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What Planet Are You From? (2000)
Director: Mike Nichols
review by Trent Walters
What Planet Are You From? is less of a science fiction than a clever comedy of generic male and female relations. Bear in mind the segregation of genders is analogous to the segregation between species.
Aliens, whose genitals have shrivelled now want to conquer the Earth with their mechanical penises, and the guy who can use the best line the fastest to get laid aims to achieve a speedier world domination. Garry Shandling (who wrote the story) represents the aliens with a ten-second one-liner. Only, surprise surprise, when Shandling accompanies a horny banker from work to strip clubs and AA meetings to pick up the ladies, and spins the magic words, the dames of Earth ain't having it.
Shandling actually uses a one-liner to pick up a girl, and she gets offended when he doesn't keep trying (so which is it? Keep trying or accept the girl at her word? Hollywood can't seem to make up its mind on this matter). Ah, but she has loved and lost too many times with musicians and will not have sex until marriage. Of course, Shandling goes for this. His alien aim is to get an Earth girl pregnant. So she gets pregnant and the aliens steal her baby. So what'll it be, you droogs? What do you suppose Shandling does? Come on. This is Hollywood. The alien male species has to learn to give way to emotions...
Is the movie funny? You bet. The aliens are as totally absurd as the male and female stereotypes. You gotta love Shandling, but don't expect to gain a deeper understanding of human nature or underdeveloped alien cultures. Still, at least it does dabble in a double layer of male/female and alien/earthling play, which ought to count for something.
If you're looking for a few dumb laughs mixed with raunchy humour and the same old Hollywood plot, this is the movie for you. Not an intellectual elitist himself, this reviewer always appreciates a good dumb joke.
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