My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)

This goofy comedy by “Mermaids” director Richard Benjamin is not exactly Masterpiece Theatre, but it’s just so much damn fun that you find yourself going along with it, warts and all. Although they’re a preposterous onscreen pairing, Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger have a lot of chemistry, and that goes a long way to selling the movie’s silly story and rather lowbrow humor. Really, nothing in this movie should work given the cartoonish storyline, but Benjamin knows how to craft a crowd pleaser – the music is well selected, the pace is fluid, the score is surprisingly operatic and the overall cast seems to be having a good time. At 105 minutes, it’s a bit on the long side for a narrative with such a thin story, but there’s something undeniably entertaining about this little slice of 1980s nostalgia.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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