Before watching the movie
How did I never know, or at least never have it sink in, that Jeff Goldblum is in this? Jim Carrey playing a weird alien, okay. Jeff Goldblum playing a weird alien, the potential to really let him run wild with it has massively piqued my interest.
I stayed away from this movie for a long time because I was expecting a raunchy comedy that hasn’t aged well. But now I find that it was inspired by a song by and co-written by Julie Brown, of songs like “Cause I’m A Blonde” and “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun”, so it has the potential to at least not be tasteless in the way I was expecting. It’s still over 30 years old.
After watching the movie:
Valerie Gail is days away from marrying her fiance Dr. Ted Gallagher, but she’s frustrated by the lack of spark in the bedroom. Trying to surprise him with some spontaneity on a night she wasn’t supposed to be home, she catches him bringing home a nurse from his hospital, and throws him out. Then a rocketship containing three furry and colorful aliens, Wiploc, Zeebo, and Mac(+14 more syllables) crashes in her swimming pool. Wiploc and Zeebo, the younger two, were bored and pent up and got distracted by an intercepted transmission from Earth depicting some “bald” but nubile women, leading to the loss of control of their ship. Despite a language barrier, Valerie conveys to them that she’ll have her pool drained so they can fix their ship, however, it’s going to take over a day. Ted wants to come home and talk things over that night, so Valerie takes the aliens to her friend at the salon to give them makeovers to blend in. Mac, the most mature of the three, learns English rapidly enough to bond with Valerie in an innocently romantic way, even as she’s conflicted about what to do about her engagement when Ted swears he’s realized the mistake he almost made.
This is only halfway a musical. There are three or four Julie Brown songs aside from the title sequence which get full song and dance sequences, and partly because they’re so sparse, the distraction from the story is less welcome every time a new one starts. And I like Julie Brown’s songs, they just don’t jibe as well with the rest of the movie as they ought to.
I really appreciate the campy classic/retro sci-fi style of the aliens’ ship and the space vistas. I’m not entirely sure if the Earth from space looks the way it does here as an intentional throwback or just because they wanted to save money (and there’s certainly a lot of cost-cutting going on with the alien stuff), but it goes very well with the Studebakerish rocketship.
I didn’t want Wayans’s character to be my distant third favorite. I was more excited about the other two comedians, but I didn’t want that to be a strike against him. However, whether because of my priming or not, he didn’t pop in any way like the other two. Goldblum is a sensitive, weird guy who happens to smolder like Jeff Goldblum in the 80s. Carrey is an alien moron with Jim Carrey’s energy and comedic abilities. From what I saw, Wayans is an alien moron who is often standing next to Jim Carrey. The two who aren’t Mac are almost the same character, except one is played by Jim Carrey.
If it was just Wiploc and Zeebo, this probably would be the raunchy comedy I always thought it was. But the core story with Valerie and Mac and Ted makes it much more charming and mature. It’s a little bit of camp and a lot of heart, and also a couple of alien horndogs joyriding without their leader.