Kim Basinger: Professional idiocy, circa 1987 and 1988

In 1987, Kim Basinger appeared in Blake Edwards’ Blind Date with Bruce Willis.

In 1988, she appeared in Richard Benjamin’s My Stepmother is an Alien with Dan Aykroyd.

In both films, she plays nearly the same role: a woman so devastatingly gorgeous, she decimates the brains of weak-willed men everywhere before settling for a man who obviously the worst possible mate for her — falling in the kind of love that transforms your life in under 24 hours.

But she has one downside: she is an utter moron, almost unable to comprehend how the most basic of societal behavior should be observed. In Blind Date, it’s alcohol that’s to blame. One drink and her character, Nadia, loses control. In My Stepmother…, her character Celeste is an alien. That’s not a spoiler if it’s in the title of the movie. And while she’s been placed on Earth to either capture a signal that will fix the gravity on her world or destroy the planet, she seems developmentally challenged throughout the entire film.

It’s as if no woman could be both gorgeous and competent, even if she was able to pilot a starship the whole way here.

The similarities in films even extends to the hero’s brother and best pal. Blind Date features SNL star Phil Hartman as Willis’ sibling, where Stepmother has SNL star Jon Lovitz as Aykroyd’s brother.

Despite her foibles, she’s presented as an inherently good person in both films. But in now way do you watch and see her as a real person, someone who can be more than a sexual object, which is probably the whole point of 1980s comedy, one supposes.

PS – The real story behind My Stepmother is an Alien is even more insane than you could ever dream. It involves a screenwriter named only Jerico, alien stepfathers, trying to become a superhero and what one can only imagine are massive amounts of drugs. I can’t do it justice — read for yourself!

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