Real Genius

Director: Martha Coolidge
Year Released: 1985
Rating: 2.5

Goofy 80's romp has disreputable Prof. Hathaway (William Atherton) recruit high school prodigy Mitch (Gabriel Jarret) to work alongside flippant Chris Knight (Val Kilmer) on a laser project that, unbeknownst to the kids, is going to be used for the government to blow people up from space (hello, Reagan-era "Star Wars"). It may not be laugh-out-loud 'funny' (and oy, are those montages to lame pop songs super cheesy), but it does have a certain PG-rated innocence about it - Mitch loses his virginity to manic pixie dream girl Jordan (Michelle Meyrink) and it's treated as no big deal - and it's good to see Kilmer in a role where he could be cocky but not excessively macho, like in Top Gun a year later. Any movie that ends with a 'prank' that turns someone's house into a gigantic popcorn dispenser - to stick it to The Man, ya see - can't be all that bad.