Tuesday, 9 September 2008

No.64 : What Planet Are You From?

IMDb Link : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181151/

Garry Shandling stars in this 2000 comedy as an alien on a mission to Earth. His advanced species procreate by cloning so there are no women, and the female kind are a mystery to all. The plan is therefore to send Garry as the vanguard to impregnate a woman and gather data. On his return he is to train up the men of his planet so that they can impregnate all the earth women and take over from within.

For some unexplained reason the aliens transporter always lands them in the toilets of high flying jets. The arrival cause unusual turbulence and puts the whole scheme on the radar of airline investigator John Goodman. The aliens have set up Garry with a job and references at a bank and he’s soon on the dating scene with predictably brash initial results.

He hooks up with slimy co-worker Greg Kinnear who shows him the best places to score chicks, including Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It is here that he meets Annette Bening’s newly sober estate agent and after a short romance the pair marry. After some marathon sex sessions courtesy of Garry’s mechanical penis they soon fall pregnant. With the baby due in just three months will Garry report back to HQ as ordered or will John Goodman’s men in black spoil the party?

I enjoyed the first hour of so of this film before it collapsed under a weight of improbability and sentimentality. The whole set up with the aliens was a bit muddy with far more questions than answers. You’d think that if they could manipulate our computers etc. they’d be a bit more savvy when it came to women. The mechanical penis gag was quite funny but ran short the tenth time that you heard the tell tale buzzing.

I did like how Garry started off focused on the mission but was soon bitching about the minutiae of office politics. Ben Kingsley was really poor as the chief alien and John Goodman offered no menace whatsoever as the pursuing agent. I did like Bening as the love interest and no one does a slimy creep better than Greg Kinnear.

The last half hour or so spoiled the film as Garry started to shed tears and become predictably in love with being human. The whole emotions angle was like Data out of Star Trek and just as superfluous - why to people always have to grow emotionally in the movies? Never happens in real life!

I quite enjoyed the film but it could’ve been so much better. One to beam up only if you have an insatiable need for some buzzing crotch gags.

Best Bit : The changing tone of the buzzing gives us some insight

‘W’ Score : 15/23

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