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Weird Science Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Guilty-pleasure '80s horny-geek sci-fi sex comedy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this popular '80s comedy -- an early recipient of the new PG-13 rating -- has frequent adolescent sex, booze, and boob and drug jokes. Two main characters are lust-driven and manage to create a beautiful artificial woman as a sex-fantasy plaything -- but they are unsuccessful in their timid efforts to get something started with her and end up treating the bombshell more like a big sister. There are scenes of underage drinking (as a bonding exercise with threatening black males), much swearing (usually the s-word), and cavalier behavior with cars and a gun. Nudity includes a girl who loses all her clothes (in profile) in a windstorm, and a schematic of bare breasts on a PC monitor. Recreational drugs are briefly mentioned.

  • Families can talk about the tone of the comedy. How does this relate to John Hughes' more sensitive dramas of teen angst and empowerment, such as The Breakfast Club and 16 Candles?
  • Compare-contrast Weird Science with the underrated S1m0ne,alater and realistic comedy about a man facingunexpected travails when he evokes a "perfect" woman via software. Howdo kids feel about making idealized "avatars" on social-networking sitesand interactive online games?
  • How does this movie compare to modern-day teen sex comedies? Are the jokes here still funny? If the movie was remade, how would it be different now?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The whole weekend of carousing, rule-breaking, illicit drinking, and (possibly) underage sex is supposedly engineered by Lisa as a character-building exercise to help mature the two friendless, nerdy teens, and there is lip-service given to the moral that you don't need hot automobiles, trophy babes, and apocalyptic parties to be cool guys who can get dates. Funny, though, there would not have been much of a movie without those ingredients. Pointing a big gun at some marauders and speeding/shaking off pursuers in a dangerous police car-chase are upheld as positive growth.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: As was customary in John Hughes' films, parents/grownups are portrayed as idiots, compared to the clever and smart-alecky kids (though a bullying older brother is also presented as one of the most vile characters imaginable). Stereotypes of initially menacing urban blacks in a blues-type saloon. While the synthetic Lisa continually states her slavelike obedience to the two boys who created her, she's also the strongest and smartest of any character onscreen (rather more so than the "real" females too).

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A loaded gun is brandished more than once, chiefly against a quartet of punk-mutant villains who commit acts of mayhem and vandalism. Reckless driving, including a car chase (against police) that races to beat pursuers to a train crossing. "Wedgies" and other teen-torture bullying.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Full-profile nudity in a girl losing all her clothes in a whirlwind. Toplessness on a computer screen (a wire-frame schematic, of ever-growing female breasts) and porn-magazine layouts. Euphemistic talk of masturbation. Sex is a preoccupation with the male heroes, beginning with their leering stares at a "gymnastics class" of shapely schoolgirls. After conjuring the obedient fantasy-figure Lisa, the nerds are so nervous that they can't perform sexually, keeping clothes on and hands at sides while showering with her. It's unclear whether the guys have actually had intercourse with two (mortal) girlfriends -- or just cuddled with them in bed overnight (though the intended audience will probably assume they "scored").

  • language false3

    Language: "S--t" is used repeatedly, plus "asshole," "bitch," "dickweed," and a few others.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: A plethora of product labels, including beer, magazines such as Playboy, and major retail chains, the status-symbol Porsche and Ferrari automobiles (plus a pink Cadillac), and the board game Life.

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