Though no match for its nifty title, the moonbeam farce that MTV-weaned director Julien Temple (Absolute Beginners) has concocted from retooled parts of E.T., Splash, Spaceballs and anything else handy, shapes up as an entertaining trifle. Forgive the airhead plot that hinges on a spaceship crash-landing in the swimming pool of a Valley-girl manicurist, played by Geena Davis. The fun comes from Temple's protean visual wit and the irresistible charm of Davis, who just won an Oscar for her role in The Accidental Tourist.
The ship, from the planet Jhazzala, is manned by three fur balls named Zebo, Whiploc and Mac. No sooner do the aliens land than Davis hurries them over to her Curl Up & Dye beauty salon for emergency electrolysis. "I see split ends are universal," says Davis's boss, Julie Brown, the singer-comic who co-wrote the script and three of the film's songs. Presto, the ETs are transformed into the hot, hairless bods of Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Jeff Goldblum.
The aliens' language — a mix of space garble and mimicked slang ("We are MTV scum") — proves ample intellectual stimulation for these Val girls. "I can't believe you're Frenching an alien in front of all these people," says a shocked Davis when Brown goes gaga over Whiploc.
Davis astonishes herself later when she lets Goldblum zap her into bed. Given the nonstop silliness, Goldblum and Davis — husband and wife offscreen — manage to make an unlikely love story quietly touching. This helps when the movie slips inexorably into stale slapstick. Still, the agreeably tacky Earth Girls earns points for warmth, color and high spirits.