I love The Other Me. This movie is a core Disney Channel memory, wrapped up in other memories of the Lawrence Brothers on Brotherly Love and all their other DCOMs. I rewatched this 2000 sci-fi DCOM soon after The Poof Point (2001). Like The Poof Point, The Other Me was based on a book (at least to some extent) — Me Two by Mary C. Ryan. Jeff Schechter of Brink! fame wrote the screenplay, and Manny Coto directed. Notably, Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh created the music for the film. The cast is full of familiar faces: Mark L. Taylor as Dad and Lori Hallier as Mom (no character names on IMDb!), Alison Pill as sister Allana (why did I think her character’s name was Fiona?), and Brenden Jefferson as Chuckie. All of those people were in the delightful orbit of 2000s Disney Channel, so I think I’ll make a video about them or something.
As the title explains, the main character has a lookalike. But in this case, it’s not a doppelgänger and not a twin. It’s a clone!! A human clone! Will Browning wants to get out of doing the work for a science project, so he orders a kit to make “aqua pups.” The little fishy kit is sold as a front for a pair of knuckleheads developing cloning technology. Their clone goo spills onto Will’s kit before it’s put in the mail. When it arrives and he follows the instructions, he doesn’t get fish — he gets a clone of himself. Andy Lawrence’s performances as Will and the clone, which he names “Twoie,” are endearing. Where Will is a slacker who wants a break, Twoie is a go-getter who is eager to experience life. He toddles around wide-eyed and takes Will’s instructions, even going to school, pretending to be Will, and doing Will’s homework. Over time, Will becomes upset that Twoie is more popular than he is.
Theory 1 on why this movie left Disney+: There’s an epic dance scene in the school cafeteria set to *NSYNC’s “Bringin’ Da Noise.” This is how Twoie makes everyone fall in love with him by accident: He gets up and starts the groove parade, dancing on tables and teaching the other kids his moves. The scene is iconic, but maybe there was a licensing issue with this song. There’s also great music at the school dance, where Heather (who crushes on Will), busts a move once again with Twoie. You have to understand, this is a very specific dance. And Andy Lawrence gives it his all.
Theory 2 on why this movie left Disney+: The cloning scientists are BAD. They go on a relentless chase for Will’s clone. Though they’re the typical “not very smart bad guys,” they eventually corner Will, tie him up, and stuff his mouth. Similar treatment is given to Ms. Dawson in Get a Clue, but she’s an adult, so maybe they no longer wanted to depict a kid getting so dangerously stifled.
A few moments that make me emotional: Twoie has a heart-to-heart with a tough guy at school, and the guy opens up to him about how his dad left the family. Will gets mad at Twoie for being so cool, so Twoie plans to get out of Will’s way and leave for New York City. Heartbreaking. Also, Twoie goes with the family to visit Will’s Grandpa Mordecai, and he touches the old man’s face and asks him about aging, prompting Mordecai to break his silence.
In the end, Twoie, Will and their friends beat the cloning bullies, and Twoie becomes part of the family. Will understands that his friends and family truly love him, not just Twoie. Maybe he even has a new lease on life after the ordeal he and Twoie have been through. Quite a unique kids’ movie. Hopefully this will be restored to D+ one of these days, as it’s a classic DCOM with such heartfelt moments.