The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Humans

The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Humans began with writer director Jeff Abugov. He was watching one of those nature documentaries where the narrator explains why animals do what they do when they mate. Dating is strange enough as is, but Abugov wondered what aliens would think if they were to observe human courtship. The result is this sharp mockumentary following a Male (Mackenzie Astin, In Love and War, The Last Days of Disco) and his efforts to mate with the Female (Carmen Electra, Baywatch, Singled Out).

The Narrator (David Hyde Pierce, Nixon, A Bug's Life) provides the hilarious commentary as the Male and Female meet, fall in love, and hopefully, mate. Without the narration, Mating Habits could be released as a romantic comedy between two mismatched people, Billy (Astin), an accountant, and Jenni (Electra), and ultra hottie. They go through the normal travails that new couples do, with many amusing things happening in between. Hey, it would probably make a decent amount of money. The story is kind of pithy and very predictable. Abugov takes it a step further, and examines in minutiae what they are doing. The Narrator begins by informing us that humans have a strange and complex mating ritual, and it is a wonder that they have not yet gone extinct. So to aliens, the club where Billy and Jenni meets becomes a hunting ground, and the bouncer is the warrior who is appeased by their offerings of pieces of tree bark (cover charge). Taking a look at our dating 'rules' through the eyes of the Narrator show just how ridiculous some of the things we do are. Things such as going to work, using a computer mouse, printing pages, and wearing clothes are skewered by Abugov as the Narrator tries to explain to his audience what the Male and Female are doing.

The performances are adequate, with Electra doing a surprisingly decent job. But none of the actors take their roles too seriously, which is a very good thing. Performances by Markus Redmond (Doogie Howser, MD) Lucy Liu (Payback, Ally McBeal) and the actors who portray Billy and Jenni's parents are also amusing. The big laughs come from the Narrator's interpretations of many of their actions. Pierce speaks in an almost continual professor-like monotone, echoing his Niles Crane character on Frasier. His serious consideration of the subject matter just makes it even funnier. But the most hilarious points in the film come when the Narrator tries to demonstrate to the audience the action of male sperm. The laughs are non stop-as we watch how Abugov decides to portray the journey of sperm. For those of you who like to leave just as the credits start to roll, be warned that the jokes continue until the very end of the movie. This movie will probably fly under the radar of most theaters, so make an effort to find and watch it before it disappears.
Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Good.
1 hour, 32 minutes, Rated R for strong sexuality and language.

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