I’ll Believe You (2006)

aka, First Time Caller

 

Okay, I like this one.

Dale Sweeney is about to lose his dream.  His radio show isn’t attracting enough listeners and is about to be taken off the air.  And, even worse, he’s probably going to have to get a real job from his brother at “Hose World”

So he tries to get his listeners to help him find a flying saucer one of them reported, which stirs up a little interest. And that’s when a mysterious caller calls up and spends five minutes talking in some unknown language.

Is he an alien?  If he’s an impostor, how could he possibly spout gibberish with such confidence and make it sound like a real language?  Suddenly, his show is saved, he’s a huge success, and hot on the trail of his mystery caller…

Despite the SF overtones of this gentle, low-key comedy, the real heart of the story is the collection of weirdos and oddballs populating this sleepy Florida town Dale encounters in his quest.  These included Chris Elliot as an Alligator farmer, Fred Willard as Dale’s Freebie-obsessed boss, and Mo Rocca as a psychologist who melts down on air.

Perhaps the best part of this one, though, is Patrick Warburton, who plays the mystery caller.  Few actors could make his gibberish phone calls anywhere near as convincing – and when we finally meet him, he gives his mysterious stranger a great deal of presence.

It’s not a great film, but it is a beautiful example of what can be done with a small independent film.  It certainly is more fun than a lot of the attempts at SF comedy – and it doesn’t get buried under overwhelming heaps of effects – or endless pages of technobabble.  Some of the details, like the bulletin board and the mysterious plaque are memorable – particularly because they ultimately make sense.

So, if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted SF comedy, this one will definitely fit the bill.

Whether it is science fiction or not.

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