If you are wondering, it is pronounced “Goofers.”
It is, in fact, the name of a small store in a tiny community in the middle of the desert, and stands for Global Unidentified Flying Object Research and Services. Although the sign on the store actually says “gUFOrs.”
Three friends from L.A. came here to follow their dream of becoming famous UFO hunters. They know there’ve been a lot of sightings in the area, and in between selling all sorts of Alien and flying saucer merchandise, they hope that they will finally find the evidence to prove that the extraterrestrials are really out there.
Unfortunately, the locals are hostile to outsiders, their landlord isn’t keeping his end of the deal he made with them, and the only alien abductees they’ve found aren’t particularly believable.
But then someone sees a flying saucer almost in their backyard, they find credible evidence that it landed…
And everything gets even worse.
I have a soft spot for this sort of amiable ensemble comedy, particularly when they bring a little bit of science fiction into the mix. In many ways, this one reminds me of another excellent comedy, I’ll Believe You, which also dealt with life in a small town full of eccentric people, although this one tells the story from the perspective of a group of outsiders struggling to make their way in this tiny community.
There are quite a few nice moments here, from the rather eccentric method of contacting the aliens devised by the young hippie girl; to the abductee, complaining about the latest inconvenience caused by the aliens responsible for her half-alien baby: “family!”
For an essentially lighthearted comedy, it takes on several important themes, and deals with them in a surprisingly mature way. Not only are the three forced to question how much they trust each other, to deal with the locals and their eccentricities, and to make serious sacrifices for their business, but they will also have to come to a better understanding of the dreams they are pursuing, and what it will take to achieve them.
And it is nice to see someone portray a romance which depends on the young man learning to accept the wisdom of the girl’s old fashioned standards.
It may not achieve greatness, but then few films do. Instead, it offers us a few highly debatable encounters with aliens, an entertaining collection of minor characters, and a generous amount of laughter.
Which is quite impressive for an independent film without a single, recognizable face in it, from a director who has never previously ventured into the world of SF.
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