The 25 Best Disney Channel Original Movies

6. Genius (August 21, 1999)

Director: Rod Daniel
Stars: Trevor Morgan, Emmy Rossum, Charles Fleischer
Lesson Learned: A bad bitch only wants the truth; or, real recognize real.

Doubling, the classic method employed in psychodrama to bring about catharsis in the roiling mind of the patient, involves a participant standing behind the patient and vocalising things the patient may want to articulate but cannot.

Metaphorically staging this technique against a soft science fiction background, Genius tells the story of Charlie Boyle, a 14-year-old physics prodigy attending college. Through his work, he's trying to literally defy gravity. (The symbolism is rich.)

But Boyle meets a girl his age and falls in love. Desperate for her attention and affection, Boyle creates a version of himself he calls Chaz Anthony. Anthony will be the high-school bad boy that Boyle cannot be, and thus win his beloved, or so the thinking goes. The heart is more complicated than any of Newton's theories, of course. Things go awry for the young genius, and he learns a lesson more important than anything science can teach.

Note: For viewers interested in this sort of thing Emmy Rossum, who plays the beloved, gets hella naked on Showtime's Shameless. Whoa. —RS

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