MATING HABITS OF THE EARTHBOUND HUMAN

4 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 88 minutes
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Imagine you’re an alien zipping along in your flying saucer with a little spare time on your… hands… or, whatever. You’re kicking back with the alien-equivalent of a brewski, flipping through the alien equivalent of cable TV when you come across a nature documentary on this primitive race of critters called “Humans.” Before you know it, you’re sucked into watching how these strange and irrational beings live, court, and mate. Though it makes no sense whatsoever, it’s sure more entertaining than watching the alien equivalent of the Home Shopping Network. Such is the clever premise of Jeff Abugov’s ingenious and hysterical satire “Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human.” Like some entry from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” structured along the lines of, say, “Wild Kingdom,” “Mating Habits…” follows The Male (Mackenzie Astin) and The Female (gulp, Carmen Electra) as they perform the elaborate dance we call “dating,” but Narrator David Hyde Pierce (“Frasier”) elevates to the much loftier-sounding Mating Ritual. Electra, surprisingly enough, and Astin hold up their end of the bargain as they navigate the traditional perils of a burgeoning relationship: the First Kiss, the Meeting of the Parents, the First… well, you Know. All are clinically and comically chronicled by Pierce’s unflappable narrator who easily steals this show. Picture a very chipper Niles from “Frasier” confidentally calling the penis a “Seed Shooter” and you get the idea.
Throw in the best on-screen human sperm bits since Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask” and you’ve got a winner. We’re certainly an odd lot, we humans. But, interesting and entertaining as this clever film certainly is, imagine if The Male had been Electra’s real life hubby Dennis Rodman. I wonder if aliens watch freak shows, too. – Merle Bertrand



Posted on October 4, 1999 in Reviews by
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