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Friday, 30 September 2016

Retro Review: Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)

Earth Girls Are Easy
1988
Cast: Geena Davis, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Jeff Goldblum, Julie Brown, Michael McKean, Charles Rocket
Genre: Romantic Comedy Sci-fi Musical
Studio: De Larentiis Entertainment 
U.S Lifetime Gross: $3,916,303

Plot: Valerie is dealing with her philandering fiance, Ted when she finds out that a trio of aliens have crashed their spaceship in her swimming pool. Once the furry beings are shaved at her girlfriend's salon, the women discover three handsome men underneath. After absorbing the native culture via television, the spacemen are ready to hit the dating scene in 1980s Los Angeles







'A Strange Mixture Of Little Shop Of Horrors With Something Out Of The Galaxy High Cartoon'

As I sat down to watch this movie, I was prepared for a cheesy experience with cringe-inducing songs and sheer campiness. 

But instead, what I got was a surreal film about a manicurist named Valerie whose fiance, Ted cheats on her with another woman, only for Val to eventually fall in love with a alien. Val is a young woman who is optimistic, kind-hearted and who can't help herself when she sees a guy in trouble. Things are never the same again after, once the aliens make their entrance, -and what a entrance it is as they sky crash directly into Val's pool.  

Earth Girls Are Easy is a light-hearted pop musical comedy with a colourful and flamboyant art direction that is part- sci-fi that echoes something out of Chris Columbus's Galaxy High animated series, mixed with Frank Oz's Little Shop of Horrors. The only difference being the aliens arrive on earth, whereas on Galaxy High, earthling students Doyle and Aimee travel to space to study at high school. 

The opening titles are also something that looks as though it was later borrowed by the creators of sitcom, Third Rock From The Sun. It has dancing and cheery pop musical numbers, which will divide viewers; personally, I thought they weren't very memorable and not very good. The dance stand-off between Damon Wayans and some other guy, was interesting however with moves that are reminiscent of Capoeira. Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey, who both later ended up on Fox's In Living Color play the aliens; Jim Carrey in the red funny furry suit looked like a skinny version of Beast Man from the He-Man cartoon. Both Carrey and Wayans sound and act more like Mork from Ork from Mork and Mindy here, and this was an indication of what was to come, insofar as to their antics on the In Living Color comedy sketch show of the early 1990s. The scenes of them and Jeff Goldblum doing weird stuff in Geena Davis's house were equally amusing. The aliens themselves act naff and most of the humour in this movie is centered around the aliens's behaviour based on their misunderstandings of life on earth. 

The thing I found most interesting about this movie was that plot line involving Val's fiance, who turns out to be a cheater and breaks Val's heart, and that Val managed to see through his arrogance and dumped him and fell in love with someone (or be it thing, as in an alien), who truly loved her and cared about her. 

This movie is so bizarre - yet so unique and goofy that I've never really seen anything like this before in my entire life. I can understand why it has become a cult classic (the movie's theme was also featured on the Iggy Izalea and Britney Spears 2015 music video ''Pretty Girls'') and it definitely encapsulates that '80s feel. The manner that this movie plays out, it is almost as if it is a live -action fantasy cartoon, though it feels very lightweight as well. It's a musical that also contains a romance subplot, some humour courtesy of Carrey and Wayans, and lots of strange and surreal stuff happening in-between all of that. 

The highlight of this movie is when the aliens come out of the tanning booth and they look like human, especially Jeff Goldblum. This is also the movie where he and Geena Davis met and fell in love on set and later became a couple (today, they are no longer together). Overall, the film garnered a mixed reception but over the years it has become a cult classic, thanks mainly to Jim Carrey's latter success with Ace Ventura, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber that helped reignited interest in this film. 

The sci-fi comedy aspect of the movie pretty much acts as a backdrop to all the colourful appearances and visuals, whilst it also makes fun of the Southern Californian insipid lifestyle. 




Final Verdict

Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum and to a lesser extent, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans's performances are what makes this movie worth watching. Which would have otherwise turned out as less than interesting and memorable, and made it extremely dull and lifeless. The love story between Mac and Val was sweet and endearing, however.

This is a campy, offbeat and frivolous slice of extra-terrestrial fun that whilst it doesn't provide very much depth, it's still kind of cool to marvel at from a visual sense and though it's not that bad, it still feels weird in places. But if you can get over this or cast this aside, in addition to enjoying musicals, then you'll probably enjoy Earth Girls Are Easy quite a lot. 




Overall:









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