“Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out”

“Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out” nails it on the killer title front, and this cute but cliché-ridden young adult movie is something that can be enjoyed by all ages. With a wholesome story about friendship, celebrating our differences, and finding a place where you belong, the charming coming-of-age themes are universal.

When her parents decide to move from the city and buy a fixer-upper in a small town, aspiring journalist Itsy (Emma Tremblay) has the typical reaction of an unhappy teenager. Struggling with being the new kid in Pebble Falls, her life gets a lot more interesting when she meets her peculiar, space-obsessed neighbor, Calvin (Jacob Buster). He’s the perfect subject for Itsy’s big essay contest, which has instructions to write about the strangest thing in your hometown. A certified astronomy geek, Calvin has spent most of his life waiting for the next arrival of Jesper’s Comet, which is scheduled to make an appearance later in the year. Itsy learns that there’s a lot more to Calvin’s obsession: the last time the comet soared near Earth, his parents were abducted by aliens.

It’s a cute story that takes the two eclectic friends (and Izzy’s kid brother) on a fun road trip through Utah as they embark on a mission to find Calvin’s parents (and potentially join them in outer space). It’s kindhearted and sweet, if formulaic in its heartwarming sentimentality. Director Jake Van Wagoner touches on more mature themes about what defines a family, the power of friendship, and choosing to let go of the past, but does so with a deft charm and grace.      

“Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out” feels like a Disney-ish family movie that’s not particularly well-made (the direction is sometimes as clunky as the overacting), but this simple little tale of friendship and embracing the special things in everyday life is great for kids and adults alike. 

By: Louisa Moore

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