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"Extraterrestrial" Crash Lands with Ineffective Offbeat Comedy

As Director Mike Cahill proved in his collaboration with Brit Marling on Another Earth, a science-fiction premise doesn’t have to dominate a story’s narrative. Instead it can serve as an interesting backdrop that casts familiar tropes in a new light and gives characters alternative motivations for what would be otherwise commonplace situations. Following a similar vein in the very same year was Nacho Vigalondo’s Extraterrestrial (or Extraterrestre), which examined the fallout of a one-night stand in the context of an alien invasion. The same kind of lies are told and the same rash decisions made to cover up the infidelity, but the paranoia of potential aliens among them heightens every emotion and lends comedy to some situations where there’d be none. The end result is an offbeat dramedy that’s captivating despite not being all that funny or particularly poignant.

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