Also, as I said in e-mail to a friend this morning, several of you have said that you had pneumonia, and none of you has said, "Those were the days! Ah, the fun we had!" Funny thing about that, too.
Anyway. The Brother From Another Planet. It's hard to know what to say about this because part of what makes it fun and interesting the first time is figuring out what's going on for yourself. The main character is mute, and as a result the story relies very, very heavily on incluing, because there is no one onscreen for most of the movie who could sit down and tell you, "I am an alien from _____, and I am here because ______, and what I am going to do here is ______." I was a little frustrated early on, because I like Joe Morton's voice, and so casting him as a mute character is taking away something I like. But he also has a great deal of physical presence, both comedically and otherwise. I deeply respect a movie that successfully uses Joe Morton and a ratchet noisemaker in a scene that could otherwise have spent a great deal of money on special effects.
There are hilarious bits to this movie, but it's very much not a standard-issue comedy, and it's certainly not a comedy that takes its humor from crude renditions of the race relations of the mid-1980s, so I feel that the title may in some ways be misleading. Hmm. I think what I mean to say here is that it's not a genre comedy, it's a movie that's got funny things in it. And they go where things are funny rather than in a set pattern determined by the comedy movie genre. I really love the variety of responses and interpretations when the alien is asked where he's from and points his thumb upwards, and I love how his feet being noticeably different backfires on the bad aliens when they're trying to get human help in hunting him. And the fight scene, I love the fight scene.
The other reason I don't want to say too much here is that there's this line where one of the characters says to the alien, "You could be anybody," and I think that's true for the viewer, too, and if it works for you with a reading of the alien as x, I don't want to steer you into a reading where he is y instead and it works less well. Does that make sense at all?
Okay, back to the couch.