Hey, guys. Justin here from Today I Watched a Movie. I basically begged Ryan to let me do a guest post, so here we are!
I just obtained a copy of My Stepmother is an Alien, and thought it would fit in perfectly with the crazy things Ryan’s always coming up with to review. I had never heard of it before today, and after watching it, let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for it. Oops! I’m almost forgetting my five words!
In what I can only assume is a stroke of good fortune, I managed to insert the DVD on the widescreen side the very first time, which is the equivalent of plugging in a USB cord in the very first time. I hate double-sided DVDs. They’re so confusing! Is it really that hard to put both versions of the movie on the same side of the disc?
Look at that. I’m off-course already. Ryan will never let me guest post again if I keep this up, so back to the movie!
I don’t normally include plot synopses (synopsis’s? synopsi?) in reviews, but you guys are used to it, so I’ll do my best.
Dan Aykroyd plays Steven Mills, a scientist who, despite protests from his superiors, keeps attempting to send signals into outer space in the hopes of contacting life on other planets. One lightning storm and short circuit later, the signal manages to make its way to a neighboring galaxy, where it is picked up by a “superior” race of beings. They send an alien named Celeste (played by Kim Basinger) to Earth to get Mills to recreate the signal. For reasons they don’t quite explain, if the signal isn’t sent back to their planet within a few days, their whole planet will be destroyed.
Mills and Celeste end up falling in love and getting married in less than 24 hours. Mills’ daughter Jessie (Alyson Hannigan) starts to suspect Celeste isn’t human when she sees her drinking battery acid and talking to “The Bag”*.
Eventually, the secret gets out and Mills agrees to help Celeste’s dying planet, if he can figure out how to recreate the signal, since the first was the result of a freak accident. At this point, it’s revealed that The Bag has direct orders to destroy the Earth after the signal has been sent.
In the end, the Earth is saved by Celeste pleading to the Supreme Beings from her planet in typical movie fashion about how Earth is wonderful because of things like ham and cheese sandwiches, sneezes, and Jimmy Durante.
*The Bag is basically an alien creature that lives inside a purse, sounds like Margo Martindale, and has many strange powers.
So, basically, this film is your typical “bumbling good guy eventually gets the girl” story, filled with outdated pop culture references (such as the Columbia Record Club) and standard “fish-out-of-water” jokes. Most of the “jokes” in this film are stretched out to almost Seth MacFarlane-ian lengths. If they had stopped while they were ahead, this movie would have been about 20 minutes long.
Don’t get me wrong. There were a few laughs (“slight chuckles” might be a better description) to be had.
Steve: “Would I scare you if I tell you I love you?”
Celeste: “Not unless you hit me at the same time.”
The long, drawn out jokes actually caused the plot to suffer tremendously. There were times when it felt like the filmmakers had possibly forgotten about the plot because nothing was happening.
I’m just glad they didn’t go with the original idea of making this a serious drama about child abuse (according to Wikipedia).
Anyway, while it was fun seeing Alyson Hannigan, Juliette Lewis, and Seth Green as young teenagers, I can barely recommend this, even as “pure 80s cheese.”
In closing, I’d like to offer an alternate five words:
I’m so sorry, Jimmy Durante.
-You can see more from Justin at his own site, Today I Watched A Movie.