It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
What we have here is a goofy comic performance by Kim Basinger, weighed down by a turgid script and a decision to use Dan Aykroyd mostly as a straight man. Too bad. This is one of those movies where the credits list four writers, and most of the funny stuff is in between the lines. Basinger proves here, as she did in "Blind Date," that she has a natural gift for slapstick, with a plastic face and a rubber body. She always makes a great package in a tight, red dress, but this time she seems to be operating her body's controls with her elbows.
"My Stepmother Is an Alien" tells the story of an eccentric physicist (Aykroyd) who harnesses the power of lightning to send a beam to another galaxy. The response is a visit to Earth by a spaceship bearing Basinger as an alien who takes human form but never gets it quite right. She materializes on the beach, saunters into a party being given by Aykroyd's brother and starts to nibble on the cigarette butts.
Aykroyd falls in love with her - not because she looks sexy, but because she makes him laugh. I had much the same reaction.
But the screenplay never seems to realize the comic potential of the situation. The title suggests that the movie's point of view is taken from Aykroyd's 13-year-old daughter (Alyson Hannigan), and if the movie had been told from a teenager's perspective, it might have developed some real possibilities. Unfortunately, the role of the daughter is used mostly for negative scenes in which she stands around and has hysterics because her dad won't believe her when she says she saw Basinger drinking battery fluid and plunging her hand into boiling water.