Film / Earth Girls Are Easy

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A 1988 science fiction musical romantic comedy based on a novelty song by Julie Brown and starring Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum, as well as Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey before they were famous. Set in an improbably colorful version of the San Fernando Valley wherein bright orange-and-red spacecraft crash-landing in backyard pools and spontaneous musical numbers aren't much cause for comment.

Somewhere in outer space, a ship is flying with a crew of three. The commander is in stasis while his remaining crew members operate the craft and do maintenance on it as needed. Bored, lonely, and more than a little horny, one of them tries to tune into space porn to pass the time. His buddy gets a signal but loses it. They get into a fight while trying to get the signal back and the ship goes crashing toward the source of the last signal — Earth.

On Earth, Valerie (Davis) is a nail technician whose relationship with her fiance Doctor Ted Gallagher (Charles Rocket) is going through a dry patch. Ted hasn't given Valerie any intimate attention in at least two weeks, and Valerie is down in the mouth about it. He promises to make it up to her the next night but she has a nail convention to go to.

Candy, Valerie's friend at the Curl Up And Dye Salon (Julie Brown) suggests skipping the convention and getting a super sexy makeover to get Ted's attention. The rough patch is made rougher when Valerie waits all dolled up for him and he comes home with one of his cute blond nurses. Furious, Valerie kicks Ted out and destroys his belongings before the heartbreak sets in.

That spaceship containing the crew of three (Goldblum, Wayans and Carrey) crashlands in Valerie's swimming pool. Valerie thinks she's just stressing from her upset over Ted, and tries to swim past what she believes is a hallucination. She bumps her head on the ship and falls unconscious. The commander, now wide awake, realizes she'll drown and rescues her. There's a language barrier, so Valerie flies into a panic, fearing the worst.

Valerie: Don't take out anything I'm gonna need later, okay?

The aliens don't seem to want to hurt her, but in her upset state, Val yanks on random levers on the dash and floods the ship. She apologizes for what she's done, and invites them to stay with her while she gets the pool drained so they can dry out their ship and return home. They don't understand at first but they learn English from TV and quickly adapt to the California lifestyle. Val, on hearing it will take the whole weekend to drain the pool and dry out their ship, takes the aliens to her friend's salon for makeovers so they can pass for human until the pool is drained, the ship is dried out and capable of taking off.

Zeebo and Wiploc become party boys, but Mac pretty much concentrates on learning English and communicating with Valerie. He realizes that she is unhappy due to how Ted treats her, but dismayed that she doesn't seem to think she deserves better. The alien boys get into wacky adventures courtesy of Candy wanting to party with them. Ted hates the boys on sight, and when he realizes that they're not what they seem, Mac and Val have to hatch a plan to rescue Zeebo and Wiploc.

Will Valerie stick with Ted, or will the gorgeous Sensitive Guy From Outer Space win her heart?


Tropes found in this film include:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of The '50s alien invasion films.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Zig-zagged. They learn the basics of English from watching TV all day, but they don't immediately speak it very well. And whenever they talk to one another, they almost always use their own language.
    • Subverted when the aliens are about to leave. Mac wants to tell Valerie how he feels about her, but admits his English isn't good enough to say what he wants to say.
    Mac: I ... don't have the words.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The Cops, Joe and Mike (see below). One use of Mac's love touch and they fall hopelessly in love with each other, and are ready to house hunt the last we see of them.
  • Anger Montage: See also Defenestrate and Berate, below.
  • Asshole Victim: Ted's blonde nurse second girlfriend ends up in this role.
  • Bad Girl Song "Cause I'm a Blonde"
    • Also, "Brand New Girl" which is about a Good Bad Girl teaching the Good Girl heroine how to act bad to get her boyfriend's attention. ("Your beauty's fresh and wholesome, but science has a cure!")
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: The entire premise of the "Brand New Girl" number.
    Who's on the most wanted list? A brand new girl!
    Who's the one they can't resist? A brand new girl!
    Honey, if you vixenize, guaranteed he'll get a rise!
  • Blue/Red/Yellow Furred Alien Space Hunk.
  • Brainless Beauty: Lampshaded by the dark-haired Candy in a blonde wig singing "'Cuz I'm a Blond"
    Candy: B...L...I dunno!
  • Break-Up Song: Played with. "The Ground You Walk On" would fit the bill, but Val is so flighty she's willing to take Ted back every time he apologizes, until he does something new to piss her off.
  • Dance Off: An unnamed man steps into Deca Dance and sees Zeebo dancing with a pretty black woman. He sneers at Zeebo's moves and tells the girl "why dance with a zero when you can dance with a hero?" The girl is happy to dance with whomever. Zeebo, offended at having been cut in on, attempts to dance with her as well, but the new guy is not having it and challenges him. The new guy pulls out his best moves. Zeebo, who has an incredible mimicry ability because he's an alien, watches for a second, matches him move for move, and then completely mops the floor with him with acrobatic moves the new guy can't match.
  • Defenestrate and Berate: A variation is done by Valerie with many of Ted's prized possessions in "The Ground You Walk On". Ted isn't actually there to get berated, but the spirit of the song does fit.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Two girls want to take Wiploc home once they see what he can do with his tongue.
    • Also, the final shot of the movie is the long, slim spaceship flying through a donut-shaped space object.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Val asks Mac this, but he hasn't quite grasped the nuances of Earth English yet. He asks her "what's sex" and she gives a flustered attempt at an explanation before giving in to her attraction to him.
  • Dumb Blonde: Candy's song sums up the stereotype quite nicely.
  • The '80s: The film takes place during this decade and has all the visual indicators and vocal cues.
  • '80s Hair: Lots! The Curl up and Dye salon is where California women go to get it.
  • Exotic Equipment: Just seeing Wiploc use his extremely long and prehensile tongue is enough to make Candy shout, "I'm taking him home with me." After she's spent some time making out with him, she gasps, "I want his baby!" before passing out.
  • Fanservice: Lots!
    • The reveal of the space boys once they've been given their human makeover.
    • The "'Cuz I'm a Blond" song.
    • All of Valerie's lingerie and her "going to Vegas" outfit.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Mac's "love touch" which is powerful enough to turn a pair of partnered police officers Camp Gay, and reverse the mutual hatred between Ted and Valerie's cat.
  • Flashback: In "The Ground You Walk On" has memory shots of Val as a klutzy cheerleader and Ted as the captain of the football team, and a more recent occasion where she knocks a barbecue full of steak into the pool.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The translation convention for the sake of the viewer breaks down the aliens' native language.
  • G-Rated Sex: It was only a PG rated movie, so they alluded to sex with enthusiastic cuddling and day-glo body paint to illustrate Mac's "love touch."
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: To illustrate Mac and the boys convincing Ted he's losing his mind.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Val
  • Human Aliens: Under the brightly colored fur, anyway.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Ted's justification for attempting to cheat on Valerie. She doesn't take it well.
  • Informed Attractiveness: The aliens (Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey and, the hottest of them all, Jeff Goldblum) are talked about as being really cute.
  • Innocent Aliens: For certain values of innocent. Wiploc was such a big horndog his brawling with Zeebo over trying to tune in to space porn is what crashed their ship.
  • Interspecies Romance: Mac, who comes from another planet, and Valerie "from the Valley".
  • Mars Needs Women: Wiploc was apparently very much in need of female attention after a long time in space with just Mac and Zeebo for company.
  • Metaphorgotten: "A relationship is like a porcelain nail, Ted. You can break it and you can glue it back together, but it's not going to be as strong as it was unless the person is really committed and not bringing home nurses."
  • No Social Skills: All three aliens start off this way. Mac makes the most progress. Zeebo makes a little more, and Wiploc barely even tries.
  • Nosy Neighbor: So nosy, in fact, she uses vision and hearing enhancing equipment of a sort you'd expect the FBI to use.
  • Police Brutality: Played for Laughs as Mike and Joe arrest Ted when he strangles Wiploc for eating his expensive tropical fish.
    Ted: Hey! I'm a doctor!
    Mike the Cop: Great. If we bust your arm you can put your own cast on!
  • Punny Name: The salon in which Valerie and Candy work is called "Curl Up And Dye" (which may be a Shout-Out to the name of the salon where Mystery Woman (Carrie Fisher) works in The Blues Brothers).
  • Shout-Out:
    Valerie: Oh, Wiploc...I think I'll miss you least of all!
  • Stoners Are Funny: Valerie's pool man Woody.
    "Jail's not so bad. It's where I learned to surf."
  • Title Drop:
    Valerie: I didn't want you to think Earth girls were easy.
    Mac: What is "easy"?
    Valerie: [kissing him] This is "easy".
  • Theme Naming: All of Ted's tropical fish are named after luxury automobiles.
  • They Would Cut You Up: The reason Mac and Val rescue Wiploc and Zeebo from Ted in the hospital.
  • Translation: "Yes": There is a sequence early in the film when Zeebo and Wiploc are arguing.
    Wiploc: [Single SHRIEEEEKK!] subtitle translating: Don't push me! I'm close to the edge!
    Zeebo: [trying to explain to Mac why they're crashing] [Single SHRIEEEEEEK!!] subtitle translating: It's all his fault!
    Wiploc: [Single SHRIIIEEEK!] subtitle translating: Liar! It is your fault!
  • Token Minority: Lampshaded. When Zeebo emerges from the makeout machine he imitates Candy verbatim:
    Zeebo: (in Candy's voice, Valley girl accent and all) Omigod! You're, like, totally black!
  • The Unpronounceable: Mac says his full name once, and everybody else shortens it to Mac thereafter, including Wiploc and Zeebo.
  • Valley Girl: Valerie and Candy serve as adult versions of this trope, with their "likes" and "totallys" and their intellects.

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