to finally stand up for himself. If Corporal Chet never tattles, then Wyatt’s parents won’t be mad at him.
And Gary doesn’t have to fear reprisal, since apparently his parents suffer from fear-induced memory loss.
Phil: Yeah, that was weird. (And also good evidence that this is indeed a dream: we can’t just leave it that Wyatt’s dad has completely forgotten about his son’s existence.)
“Who is this ‘Gary’ character?”
The only thing I think will be different is this: right now Lisa is teaching them how to be popular within the system; her recipe includes being promiscuous, having nice cars, telling one’s parents to go to hell—all pretty stereotypical ingredients to being cool. But I think that our duo will transcend these: she’ll teach them to have confidence, but then they’ll have enough to eschew even her advice, and, in a very Teen Wolf sort of way, they’ll learn to have confidence and be cool on their own terms, without the need for all these artificial and arbitrary trappings.
Ben: See, this is why the ’80s are amazing. Any movie you watch has the same valuable lesson to teach about coolness and individuality. Throw in Ninja Turtles and the Game Boy, and you got yourself an unbeatable decade.
Phil: Well, color me neon with your… neon markers?
Ben: If they do wake up from a dream (likely), I’d love to see a “holy shit!” nod at the end, like a new student joins the women’s gymnastics team, and it’s Lisa, freeze frame, roll credits.
Phil: That is absolutely happening. Anything else?
Ben: Also, let’s see a change from the “nobody likes us” dweebs to well-rounded dudes with a couple more friends and/or girlfriends, as their awkwardness becomes as outmoded as their Depeche Mode posters.
Phil: Totally, dude. So, time to insert disc 2?
Ben: Load her up!
AND NOW, WE FINISH THE MOVIE: