Real Genius

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Time Out says

Coolidge's career progressed from personal independent documentaries on rape and drug abuse, through an ill-fated brush with Coppola's Zoetrope, and eventually moved towards the mainstream with the engaging off-kilter teen flick Valley Girl. This, her first Hollywood feature, was co-written by the Police Academy team, and mainly plays like it. Supersmart college boffins Kilmer and Jarret are recruited by teacher Atherton to work on a new laser project, but the kids eventually turn rebellious when they discover the device's covert military implications. It's a change to see young folk are more obsessed with technology than the promptings of the trouser department, but the gizmo-heavy hi-jinks (fun with helium, frozen gas and other science-class materials) do outstay their welcome. It does make you wonder if the drive of the US education system is ultimately to develop better weapons of mass-destruction, though Coolidge's movie is too hazily good-natured to capitalise on the tougher aspects of the material.
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Release details

UK release:

1985

Duration:

106 mins

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