Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gimme the Keys, Leeeeesa!

I really, really wanted to crash a little after 8 last night. It's been a tiring week at work with a lot of people needing me for a lot of different and challenging things and a tiring week at home with Ains in drama practices every afternoon. Jason tossed me the remote at some point and I thought I would just do a quick browse before I called it a night, while I was enjoying some foot pampering via my Yoga Toes. (Don't laugh. They're a little awesome.)

And there's where it all went south. For on one of the free Encore channels, there was a Brat Pack marathon. Most of the movies I had missed were true Brat Pack 80s films; later last night they were showing Striptease under that same Brat Pack category. Really? Demi Moore baring all in the 90s as a representational Brat Pack film? If they really wanted to showcase Demi in something other than, say, St. Elmo's Fire, they could have at least shown Ghost. My beefs with their choices notwithstanding, I caught the end of Sixteen Candles and after that, the beginning of Weird Science. So much for that early bedtime.

I've seen Sixteen Candles enough that I don't get too excited anymore about the movie in its entirety. But the end...ah, it doesn't get much sweeter than that. A spectacularly drugged bride ruining a wedding? Check. Hot Jake Ryan standing by his car in front of the church after all the other cars have pulled away? Check. Molly Ringwald's incredulous and so believeable, "Me?" after she looks around to make sure the "it guy" is really looking at her? Check. A squeal-inducing first kiss over a long-overdue birthday cake? Check. Girls, isn't this how we all wanted high school romance to look?

But Weird Science...oh, man, I can't pull myself away from that movie. It might just be my favorite of the Brat Pack set. Sure, it doesn't have the social commentary of The Breakfast Club, or the butterflies-in-stomach heart of Sixteen Candles. But here's what it does have:

1. A young Robert Downey, Jr. playing a complete punky jerk (Dude, you're gonna be Iron Man someday.)
2. Kelly LeBroc, arguably the most delicious woman of the 80s (she was on Celebrity Fit Club some time ago and even with some meat on her bones, she's unnaturally gorgeous.)
3. An inspired comic performance from Anthony Michael Hall (his character drunk in that blues club has to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen.)
3. Bill Paxton giving us a preview of his "Are you ready to go back to Titanic?" hamminess in a role that plays to those strengths.
4. A moral about being brave and taking chances while still being true to yourself that doesn't feel so in-your-face in the midst of that totally unrealistic, fantastic storyline.

As the movie started, Jason gave up and headed off to bed. I promised that I would only stay up until Chet's line about a greasy pork sandwich served on a dirty ashtray, and I was good to that promise (exhaustion overrode 80s-movie ecstasy.) But in that short time, I laughed more than I had in weeks. That movie delivers, man.

I know I'm not alone in love for this movie. One of you who reads this blog regularly used to quote pretty much the entire blues club scene with me in our youth ("Gimme the keys....He doesn't even have his license yet, Leeeeesa!") And one of my college friends spent one entire Saturday afternoon with me once going to every video store in Danville (surprisingly, there were a lot) trying to track this down for a viewing later that night. We finally found it in some scary little place out on 150 where the owner let his cat hang out on the counter and who, when we remarked how hard it had been to find and how happy we were that his store had it, said "Oh, yeah, we have all the classics." At the time it seemed a little laughable that someone would call it a classic.

Years later, it seems appropriate. It's a New Classic.

Who shares my love for the Weird Science? Which of the Brat Pack movies do you cherish the most? (And don't you dare say Striptease, because the Encore people simply don't have that right.)


Robert K. said...

For me, "Weird Science" was always just goofy fun, but I obsessed over "The Breakfast Club." Now when I watch it I notice how all the characters are just stereotypes, but it still bothers me that the nerd didn't end up with a girl (no question with which stereotype I identified).

joanna said...

I agree with Robert here. My favorite was Breakfast Club. For some reason I have memories of watching it once in the Bijou. Anyone else?

But Weird Science rocked.

Melmart said...

I realize it wasn't a Brat pack movie but I loved Some Kind of Wonderful. Brat Pack? Hmm....I love 16 Candles but we often quoted Weird Science too. St. Elmo's Fire was confusing to me on several levels at the time but Rob Lowe....gorgeous. Now a bit creepy. {retty in Pink was a good one too. But, then there was Fresh Horses that was just odd, but filmed in good ol' Indep.