Saturday, March 28, 2009

Starman (1984) [PG] ****

Starman is a love story wrapped in a science-fiction fantasy. An alien visitor's spacecraft is shot down over Wisconsin. Needing a physical body, as well as human help, to survive on Earth, the alien creates a clone of deceased Scott Hayden (Jeff Bridges). Scott's young widow Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen) watches, both terrified and fascinated. Then, to reach his rendezvous point in Arizona before he dies, Starman forces Jenny to drive him cross-country. At first she tries to escape from him, but he has powers she doesn't understand, as well as Scott's physical features and mannerisms, which draw her to him. During their three-day journey Jenny's initial fear turns to affection, and she falls deeply and passionately in love with Starman.

This is a film about growth and transformation. Starman experiences a universe of new sensations and emotions as he grows accustomed to his earthly body. Jenny experiences her reborn husband Scott as a wise and compassionate, almost Christ-like being. The third act of the film is especially powerful. Jenny gives Starman her trust and her love, and in return he gives her a miraculous gift. The final scene, when they embrace one another, must surely be one of the most poignant, heart-wrenching goodbye scenes ever filmed.

Starman is a many-layered story. It is a tender love story between two very different people. It's also a commentary on the problems that men and women often experience in communicating with one another, because they seem to speak different languages and come from different worlds. And in a global sense, the film holds a mirror up to us all, showing us how our fearful, intolerant and violent nature has the potential to destroy us and our beautiful blue planet, while the tenderness, love and affection we display toward one another are the qualities that could ultimately save us.

Labels: adventure, drama, romance, sci-fi

Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=67, viewers=66)

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