Friday, January 06, 2012

The Title Says it All: Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

They might look a little like the Coneheads, but these aliens banished to Earth are somewhat different. Rather than suburbia, they make their way to Chelsea, where a shy stationary store clerk falls hard and fast for one of the socially awkward visitors in Madeleine Olnek’s Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (trailer here), which opens today in Brooklyn.

Zoinx and her fellow displaced aliens loved too much, generating excess emotional discharges that were destroying their planet’s ozone layer. Or something like that. Maybe it is all just a ploy to get rid of the overly needy exiles. Regardless, the powers that be laid down the law, not allowing them to return from Earth until their hearts are thoroughly broken. However, Zoinx finds the wrong Earthling for the job in Jane, a mousy stationary store clerk. Romance quickly blossoms between the two, all under the watchful eyes of two X-Files-style government agents.

Codependent had to be one of the gentlest midnight movies on the festival circuit last year. Never indulging in gore or gross-out humor, it really has a romantic heart. However, it is not particularly clever or ambitious either. A bit more edge would have helped drive the story. Instead, the spoof of old school alien invasion movies more or less ambles along, nicely and politely.

Frankly, Nat Bouman’s black-and-white cinematography looks more polished than the films that inspired it. The film’s deliberately cheesy effects also hit their marks well enough. Yet, while not conical per se, the strong similarities between the Codependent aliens and those from Saturday Night Live, both in terms of look and mannerisms, prompts unfortunate comparisons.

Still, Codependent’s ensemble gamely embraces the film’s eccentricity, particularly Dennis Davis as an insecure Man in Black. Lisa Haas even brings a credible measure of earnestness to the proceedings, as the lovelorn Jane.

Despite the obvious LGBT themes, Codependent is not aimed solely at that audience, but has wider (or maybe narrower) geeky retro-B cult appeal. Pleasant if not essential, it opens today (1/6) in Brooklyn at the ReRun Gastropub.