"E.T." was lacking in dick jokes. "Alien" was lacking in Jason Bateman cameos. We can all agree on this.
What we can't agree on is "Paul." Greg Mottola's first-contact parody has the dick jokes and the Jason Bateman, (and the contributions of funny types like Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Kirsten Wiig and Jane Lynch) but it's lacking on effort: this is a rusty spaceship lazily landing with a thud. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, (now practically symbiotic) are Brits on a sci-fi, Comic-Con inspired road trip through America's UFO hot spots. Soon enough they run into an obnoxiously familiar alien voiced by Seth Rogen, (obnoxious/Set Rogen... I know, I'm being redundant.) Half as uproarious as the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright comedies, ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz"), half as genuine as Mottola's own movies ("Adventureland" and "Superbad"), "Paul" just checks off alien cliches to mock: if you add nothing, then you end up with an anthology of cliches. Not an unpleasant diversion- Pegg and Frost have the easy chemistry of eternal roommates- but nothing to phone home about.