ANDREW DUNN COMING AT YA!
My Fake Movie Friday is basically Revenge of the Nerds meets Billy
Madison because Hollywood loves when movies meet other movies. And yes I know what you all were thinking, I got the last name Cooley from James Cooley co-creator of the Cooley-Tukey Fast Fourier Transform algorithm and Manhattan College Alumni.
Mitchell Cooley (Donald Glover) is a spoiled rich kid. He lives in his father’s mansion and we watch his almost ‘Blank Check’ like
existence–he has a waterslide, skate park and mini golf in the
backyard and drives a replica of the ‘Back to the Future’ Delorean. His father Charles Cooley (Morgan Freeman) is a CEO of a major technology company, think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Charles Cooley is very sick (they never say cancer, but it is totally cancer). In his hospital bed in the middle of the mansion, Charles has a heartbreaking talk with Mitchell in which he tells him that he loves him and wishes Mitchell could help run the company when he is gone, but that he has just been wasting his life, and that he didn’t know what it was like to really build something of meaning.
Mitchell gets real pissy and acts out, throwing a huge party in the mansion. There are a lot of upward camera angles of woman dancing on tables, and shots of people drinking and smoking and having a good time. Basically this party looks like a ton of fun even though narratively it should be depressing. Mitchell wakes up hung over and kicks everyone out and realises that he was wrong and his father was right (although again, there was nothing about the party that would give us this idea). Unfortunately Charles slips into a coma before Mitchell can apologize. Mitchell thinks back to his conversation with his father (cue voiceover) and figures the most logical way to build something of meaning is to exactly copy his father and create a technology company.
His father had gotten a PHD in Computer Science at M.I.T. so naturally Mitchell will do the same. He meets with the president of the college (played by J.K. Simmons). Mitchell is so personable that he is able to convince the president let him join the PHD program even though he has never studied comp sci before in his life.
The first day of school is a disaster for Mitchell. Even though it is a college and this would obviously never happen in the real world, Mitchell is introduced to the class by the professor. The professor of course has to add the fact that Mitchell is the famous Charles Cooley’s son at which point the class gasps. The main characters from the class are as follows:
Eugene: played by Adrian Martinez, he clearly has a disorder (though of course it is never brought up or named) and is obsessed with My Little Pony (a brony if you will) Takako: played by Rinko Kikuchi, she is from China (even though the actress is from Japan, Hollywood doesn’t really care about stuff like that), and doesn’t speak English very well (cue hilarious malaprops!)
Becca: played by Ellie Kemper, she is a hardcore gamer.
Jerome: played by Richard Ayoade, he is the alpha nerd and is a master of Dwarf Fortress.
At hearing that Mitchell is Charles’ son, Jerome quips “Well if I know anything about inheritance, then Mitchell will possess all of his father’s abilities!” The class laughs but Mitchell doesn’t understand and is embarrassed, at which point Jerome says “You didn’t get that one huh? I’ll have to try out my UDP jokes on you, the best thing about my UDP jokes is that I don’t care if you get them!” The class erupts in laughter again and Mitchell feels even worse. He goes to sit by himself in the back.
Things get even worse when the lecture begins and he can’t understand anything (of course). The only thing that keeps him from dropping out immediately is that Takako gives him a smile. The next day isn’t much better, he is constantly picked on because he doesn’t understand anyone’s references, but he sits with Takako at lunch and has a good time with her. Things don’t stay good for long when he finds out that he has a huge test in two weeks.
Mitchell, not wanting to let his father down tries to cram for the
test, but he can’t seem to understand anything. He thinks about what skills he has, and the only thing he can think of is that he is personable (he was able to talk his way into a PHD program he was grossly unqualified for). He gathers the four main nerds together and makes a deal that he will help them be more social if they help him to study for the test. They agree, and it’s time for a montage! Mitchell tries to get Eugene obsessed with Game of Thrones so that there will be more people he can talk to about his obsession. This is only semi-successful, and he finally gives up and takes him to a Brony convention. He helps Takako experience America by taking her to McDonalds and gets her hooked on bad reality television. He helps Becca with her financial problems by setting up a budget for her and not letting her blow all her money on games as she had been doing. Jerome admits that he has a huge crush on Becca, and Mitchell helps to hook them up, feeding him lines during their first date. It doesn’t go over well, and Jerome is pissed. Mitchell explains that people aren’t some computer program where you can fully predict how they act and react to input, but that there are good ways to go about building long relationships. He begins to explain what they are when he abruptly leaves.
Mitchell doesn’t return to school, even missing the big test. As the main nerds file out of the test Mitchell is waiting for them. He explains that he isn’t up for learning Computer Science. He gives a passionate speech about him talking to his father, and how he was just trying to copy what his father had built, and didn’t understand that his father just meant that he wanted him to live a constructive life. He then takes them to a classroom where he has written a bunch of equations and diagrams on the chalkboard. He asks them all to help him build an app. The app will help people build human relationships by suggesting things they can do together based on shared interest, but it will also give conversation advice, giving subject to discuss. The app can even be made to listen in on conversation giving the user fine tuned advice based on tone of voice. He explains that he had learned that the most important thing that anyone can build is relationships, and he just wants to do all he can to help people build them. Everyone agrees, and other montage starts showing everyone coding and drawing diagrams.
Just as the app is being Beta tested Mitchell’s father wakes from the coma and in an emotional scene Mitchell reconnects with his father, shows him the app and lets the app guide their conversation. Charles Cooley tells Mitchell how happy he is with what he has created.
The app is released is does extremely well. Mitchell’s app company is bought for a billion dollars by a huge software company so they can sell ads against the relationship advice. All the main nerd characters getting into their own ‘Back to the Future’ Deloreans and them driving into the sunset together. The End.