Turn Back the Clock
The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human
Distributed by Sony Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Never discount the promotional material shown at the movie theater or on your DVD. You never know what you might find. It was during one such promo on a rental that I first discovered The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human. I had never heard of the film prior to this promo and probably wouldn’t have checked it out based on the title of the film, but after watching the promo, I knew I had to see it.
The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human story is basically average accountant meets hot chick, they date, they have sex, they break up, they get back together. Okay, I know what you’re thinking - boring. And, it would be, if not for the background commentary by David Hyde Pierce. You see, The Mating Habits of the Earthbound human is a mockumentary. This is meant as an instructional video for extraterrestrials and David Hyde Pierce is your narrator on this journey.
Now that I’ve explained that part, let’s go back to the story as an extraterrestrial watching the human mating ritual for the first time. Billy (Mackenzie Astin) meets Jenny (Carmen Electra) for the first time at a club. David Hyde Pierce describes this encounter in hilarious detail, describing Jenny’s dancing as a mating dance designed to tell potential mates that she is ready to procreate and to loosen her egg in preparation for her mate, discussing how Billy is drinking fermented grains to look attractive to a potential mate and so on.
As the two begin dating, the narrator explains the rituals of eating and meeting the parents. As the relationship progresses and the couple are ready to make love, the narrator explains the reasoning behind condoms (we are treated to a scene featuring men dressed to look like sperms smacking into a rubber wall) and spermicidal cream (otherwise known as the Sperminator, which brings us to a scene of a Terminator look-alike taking out the running sperm).
It’s hard to really describe how funny the commentary really is without examples, so check out the following:
When the couple have an argument, Billy heads out with his friends to a bar: “They force him to consume large amounts of fermented grain in an attempt to kill him. Unwilling to mate, he is no longer of any use to their species.”
After drinking all night, Billy spends the night throwing up his guts: “The male tries to validate his existence and prove he doesn't need a female to mate. He attempts to devolve into a hermaphrodite and give birth to offspring on his own…For the male, this will prove ultimately unfulfilling. Although genetically equipped to deliver the placenta...he is unable to produce the infant itself.”
When we discuss dating and relationships amongst ourselves, some of the issues we face and the things we go through just to find the perfect mate are incredibly funny. When looked at through the eyes of an extraterrestrial they are absolutely hilarious. Suffice it to say that it is not the acting of Carmen Electra or Mackenzie Astin that attracted me to this film, but the commentary by David Hyde Pierce (we never actually see him) that had me rolling in laughter.
The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human is a hilariously funny and unique look at the various hoops we jump through when trying to find the perfect mate. I should also warn anyone interested in this film that while incredibly funny, the movie is rather erotic at times - how else are we to learn about procreation without a few risqué scenes. But it’s all in good fun.
I’ve recommended this film to quite a few people who all agreed - this film is well worth the watch. You can’t help but laugh and agree as the extraterrestrial narrating the film wonders about the sanity of humans. The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human may not be on the best movies of all time list, but it is definitely a romantic comedy worth checking out!