Adapted from Stephenie Meyer’s best-seller, The Host stars Saoirse Ronan as a teen who fights back against the parasitic alien occupying her brain and entangling her in a messy romance. The movie, now in theaters, targets fans of Meyer’s Twilight series, who can relate to being in a love triangle that takes place primarily in their own heads. But if you’re looking for something a bit more grown-up, may we suggest All of Me (1984, 1 hr., 33 mins., PG), starring Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin? Or, more accurately, Lily Tomlin in Steve Martin.
Carl Reiner’s high-concept comedy tells the story of the sickly Edwina Cutwater (Tomlin), a millionaire who hires a mystic to transmigrate her essence into the healthy body of a younger woman (Victoria Tennant). Instead, she ends up sharing the headspace of her put-upon lawyer (Martin). Reteaming with Reiner soon after The Man With Two Brains — a title that could have worked for this film, too — Martin offers some of the most impressive physical comedy of his career, affecting the mannerisms of two distinct characters, often at the same time. Tomlin is also great as Edwina, and the film has the throwback charm of classic supernatural comedies like Topper and Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Plus, there are some hilarious bits of sexistentialism, as the experience-starved Edwina prepares to vicariously do the deed by fantasizing about the cast of Gone With the Wind. It’s perfect if you happen to take your brain-invasion films more manic than swoony. B+ (Available on DVD and Amazon instant viewing)