In this pleasant surprise from director John Carpenter, Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen) is a young Wisconsin widow still grieving over the loss of her husband. She spends her evenings looking through photo albums and watching home movies of their brief time together. One night, a bright blue
light zooms from outer space and flies into Jenny's home. It hovers over the photo album and runs the home movies until it has assimilated enough characteristics of Earthlings to take on the shape of one--Jenny's dead husband. She is shocked and confused when confronted with this man who looks
just like her late husband (Jeff Bridges). The alien manages to explain that he has come with greetings in return for the message Earth sent into space on Voyager II. His people have arranged for him to be picked up in the Arizona desert in a few days, and he forces Jenny to drive him there.
Meanwhile, the government, represented by a National Security Council agent (Richard Jaeckel), is out to capture the alien in order to study him. Jenny's fear is eventually overcome by her compassion for the vulnerable being who is almost childlike in his sense of wonder about Earth and its
inhabitants. Slowly, hesitantly, they fall in love, knowing that he must return to his planet or die. STARMAN is a wonderful film that combines science fiction, road movies, and romance into an engaging, very entertaining whole. While the plot may have some holes and the story may be a bit hard to
swallow, the film works due to the performances by Bridges and Allen. Carpenter directs the film in a straightforward manner, and the brief forays into special effects and pyrotechnics are handled deftly without distracting from the basic story line. STARMAN is an enjoyable film filled with the
kind of sensitivity, love, and humor seldom seen on today's screens.
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