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Why Dr. Melissa Reeves From Twister Looks So Familiar

Some movies just get memory holed. Big budget event films that don't seem to say anything beyond the confines of their 90-minute-plus run time or zeitgeisty movies that fade with the fads they rode in on become less of a film and more of a trivia question. So it was with Twister, the disaster movie rewritten as a romcom that exuded also-ran in everything it did. It was the second-highest grossing film of 1996, eventually losing out on its effects and production Oscar noms to movies like Independence Day. The movie seemed destined to inspire vague recognition from some people and blank stares from anyone born after 1990.

But Twister is back in the conversation over two decades after its release, as a testament to Netflix's ability to start discussion. The Bill Paxton-led effects bonanza was added to the streaming service this month, and has fans snapping at their screens trying to recall why some of its supporting characters seem so familiar.

Bill Paxton has a deep catalog to pull from, Helen Hunt was a pop culture fixture of the '90s, and Cary Elwes will always bring The Princess Bride to mind. Jami Gertz, though, is more of a reach. Still, anyone with more than a passing familiarity with '90s television or '80s teen movies has definitely seen her before.

Jami Gertz starred in The Lost Boys

After small roles in a handful of movies like John Hughes' Sixteen Candles, Jami Gertz really caught the attention of moviegoers in 1987's The Lost Boys. Gertz didn't play the lead in the campy vampire flick, but she was still hard to miss. As Star the half-vampire, Gertz played the love interest of the film's protagonist Michael Emerson. Emerson's fascination with Star draws him into the vampire underworld of Santa Clara, California. She helps take down the head vampire to save Michael from his fate after he unwittingly begins the process of becoming a vampire.

Gertz would later recall that she got the role of Star through her friendship with lead actor Jason Patric, and went on to praise director Joel Schumacher. "His eye and his taste are impeccable... but he just created this movie that I think had such sex appeal, warmth, and humor," she said of the filmmaker in a 2012 AV Club interview. "And it was scary! Which is not easy to do. Many movies can't re-create all that stuff. I mean, we had humor, we had sensuality, and we had fear in one movie. I don't think it's done often. And Joel was able to get all of that in there."

Jami Gertz has been all over network TV

Gertz has made guest appearances on a huge swath of TV shows. She showed up on six episodes of ER, five episodes of Ally McBeal, and another five of Entourage. She could be spotted in brief but memorable one-off appearances on Seinfeld and This Is Us. But her most recent major television role was Debbie Weaver on The Neighbors, the sci-fi sitcom that ran for two seasons on ABC.

The series followed a family that moves into a suburban gated community, only to find that the neighborhood is populated by aliens masquerading as humans. Gertz revealed that she appreciated the series' kind sense of humor from her very first read. "I read the script, and I've read a lot of pilot scripts in my close to 30 years in this business, and the fact that I found myself laughing out loud while I was by myself reading the script, I thought, 'There's something to this,'" she said in that same AV Club interview. "The thing that I liked about it is that there's also a sweetness to it. I think a lot of times, we've come to a humor that's kind of caustic these days, and sometimes we miss a bit of sentimentality, which I kind of like in a world that's getting tougher and tougher to navigate.