The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Watch The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

  • PG-13
  • 1991
  • 2 hr
  • 7.5  (295)

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe is a movie from 1991 that features Lily Tomlin in all the roles. The movie is a notable adaptation of a play by the same name, which Tomlin starred in for five months on Broadway, and it is directed by John Bailey. The story revolves around Trudy, an alien from outer space who is on a quest to find signs of intelligent life on Earth. Trudy has been observing life on Earth for several years, and through her observations, she shares her experiences with the audience.

The movie is a collection of monologues that cover various themes, such as love, relationships, politics, and feminism. Trudy assumes different roles throughout the movie, including a homeless woman, a punk rocker, a businesswoman, a lesbian couple, and an elderly widow. Each character that Trudy becomes is a reflection of her skeptical observations about life on Earth.

Tomlin's portrayal of the various characters is astonishing. She showcases an impressive range of acting skills that involves distinguishing each personality, mannerism, and tone. The characters are interesting, diverse, and unique from one another, which keeps the audience engaged throughout the movie. Despite the monologues, the characters' stories interconnect with each other, making the audience feel that they are part of a larger story that ultimately resolves. The movie is not only well-acted, but it is also well-written, thanks to Jane Wagner, who wrote the screenplay from the original play.

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe also addresses social issues that were relevant in the 1990s and are still relevant today. Trudy's views on feminism and gender identity, for instance, are still very poignant, given today's societal norms. One of the scenes in the movie features a lesbian couple living in San Francisco who deals with bureaucracy issues while trying to adopt a child. The scene is both amusing and sad at the same time, representing the legal challenges that gay couples have to face while trying to form a family.

Despite the movie's heavy themes, there are also moments of humor that make the movie enjoyable to watch. Trudy's occasional sarcastic moments and witty one-liners infuse the movie with levity without detracting from the movie's central themes. The conversations between the various characters are cleverly written, moving back and forth between hilarity and sobriety, providing an engaging experience for the audience.

The overall message of the movie is that despite humanity's quirks, there is still hope for intelligent life on Earth. Trudy's message is both critical and optimistic, a duality that typifies her views of life on Earth. Her message is one of optimism in our ability to change the world for the better, but it is also a plea to humanity to take a closer look at how we treat one another.

The movie's pacing is measured and consistent, the camera work subtle and unobtrusive, allowing the audience to focus on Tomlin's acting range without distractions. The movie's minimalist set design is also noteworthy, with attention paid to the smallest detail such as lighting and sound effects.

Overall, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe is an excellent showcase of Lily Tomlin's acting skills, showcasing the diversity, range, and nuance of her abilities. The movie is an adaptation that is a faithful interpretation of the original play, with excellent writing, acting, and pacing. The social commentary addressed by the movie is also still relevant today, making the movie an essential classic. The movie leaves a lasting impression on the audience, showcasing a beautifully acted and written examination of life on Earth. It is a movie well worth watching.

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (295)