In Alien Guy Tim, a film crew is producing a documentary about the titular eccentric loner. Tim (Patrick McElroy) is a perpetually peppy man-child who has, on multiple occasions, been abducted by aliens. Not only does Tim enjoy the time he has spent with extraterrestrials, but he thinks of them as his friends and even speaks of an interstellar romance with an alien-ess.
For those who don’t believe Tim’s claims, another possibility exists-that he is bats-in-the-belfry nuts, living in a warped reality and would benefit greatly from serious psychiatric help.
The short film’s direction by Scott Simerly, Jr. is professional and adequate, but a primary issue with Alien Guy Tim is that it just isn’t very engaging. The movie thinks it’s a lot kookier than it is. When we finally learn the truth at the end of its 15-minute runtime, it’s nothing but a big ‘meh.’ If I was an alien and Tim came aboard my spacecraft as the representative for the human race, I’d argue for exploring a more interesting planet.
“Tim… has, on multiple occasions, been abducted by aliens.”
With his everyman pudginess and a voice affectation that sounds as though he’s holding the syllable of every last word a beat too long, McElroy oversells the “lovable loser” thing to the point of insufferable. He doesn’t display the vital enthusiasm to cause Tim to be someone the audience could get behind. The viewers need to say to themselves, “he’s probably crazy, but he’s so sweet-natured that, gosh darn it, we’re rooting for him!”
However, the film’s attempts to paint Tim as a misunderstood teddy bear backfires. He perpetually smiles as he breaks the fourth wall, talking to the documentary camera. This coerces the viewer into thinking that whatever Tim says is funny and that he is just so adorable. Wretch!
McElroy, also serving as the screenwriter, attempts to imbue Tim with some self-reflection, especially after a visit with his sister and brother, who attempt an intervention. Tim maintains that the alien abduction story is true, and he’s sticking to it! That’s terrific and indicates that Tim has a noble sense of integrity. But there is a tonal disconnect since the movie wants us to root for Tim as a sort of underdog, all the while painting him and everyone around him as goofballs in a quirky comedy.
Alien Guy Tim is one of those movies that forces its humor upon viewers who are smart enough to decide for themselves what’s funny. As the critical representative of the audience, I can tell you that it is not.
"…there is a tonal disconnect..."