A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 474 – Earth Girls Are Easy

Earth Girls Are Easy – June 17th, 2011

This is one of those movies that Andy and I have agreed to disagree on. I first saw it at his behest and I wasn’t taken with it at the time and he bought it on his own and he enjoys it. And it simply does nothing for me. It takes up space in my life. That’s what it does. It’s not something I would put in on my own or stop on if I was flipping channels, but I don’t object to owning it. I don’t even really object to watching it. I just have better things to do.

I find it really hard to pinpoint just what about this movie falls flat for me. I mean, the whole movie does, but I’m not sure of the exact problems. I mean, I’m not crazy about the musical numbers or the sex scene or the zany madcap plot, but there’s something else I can’t put my finger on and it’s bothering me. Because usually when I’m not fond of a movie I can point to a reason and feel satisfied by it. Here? It’s just not fun for me to watch.

The plot follows Valerie, a young manicurist living and working in LA. She’s engaged to Ted, who’s a doctor. He’s also a total douche and I really can’t stand to see him on screen. He cheats on Valerie and treats her like she’s nothing and he’s generally the villain of the movie. Valerie catches him cheating on her, throws him out and proceeds to trash all his stuff. And then a trio of furry aliens crash land their ship in her backyard pool. So her rebound involves giving the aliens makeovers and teaching them about Earth while they pick up the language by watching television. Oh, and she has a fling with the alien played by Jeff Goldblum.

Along the way two of the aliens get arrested, Ted tries to get Valerie back and ends up escorted away by the police for being the douche that he is, Valerie moans a lot about Ted, Ted eventually tries to dissect two of the aliens and there’s more music. I’d kind of blocked out the musical aspect to this movie. Totally forgot there were any musical numbers at all. They’re mostly Julie Brown bouncing around doing the California Girl thing that Moon Unit Zappa skewered so perfectly. They don’t engage me much and you would think that being the nail polish nut that I am, I’d at least enjoy the makeover number, but I admit I spent the whole thing playing a game on my DS. Told you I had better things to do.

I think part of the problem for me when it comes to this movie is that I’m fairly sure that it’s making fun of the whole Valley Girl thing, but it also trades on it in a way that isn’t entirely parody. So it’s very hard for me to watch it without seeing it as a bit of a failure in that respect. It falls too firmly outside the realm of parody for me and I blame the character of Valerie for it. Valerie is a competent young woman who ends up taking care of quite a lot of the problems the movie throws at her. She’s also a stereotypical flake, but she’s not quite played for laughs. She wavers between being mad at Ted, who tries to slice up her new friends, after all, to being so thrilled that he might take her back that she’s willing to run away to Las Vegas with him to get married right away. In fact, I think how Valerie is presented in relation to Ted is a huge part of the problem for me. Play the character for the humor of her explaining 80s LA culture to three goofy aliens, but don’t have her mope about her lousy ex.

In addition to the 80s LA thing the movie has going on, there’s also plenty of just plain goofball humor. The aliens, particularly the two played by Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey, spend much of their time totally misunderstanding everything they come across except girls, whom they ogle and flirt with. They drink a lava lamp and eat tropical fish (though none of them were named Wanda, so they’re safe from Ken’s wrath) and accidentally hold up a convenience store for candy and a porno mag. Goldblum’s the only serious one and even he has his moments of absurdity.

I just don’t really care about this movie. I could delve deeper into the issues presented by how the female characters are presented and treated. I could go into a discussion of the difficulties of marrying parody and homage (but to sum up my opinion: John Waters pulls it off and this movie doesn’t). I could complain about the aliens’ full body waxing revealing totally normal (for a Hollywood value of normal) humanoids. Or I could just shrug and go back to my game. Because I just don’t have a hell of a lot of energy at the moment and I don’t want to expend what I have on poking this movie to pieces. I can see why people might like it and I won’t insist that Andy never watch it. I just don’t really care.

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June 17, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

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