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  Earth Girls are Easy It Came From Outer Space
Year: 1988
Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Julie Brown, Michael McKean, Charles Rocket, Larry Linville, Rick Overton, Diane Stilwell, June C. Ellis, Felix Montano, Rick Hurst, Leslie Morris, Lisa Fuller, Stacey Travis, Nicole Kramer, Angelyne
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Science Fiction, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In outer space, a trio of furry, multicoloured aliens are travelling through the void and while the Captain, Mac (Jeff Goldblum) sleeps, his lieutenants, Wiploc (Jim Carrey) and Zebo (Damon Wayans) are growing sexually frustrated without a female of their own kind around, and the holographic images they conjure up as entertainment are not much help. Meanwhile, on the nearby Planet Earth, Valerie (Geena Davis) is also frustrated in that department: her fiancée Ted (Charles Rocket) has arrived home late once again, and is more interested in catching up on his sleep than her...

After Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind was out, the movies thought that it was about time they were nice to our space alien friends - do not q.v. Alien - and a spate of cuddlier extraterrestrials - do q.v. E.T. The Extraterrestrial - reached our screens. At the tail end of that cycle arrived a film that crossed the cuddly with the retro, and Earth Girls are Easy was the result, although on its release the production was a flop, not what director Julien Temple needed after another notorious disaster, Absolute Beginners, a couple of years before. This was not as high profile a failure as that one, but it did suffer the reputation of being an empty headed turkey for years to come.

It may have been empty headed, but that was apparently precisely the intention, and it was surely unfair to complain that a work had succeeded in its aims. Our aliens here simply want to party, so when they land in Valerie's swimming pool she at first thinks they want to abduct her, but actually they are looking for a spot of R&R in Los Angeles. This is the best thing that could have happened to our heroine, as the previous night she was forced to throw her doctor boyfriend out of the house when he brought back another woman to have his wicked way with. This after she had spent the whole day changing her image with the help of the staff at the beauty salon where she worked.

Among those staff is Candy, played by Julie Brown who co-wrote the script, as well as the songs - yes this was a musical too. Actually the tunes are fairly nondescript, and one of the weakest parts of the movie, all except for the big number 'Cause I'm a Blonde performed by Brown on the beach with immense gusto and deliberately harking back to the Beach Party series that informed the nostalgic spirit of the piece. Lightheaded and silly as this was, if you were looking for something more substantial you had come to the wrong place, and the presence of self-styled eighties celebrity Angelyne as herself here was artificial enough to fit in with these sunny surroundings perfectly - it was that kind of film.

Candy works wonders on these three visitors, and gives them an all over body waxing that makes them look human, curiously resembling two comic acting stars and a quirky leading man much given to portraying boffins. This was one of the films the then-item of Davis and Goldblum made together, and while it was no The Fly, it did offer them the chance to let their hair down and have fun in a setting that was set on cheering up the audience as if cinema was a great new flavour of bubblegum that they had just discovered. That was to say, it was bright, tangy, and lost its flavour soon after it had finished, yet while ephemeral this was by no means disposable, not completely anyway. Temple's experience directing pop videos showed in every frame, and if the gags were gossamer light then at least a handful prompted a laugh. It was hard to get mad at Earth Girls are Easy: something this daffy could either be easily ignored or indulged. Music by Nile Rodgers.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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