American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
In my fantasies about visitors from outer space, I always imagine them as strange and wondrous creatures who are eons ahead of us in intellectual and emotional development. But what if they were simply hot-shot space jockeys looking for a good time - like a bunch of Air Force fliers on a Saturday night? That is more or less the emotional level reached by the fur-covered aliens in “Earth Girls Are Easy,” a lighthearted and goofy musical comedy about a love affair between an extraterrestrial and a manicurist.
The manicurist is played by Geena Davis, who won the supporting actress Oscar this spring for “The Accidental Tourist.” Although two movies could not possibly be more different, the characters played by Davis are somewhat similar: optimistic, openhearted, trusting women who can’t help themselves when they see a guy in trouble.
As the movie opens, Valerie, the Davis character, is a manicurist in trouble. Her boyfriend (Charles Rocket) doesn’t seem to be interested any longer. The boss at her beauty salon (Julie Brown) suggests a complete change of image and makes her over into a platinum blond. This does not work, since it turns out her boyfriend already has another woman on the hook. But the next day her love life begins to look up, when three aliens crash-land their spaceship in her swimming pool.
The aliens are nice guys, but hungry and clumsy and covered with fur. They are stranded on Earth when their ship sinks in Davis’ pool, and so to make them blend, in she offers them a complete head-to-toe beauty makeover. The aliens emerge as three fairly good-looking guys (led by Jeff Goldblum), and after they all go out for a night on the town, romance blossoms between the Davis and Goldblum characters.