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Film / What Planet Are You From?

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An out of this world comedy!

What Planet Are You From? is a 2000 American science fiction comedy film directed by Mike Nichols and written by Michael Leeson, Garry Shandling, Ed Solomon, and Peter Tolan. The film stars Shandling, Annette Bening, Greg Kinnear, Ben Kingsley, Linda Fiorentino, and John Goodman.

Harold Anderson (Shandling) is a man on a mission, having arrived in Phoenix, Arizona to find a woman with whom to have a child. Complicating matters are the facts that he is a member of a highly-advanced but emotionless all-male alien society, he has landed on the radar of a greedy FAA agent (Goodman) who is trying to out him as an alien, and—most troubling—he has started to fall in love with his chosen mate (Bening).


What planet are these tropes from?:

  • Distracted by the Sexy: A woman walks into a bank wearing a white dress that looks like a net, making her underwear visible. The employees start tripping and bumping into things.
  • Eldritch Starship: The spherical, iPod-like spaceships used by the aliens perfectly reflected the stagnant, conformist culture on the main character's home planet.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Because his species has no genitals, Harold has a mechanical phallus that audibly buzzes.
  • Gonk: Harold Anderson, though this is less from his natural features and more because of his exaggerated facial expressions.
  • Human Aliens: Anderson’s species look completely human, save for their lack of genitalia and their ability to shoot lasers out of their nose.
  • Immune to Bullets: Subverted and Played for Laughs. One of the aliens boasts that “your puny weapons are no match for my great intellect," and is then shot dead. After he's shot, the protagonist admits that he always thought the claim that their ray guns could deflect any “primitive” weapon was bullshit.
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  • Interspecies Romance: Harold’s mission gets complicated when he starts to develop feelings for his chosen mate.
  • Logo Joke: Annette Bening, co-star of the film, takes her long-rumored place as the face of the post-1994 Torch Lady (a composite is actually used for every other Columbia film of this era).
  • Mars Needs Women: The aliens travel to Earth to impregnate a human woman and bring the child back to their home planet, mainly because…
  • One-Gender Race: ...they are all male, previously reproducing only by cloning.
  • Questioning Title?