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5 reviews, 21 user ratings

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What Planet Are You From?
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by Charles Tatum

"Astronomically Average"
3 stars

Gary Shandling cowrites, coproduces, and stars in a comedy that plays like a pilot for a pay channel series.

Shandling is an alien on a planet of men run by Graydon (Ben Kingsley). The men want to take over the planet Earth, and send Harold down to impregnate a woman, and eventually take over the planet with alien seed. Of course, Harold's training was not adequate, and his first attempts at getting any woman he meets into bed are hilarious. Harold works at a bank with Perry (Greg Kinnear), who is always on the prowl when he is not in the vault boinking the office manager. Perry takes Harold to Alcoholics Anonymous to pick up chicks, and Harold notices Susan (Annette Bening).

Susan is a recovering alcoholic who has made some bad decisions in her life and is looking to make a complete change. She appreciates Harold's honesty, and eventually marries him. They start trying to have a baby right away.

Roland (John Goodman) is an FAA inspector who is investigating mysterious turbulence and lights on assorted Arizona flights. Each time, one of the passengers has been Harold, and Roland figures out that Harold is an alien. Harold has been using the flights to meet with Graydon, who is usually of no help whatsoever. Harold is supposed to father a child, but he finds himself falling in love with Susan, given his limited understanding of emotions. Susan usually does not know what to think of her new husband, who will either ignore her or make love to her over a hundred times during their honeymoon week with a member that makes a humming noise (Harold's planet of men no longer have genitalia, so he was fitted with one before he left).

Harold soon becomes overly involved in his assignment on Earth. He tries to bed back-stabbing Perry's wife Helen (a seriously wasted Linda Fiorentino). Perry gets a promotion after passing off Harold's work as his own. Roland is closing in on him quickly. Susan finally conceives, and has a healthy baby after an abbreviated pregnancy, and then Harold's problems get even more dire.

Mike Nichols directs a big name cast in a sitcom level script. There is enough nudity (even Shandling) and language to get this on any pay cable channel, but if you replaced Shandling and Bening with names like Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy, you quickly realize how pedestrian and lowbrow the humor here is. Bening scores some laughs as the worrying Susan, Shandling is funny here and there, but everyone also puts more acting effort into the film than the script demands. After Susan gives birth, the film nosedives into maudlin territory as Harold tries to return to his home planet. The cast's intensity is all wrong.

Nichols' direction is fine, the man pretty much reinvented comedy direction with "The Graduate," but again, the script screams for a director with a lighter touch.

"What Planet Are You From?" has the talent in front of and behind the camera, just not in the screenplay. It scores some laughs, probably more than if the cast were all under twenty years old, but eventually this misses its satirical possibilities.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1974&reviewer=325
originally posted: 10/29/03 14:33:19
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User Comments

1/30/09 sweet sakura lack of pragmatic is a good idea but too many sekz makes it boring 3 stars
7/26/05 Indrid Cold Cool idea and cast, but it's just really unfunny. 3 stars
10/28/03 Charles Tatum Astronomically average 3 stars
10/02/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng One of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Gary is such a laugh. 5 stars
4/07/03 Jack Sommersby Tolerable nonsense. 3 stars
1/23/02 Dan Hogan Bening was excellent, movie had a few laughs, wnet downhill from there. 2 stars
1/01/02 Andrew Carden This Movie Is From Plant Bore-Tron. 1 stars
11/18/00 fuck fuck 1 stars
8/06/00 Blorg The Magnificent The premise: men are jerks, women are whiny. No imagination here. Blech. 2 stars
7/24/00 Monday Morning Starts well but morphs into a so-so story. It's the writing. 3 stars
7/24/00 The Bomb 69 I thought it was funny!! 4 stars
4/26/00 Pansy unfunny and lame 1 stars
4/09/00 EMagGaRony most of it was funny as anything but kind of slow at times, worth seein for a laugh 4 stars
4/03/00 Mr. Kramitall waste of film 1 stars
3/29/00 Stunner I laughed from beginning to end. Garry Shandling is funny. 4 stars
3/17/00 Captain Highcrime I knew a black guy who's penis whistled too. So what? 3 stars
3/16/00 Lame-Oh Sissy movie! Laughably godawful flick which is intended for retards who think it's funny. 1 stars
3/09/00 Dirty Dave Capone Had to leave after 45 minutes, horribly stupid movie aimed at morons who enjoy childlike co 1 stars
2/26/00 "Persnickety "Jenn this movie is damn funny, full of humor that doesn't stop 5 stars
6/07/99 Fred Flitsyone hat waz a goode quewstoen ie undeestnnde whrre imm fron 4 stars
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  03-Mar-2000 (R)
  DVD: 18-Jul-2000


  28-Sep-2000 (M)

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