My Stepmother Is an Alien

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My Stepmother Is an Alien
My stepmother is an alien.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Richard Benjamin
Produced by Franklin R. Levy
Ronald Parker
Executive producers:
Jerry Weintraub
Art Levinson
Laurence Mark
Written by Jerico Stone
Herschel Weingrod
Timothy Harris
Jonathan Reynolds
Richard Benner
Leslie Bricusse
Debra Frank
Susan Rice
Paul Rudnick
Carl Sautter
Music by Art of Noise, Alan Silvestri and Tom Jones
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Edited by Jacqueline Cambas
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • December 9, 1988 (1988-12-09)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $26,000,000[1]
Box office $13,854,000 (US) [2]

My Stepmother Is an Alien is a 1988 American comedy science fiction film produced by the Weintraub Entertainment Group for release through Columbia Pictures, directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger, with featured performances by Jon Lovitz and Alyson Hannigan.[3]


Celeste (Kim Basinger) is an alien sent on a secret mission to Earth and Steven Mills (Dan Aykroyd) is a widowed scientist who is working on different ways to send radio waves into deep space. Steven accidentally sends a radio wave out of that galaxy to Celeste's home world (Cosine N to the 8th) which causes a disruption of gravity on her planet. She is sent to investigate who could affect gravity and how it was done, believing it was an attack. She is aided by an alien device (called Bag) resembling a tentacle with an eye, which hides in a designer purse to aid Celeste with her encounters on Earth. Bag is able to create any object, such as diamonds and designer dresses almost instantaneously. Celeste crashes a party hosted by Steven's brother Ron (Jon Lovitz), where she immediately draws attention to herself by making dated references to old TV shows and political slogans under the mistaken belief that it was current (her superiors had just collected the information, which had taken 92 years to get from Earth to her home world).

Celeste's inexperience almost results in her exposing herself as alien when she struggles with simple tasks like trying to kiss for the first time or cooking. She goes home with Steven and spends the night, after Bag teaches her what sex is (which she greatly enjoys). Jessie Mills (Alyson Hannigan), Steven's 13-year-old daughter, is at first happy that her father has found someone (her mother died five years previously) but becomes suspicious when she observes Celeste eating the acid out of batteries, and pulling hard boiled eggs out of boiling hot water with her bare hands. However, she cannot convince her smitten father that something is unusual about Celeste, and when Celeste tells him that she must leave in 24 hours he impulsively proposes, and she accepts. Ron also has his doubts about Celeste and tries to dissuade Steven from marrying Celeste on the idea she is an illegal immigrant or planning economic espionage, but then admits he is jealous his brother found his dream girl whereas he will never find a girl like Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.

Celeste encounters new experiences such as sneezing and love. When finally confronted about being an extraterrestrial by Jessie, Celeste admits her home world is without emotion. Celeste plans to depart once she discovers how Steven created the radio signal and gets him to recreate it (which she says will reverse the gravity problems on her world), but is put in a quandary by Jessie, who says it will devastate her father, for whom Celeste has now developed feelings. After Jessie argues with her dad, she runs away and is nearly hit by a car, but is saved by Celeste's powers. This reveals to Steven that Celeste is indeed an alien and that she has fallen in love with him and accepted Jessie as her own daughter.

Steven eventually realizes how he was able to create the radio wave and manages to repeat it, reversing the gravity on Celeste's planet and saving it. After destroying Bag (which tried to kill them), the leaders of Celeste's home world report in and ask her to destroy the planet Earth. She and Steven manage to convince them it was not an act of aggression, but an accident, and that Earth has many benefits that require further studying. They accept the explanation and demand that Celeste return to explain human culture to them, but settle for a native of Earth to serve as ambassador to their world as a token of goodwill. The ambassadorship is accepted by Ron, who departs for Celeste's world in a spaceship served by several flight attendants, all of whom look like Princess Stéphanie.



  • The original writer of My Stepmother Is an Alien, Jerico Stone, saw the story as a dark allegory about child abuse, which is how he pitched the film to Paramount Pictures in 1981.[4][5]
  • Shelley Long was originally cast as Celeste, but dropped out due to unknown circumstances.[6]
  • The film went into principal photography on 29 February 1988, as well as wrapped in May of that year.[4][7] Some location shooting took place in Thousand Oaks, California.[8] The film was released in the United States on 9 December 1988,[9] and was marketed with the tagline: "A million lightyears from home, she's found a husband, a stepdaughter and a dog."


The film gained negative reviews, receiving a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes from a sample of 16 critics.[10][11][12]

Box office[edit]

The film was not successful.[1] The film was released on December 9, 1988 and opened at #7, grossing $2,066,980 in the opening weekend. It went on to gross $13,854,000 in the United States.[2]


The soundtrack album was released by Polydor Records.

  1. Room to Move - Animotion (4:12)
  2. Not Just Another Girl - Ivan Neville (4:05)
  3. Be the One - Jackie Jackson (4:15)
  4. I Like the World - Cameo (6:11)
  5. One Good Lover - Siren (3:51)
  6. Hot Wives - Dan Aykroyd (2:53)
  7. Pump Up the Volume - M.A.R.R.S. (4:06)
  8. Enjoy - Alan Silvestri (2:54)
  9. The Klystron - Alan Silvestri (5:33)
  10. The Celeste - Alan Silvestri (4:56)
  11. Kiss - Art of Noise feat. Tom Jones (3:30)


External links[edit]