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Paul

He looks like a typical alien: three feet tall, big eyes, green skin. But when Paul pulls out a joint and starts dropping f-bombs, it’s clear that he is anything but.

Paul is a sci-fi comedy that follows a pair of British geeks (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg) as they embark on a road trip from San Diego’s Comic-Con across the U.S., determined to see a few alien hot spots along the way. As the two friends near Area 51, an explosive car accident introduces an unexpected guest: an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) who has just escaped a 60-year government imprisonment. The two nerds welcome Paul into their RV with open arms—after removing the “Alien on Board” bumper sticker, of course—and an epic chase ensues, with the government hot on their trail.

On their quest to return Paul to his home planet, the eccentric trio encounters some interesting characters, including a one-eyed Bible-beater (Kristen Wiig) and her possessive redneck father. While there are a few overdone creationism jokes in the scenes that follow (Wiig’s character even sports a shirt of Jesus Christ gunning down Charles Darwin), the science-fiction references are even more widespread. Every scene contains some allusion to sci-fi culture, ranging from Star Wars to E.T. When Paul requests Reese’s Pieces at a gas station, for instance, I couldn’t help but chuckle. And while many of the more obscure references eluded me, I still found the film funny, quirky and even heartwarming.

How did the film end? Let’s just say that it may or may not include a phone home.

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