Turn On Your Heartlight

Why did it have to be so heartfelt?  So cheesy?  So, so, inoffensive??

I gotta start off by saying that I did enjoy this movie; it’s a decent flick.   I’m certain however, that I liked it a lot less than most people would.  In fact, I feel terribly guilty for not liking it more.

This is because I like the leads, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who also co-wrote the script, so very, very much.  And I’ve come to expect something specific when I see their mugs together.  Snark, something a little on the dark side, a sharp wit.  Paul was funny, but I think I only laughed out loud, like, twice.  It paid homage to previous sci-fi heartwarmers like E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind instead of satirizing them.  Since Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were both witty take-offs of zombie and buddy cop movies, respectively, I was hoping for more parody, less poignancy.

Pegg  and Frost are two harmless, lovable nerds, touring legendary UFO-related landmarks in America.  They end up meeting an actual alien, and laughs, friendship and tears ensue. Groan.  I didn’t really need or want to have to well up during the final few scenes.

The cast is solid, for sure.  Kristen Wiig is kind of precious, as a devout Christian, blind in one eye, whose faith is shaken by Paul’s existence.  Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio are a couple of idiot federal agents, who are good for a few laughs.  Jason Bateman is their superior, and he’s awesome, as always, along with Sigourney Weaver, who at this point is alien-movie royalty.  I’m sure I’ll be in the minority here, but I did NOT like Seth Rogen as Paul.  He was just a little hippie; a fun-loving alien who wanted to get drunk/high and just enjoy the ride man, while trying to get back to his home planet.  He kind of grossed me out.  See, I’ve always been revolted by the sound of Seth Rogen’s voice.  It sounds, for lack of a better word, wet.  Like his mouth is overflowing with saliva.  Shudder.  He’d be about my dead last choice to voice a character.

My feelings can best be summed up by something that happened in the theater.  As the trailers were starting (and by the way, Bridesmaids looks EXCELLENT), a woman comes in with three kids, between the ages of 6-10, I’d say.  I was HORRIFIED, to say the least.  All I could think was, why the F would you bring little kids to this R-rated raunch-com?  I was actually physically uncomfortable, thinking how this movie was going to be sooooo inappropriate and I’d have to endure two hours of knowing there were three tiny, innocent brains a few rows ahead of me.  As the end credits rolled and I watched those kids get up and leave the theater, I realized, aside from a handful of F-bombs (really, it must have been like, 2 more than you can have to get a PG-13) and some drawings of alien boobs, these kids were not scarred for life.  And I was disappointed.

~A.

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