"Starman" meets "Mork and Mindy" with a side of "The Hidden" and a hint of "Femalien".
I saw this film on a whim, simply because I saw a short list of who was in it and was puzzled at the combination of actors. Not the greatest movie in the world, but certainly not the worst. This film has a very fine cast, mostly in its supporting ranks, but an oddly amateurish feel, as if it were made on a whim over the course of about ten days. The camerawork and editing are sometimes quite poor, but at other times perfectly competent, and the same goes for the dialogue, script, and direction.
However, the film is redeemed by its sense of humor. About a third of the attempts at humor fall down badly, but about another third come across very well. I didn't laugh much while watching it but I did keep smiling and nodding my head. Given the story and situations presented, there are jokes that beg to be made, and the characters often make them. I had to wonder how many of them were improvised, but it really doesn't matter.
Nicole Eggert isn't at her best here, but she does fine and looks cute. It's a damned shame what Hollywood has done to her over the years, though. She's still very attractive, but if they'd just let her eyebrows grow back and stop putting so much makeup on her, she'd be deeply adorable again. The plucked-and-painted look just makes her tend to look generic. Nicole, you're a lovely girl; stop letting them second-guess your face.
Michael Dorn is priceless as a quirky federal agent, and Stacy Keach, David Millbern, and the often-overlooked John Diehl are good in supporting roles. The actors who take principle turns playing the wooden alien are, well, a little wooden, but it's not clear how much of this is poor acting and how much is just an attempt to stay in character.
The most startlingly good thing about this movie, though, is its standout soundtrack. The soundtrack -- sadly not detailed at IMDB as of this writing -- is excellent all around, but, even more impressively, it features three impressive songs by Over the Rhine, a distinctive and sadly underknown group. Whenever the background music gave way to a song, I was impressed by the choice someone had made.
I doubt the soundtrack is available anywhere, which is a real shame. Interestingly, "Amanda and the Alien" is based on a Robert Silverberg short story. You wouldn't guess it from the film itself, but there it is.
Overall, this is a very watchable movie. You might not think so at first, but if you make it through the somewhat slow first fifteen minutes or so, there's a good chance you'll be hooked and amused.
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