Category Archives: Real Genius

10 Slumber Party Movie Characters Who Inspire Me

Dottie and Alix over at always have terrific blog ideas, and since I have no inspiration this week for a Friday Morning Video, I’m going to steal spin-off their 15 Characters That Inspired Me idea, Slumber Party Movies-style. This is by no means a complete list.

1. Stef from The Goonies

God put that rock there for a purpose, Brand.

God put that rock there for a purpose, Brand.

Stef wore glasses, had short choppy blonde hair, and her BFF was the prettiest girl in school. She managed to mostly keep her cool, even after losing her glasses–I had nightmares about losing my glasses, literally–and in the end, got the funny guy in the Purple Rain t-shirt. Who wouldn’t call that a win?

2.  Julie from American Anthem

No, I will not dance to Swiss-style lederhosen music.

No, I will not dance to Swiss-style lederhosen music.

She was a gymnast who broke the mold and danced to her crippled friend’s synthesized symphony, and then had gymnastic sex with Mitch fucking Gaylord.  I took acrobatics because of her. Until I hyperextended my elbow mid back-limber and said screw this, I’m done. What do you want? We can’t all be Becky Cameron.

3. Sara from Labyrinth

Jareth said WHAT?

Jareth said WHAT?

She’s a bratty teenager who sees her parents as abusive because they ask her to babysit when she doesn’t have other plans. But she also lives in a fantasy world where she’s a warrior princess, rescuing said baby brother from an overfamiliar Goblin King with a crush on her. It’s no secret: part of the reason I had children was so that I could pretend, again, that I’m also a warrior princess.

4. Jan Brady

How DOES she do her tendrils?

How DOES she do her tendrils?

I was a middle child who imagined myself to be far more persecuted than I actually was. Plus, I had short hair and was desperate for long hair. That’s pretty much it.

5. Blair from The Facts of Life

Blair, before she found Jesus.

Blair, before she found Jesus.

Yeah, I know. We’re all supposed to like Jo best, because Blair was a rich bitch with too many clothes and too much hair, and she’s also kind of mean. But she had a lot of clothes, and a lot of hair, and she was also kind of mean.

6. Louise from Teen Witch

She likes boys.

She likes boys.

By the time 1989 rolled around, I was 14 and feeling the impact of being the nerdy one in school. Then along comes Louise, who, it turns out, comes from a long line of witches, and can wish herself into being popular AND getting Dan Gauthier, plus she magicks her spunky BFF into SPM rap history.

Which brings me to Inspiration #6.5: the BFF. Look at how funky she is.

7. Jordan from Real Genius

Meet me, if I were an even bigger geek.

Meet me, if I were an even bigger geek.

Nearly every time I’ve watched this movie with someone, they’ve stopped midway through Jordan’s introduction, looked at me, and said, “She is SO you.” Well, sure she is. Except she’s twice as brilliant as I am (and that’s saying something), much better at building things, and can knit. Like, really, really well.

8. Lisa from Weird Science

She'll kick your ass, Al.

She’ll kick your ass, Al.

I’m not even justifying this with an explanation. But here’s one, in case you require one.

9. Lynn from Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Don't bother her when she's watching DTV.

Don’t bother her when she’s watching DTV.

Best BFF ever. Cute, funny, sassy, and she has a reversible fuzzy Velcroed Catholic schoolgirl kilt. And a grasshopper hat. And dinosaur barrettes. Will someone bring back dinosaur barrettes, please?

10.  Billie Jean from The Legend of Billie Jean

Say it with me: Fair is fair!

Say it with me: Fair is fair!

Billie Jean kidnaps adorable geeks, defends her brother, denies an overgrown slug sexual advances, and inspires a nationwide movement to stand up for yourself. We could use some Billie Jeans these days.

That’s the start of my list. Add yours in the comments.

Lazlo Hollyfeld!

The other day on Facebook, Jody posted a link to this Think Geek T-Shirt:

No longer available. Rue the day. Rue it!

My first thought was “Ooh!” My second thought was “Lazlo Hollyfeld…” Even in my brain it was a reverent whisper. Lazlo is never far from the front of my consciousness. Appearing, and disappearing, in Martha Coolidge’s epic love letter to smart people, Real Genius, Lazlo was one of the, if not THE, best peripheral characters in Slumber Party Movie history.

A former student at Cal Tech (oops, I mean Pacific Tech), Lazlo Hollyfeld was the star super-duper smart guy until the pressure of all that crushing academia, and the weight of his own impossibly-smart thoughts, imploded in a freak-out break-down so severe, it made this one look like the world’s tiniest foot stomp from a mildly annoyed titmouse:

A break-down that sent Lazlo scuttling about the labyrinth of tunnels beneath Cal (I mean Pacific) Tech, like a less-sexy Phantom of the Opera or a slightly more-sexy Gollum*, scamming the good folks at Frito Lay and serving as a walking, skulking cautionary tale to the super-duper smarteratti upper level dwellers. Sometimes literally, as in this scene where Lazlo softly hammers home the lesson we should all learn from Real Genius (which is either “just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should” or “lasers are bad”).

And then there was WHAT HAPPENED to Lazlo. What? No, he didn’t become Uncle Rico. You’re thinking about what happened to Jon Gries, not Lazlo Hollyfeld–which was kind of a surprise and kind of not, as long as you paid attention to the trail of smarties that Coolidge left for us. Fair warning. Don’t watch the following if you want to follow that trail for yourself:

Which leads to the real super-secret message of Real Genius. Smart guys get laid too.

* My complete list of every character in pop culture by order of sexiness will be posted soon after my oft-rescheduled nervous breakdown.