PAUL (2011)

TMG Scale 4.5
Starring Seth Rogan, Sigourney Weaver …and half the cast of Saturday Night Live

A silly little movie with lots of gratuitous F-bombs.  How is that for the Reader’s Digest plot summary? From Greg Mottola,  the Director of SuperBad (2007)—that will tell you a great deal, but this film fell far short of Superbad. This one is for college guys who get drunk on a Friday night after finals—not exactly a blazing endorsement. But when it comes to films, there is a place for most anything. It has a few laughs but so do most overdone Saturday Night Live routines.

Two nerdy Brits pursue their dream to come to the Untied States for a sci-fi comic book convention in San Diego. They rent an RV and then take the mecca of alien highway trips through Roswell, Area 51, etc. They meet up with “Paul”—a funny,  pot smoking alien of the Close Encounters variety. Paul has been living at Area 51 since 1947. compliments of the U.S.governemnt—a government who has decided his usefulness has run out and dispatches a crack team to kill him.

Paul is just a stand up comic full of jokes and tired of all the stereotypes about aliens. He leads his new hosts on a run across the desert and through towns in a series of quick and campish skits. Sigourney Weaver has a small but key role that almost saves this film. I said “almost.”  The film is still a loser, but the hot as ever Sigourney still knows a thing or two about aliens. It’s nice to see Jeffrey Tambor getting lots of work these days (See the hit Win Win) as sci-fi icon Adam Shadowchild. The Shadowchild role was a toss in and had nothing to do with the story.  I also have to admit that Jason Bateman deserves some better roles after proving he can even look good (like Sigourney) in an otherwise dumb movie.

I will give this film a C+ for effort.  But why all the F-bombs? Only some well placed swearing is funny when occasionally used by a bible beating prudish character played by Kristen Wiig. But it got out of hand and just wasn’t funny after awhile. Humor is tough. Movies are even harder.  Movie comedies are about as tough as it gets.

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