Alien Love Image

Alien Love

By Sumner Forbes | July 3, 2024

Let’s be honest: being an astronaut still ranks among the coolest professions imaginable. It’s certainly cooler than being a freelance film critic. But once they leave the friendly confines of Earth’s atmosphere, who is to say nefarious forces aren’t at work? Scientists? We stopped listening to them years ago. Director Simon Oliver’s charming Alien Love, written by Nathan Hill and Simon Salamon, eagerly broaches the possibility that astronauts may not be coming back to Earth completely whole. They may become something extraterrestrial in nature.

Ryan Van Hill-Song (Hill) is the astronaut in question. He’s an Aussie on an important mission for NASA (best not to ask questions), leaving behind his improbably attractive partner, Sadie (Ira Chakraborty). His mission goes according to plan, with the exception of a brief break in communication. Sadie anxiously awaits Ryan’s return, and upon picking him up from the airport, she notices he’s not quite the same.

Ryan goes through the motions of a normal life, but bizarre interactions with old friends and an odd obsession with vehicles (including a Tesla, an alien vehicle if I ever saw one) signal to Sadie that Ryan isn’t exactly himself any longer. It appears his mission wasn’t routine after all. Sadie soon becomes pregnant, proving at least one part of Ryan is in tip-top shape. But maybe this isn’t a normal pregnancy. How does Sadie reconcile her new reality with the shell of the man who came back from outer space? Additionally, why is NASA intelligence so eagerly interested in his whereabouts?

“…her new reality with the shell of the man who came back from outer space.”

We’re not supposed to take Alien Love entirely seriously, and within that approach, there’s a lot of enjoyment in the picture. The director readily embraces schlock, and the general corniness is part of its broader appeal. Hill hams it up, and Chakraborty is ready to match his dedication as the steadfast wife, though the probability of their relationship seems fantastical (being an astronaut has its perks, no doubt). The film is at its best during the interactions between the new Ryan and his old world.

There are occasions when more attention could have been paid to the writing. There are a few unnecessary plot threads, and by the conclusion, we’re left wishing more loose ends had been tied. The dialogue feels stilted throughout, begging for the addition of some organic interactions. All in all, though, one wouldn’t and shouldn’t naturally expect eloquent writing in a film about an Australian astronaut impregnating his wife with an alien baby. Knowing one’s audience is always essential, and no doubt Oliver and co. weren’t tailoring this toward lovers of formally adventurous, slow cinema.

Alien Love is a success because it delivers upon its promise of being a silly sci-fi venture that fully welcomes comparison to cheesy genre films of yore. That’s ultimately why viewers should seek this out to begin with. They will not be disappointed. The film is perfect for a low-key evening or for those yearning to fulfill their far-fetched dream of conquering the cosmos at the behest of NASA. Alien Love has enough personality to help accomplish these not-so-lofty goals.

Alien Love (2024)

Directed: Simon Oliver

Written: Nathan Hill, Simon Salamon

Starring: Nathan Hill, Ira Chakraborty, Edward Mylan, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Alien Love Image

"…welcomes comparison to cheesy genre films of yore..."

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