MAC AND ME * 1/2 Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Ward; rated PG (violence); Cineplex Odeon Midvalley Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon Trolley North Theaters, Mann Creekside Plaza, Mann Flick Theater in Trolley Square, Redwood Drive-In (with "Going Bananas"), UA Fashion Place Mall Theaters.
So, being aware that "Mac and Me" was partially funded by McDonald's, I expected some plugs for the hamburger eatery, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie that is as crass a 90-minute commercial as "Mac and Me."Add to that the fact that this film is perhaps the most blatant "E.T." ripoff ever and you have questionable family/kiddie fare indeed.
"Mac and Me" is about a family of aliens - who suspiciously resemble you-know-who - being sucked into a U.S. space probe that lands on their planet. When the probe returns to Earth, the aliens escape and run away.
The parent aliens and (teenage?) daughter go into the central California desert while the baby of the clan jumps into a van headed for Los Angeles.
The majority of the film focuses on the baby alien and its adventures in the new home of widowed Janet (Christine Ebersole) and her two sons, teenage Michael (Jonathan Ward) and younger Eric (Jade Calegory), who is confined to a wheelchair.
Only Eric and Debbie, the little girl next door (Lauren Stanley), see the creature until late in the film.
At first the little alien, whom they dub "Mac," causes all sorts of damage around the house, but he eventually repairs everything. To lure him out in the open Eric leaves Coke cans all over the house instead of Reese's Pieces. (Coca-Cola figures prominently here, and is in fact the elixer of life, reviving the aliens when they are apparently dead.)
Evil and clumsy U.S. government agents are after Mac, of course, and eventually Eric, Michael, Debbie and her big sister Courtney (Katrina Caspary) take Mac into the desert to find his family.
Courtney, by the way, works at McDonald's and wear's a McDonald's uniform throughout the movie. There is also a birthday party scene at a McDonald's restaurant, hosted by a Ronald McDonald clown, with singers and dancers that make the restaurant look more like a disco.
If the alien were allowed to grow up during the course of this movie I've no doubt they'd start calling him "Big Mac."
And Sears, the store that carries the McDonald's line of children's clothing, also appears prominently in the film. Janet works at Sears, there is a big scene in a Sear's store and at the end of the film little Mac wears a McKid's shirt.
As for the film itself, it's a weird cross between "E.T." and a Warner Bros. cartoon, with the aliens able to be sucked inside a vacuum cleaner, able to stretch their arms and eyeballs, and with all sorts of magical powers - including the ability to bring Eric back to life.
I suppose it should be mentioned that a portion of the profits from "Mac and Me" will go to the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities, but you might be better off donating directly to the charity than sitting through this picture.
"Mac and Me" is rated PG for violence.