My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)

Rating: C+

Dir: Richard Benjamin
Star: Dan Aykroyd, Kim Basinger, Alyson Hannigan, Jon Lovitz

Yes, it’s very predictable and, you could certainly argue, overly syrupy, yet on a Saturday afternoon, there are worse ways to pass the time. Best not examine the plot closely, however; a radio signal accidentally sent by astronomer Steve Mills (Aykroyd) somehow alters the gravity (!) of a planet in a nearby galaxy (!!), who dispatch an envoy (Basinger!!!) to seduce him into giving up the secret. His daughter (Hannigan) sees her snacking on batteries, and can’t convince her father of the titular fact. That’s largely unsurprising, because he’s drooling over Basinger and her willingness to hop into bed on the first date – all she knows about Earth is what she learned from TV transmissions.

Aykroyd isn’t exactly a convincing geek (though at least he’s not Charlie Sheen), and does much better in his role of a goofy father, utterly infatuated with this intelligent beauty who has dropped into his life, behaving like a porn star. Basinger’s performance is amusingly disconnected, her alien surviving thanks to a handbag of tricks, including an animated tentacle. Add future Buffy stars Hannigan and Seth Green (and he’s shorter than her! But cue spooky music: he’s her boyfriend here too…), plus an equally young Juliette Lewis, and together with the performances, there’s just about enough to overcome the pedestrian story and script.