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‘Earth Girls Are Easy’

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
May 12, 1989


Julien Temple
Geena Davis;
Jeff Goldblum;
Julie Brown;
Jim Carrey;
Damon Wayans;
Michael McKean;
Charles Rocket
Parental guidance suggested

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In Julien Temple's "Earth Girls Are Easy," three fuzzy aliens crash-land in L.A. for a terrestrial good time. But after Temple's visually inventive but ultimately eMpTy-V adventure, they wisely phone home.

"Girls" entertains the eye with its unending, conveyor-belt parade of consumer goods, garish outfits and expressionistic movie sets. This is La-La Land, a consumption-crazy Pompeii in which Temple, the alien (he's British) who directed the flashy "Absolute Beginners" and the wired "Rigoletto" sequence in "Aria," loves to revel. That "Earth Girls" develops into an alien-earthling love story (between ectomorphs-of-

a-feather Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis) seems largely an easy convolution -- scripted by performer and MTV being Julie Brown with collaborators Charles Coffey and Terrence McNally -- to stop the conveyor belt.

The movie is awash in glitzy colors, lively (but only conventionally amusing) musical numbers (composed mostly by Brown, Coffey and Nile Rogers) and other eye-filling sensations staged poolside, beachside and nightclubside by cinematographer Oliver Stapleton, production designer Dennis Gassner and others. But "Girls" lacks satirical staying power. This aliens' lost weekend spends itself sometime Saturday morning, but the party goes on till Monday.

Valley manicurist Davis is fuming over fiance' Charles Rocket's prenuptial transgressions when celestial wayfarers Goldblum, Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey belly-flop their space vessel into her pool. Davis befriends the colorful, hairy dudes, shaves them down and primps them up (at her Curl Up and Dye salon) and, with buddy Brown, takes them out on the town. Meanwhile, they're also taken on the crash course in TV-movie culture previously crammed by Daryl the Mermaid, Bowie the Man, Joe Morton the Brother and E.T. the Extraterrestrial.

"Girls" is certainly fun for a time, and Goldblum, Davis, Wayans and others have their moments. But you may find your stomach rumbling from a certain emptiness under the glibness, and when it's time for that inevitable return to the planet Jhazzalan, you may hear yourself breathing a sigh of relief.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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