Picks and Pans Review: Coneheads

updated 08/09/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/09/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Michelle Burke

Nope, it doesn't really work, this transfer of the classic Saturday Night Live sketch to the big screen. Too bad. On television, the adventures of Beldar Conehead (Aykroyd) and wife Prymaat (Curtin), two pointy-topped aliens from planet Remulak who have settled down in suburbia, were silly and charming. And very low rent—surely part of the joke were the the cumbersome, phony looking cones jammed onto Aykroyd and Curtin's heads.

For the movie, directed by Steve Barron, the stars' headdresses are now nicely designed prosthetic pieces; elaborate sets and backdrops flesh out the planet Remulak; and a few other intergalactic special effects have trickled down from Close Encounters. Such high-tech touches, however, weigh down Coneheads and the Coneheads themselves. Curtin's voice, a deadpan android drone, has a nice hummingbird warble to it, but Aykroyd's strange, hollow-eyed gaze makes him look unnervingly like Zippy the Pinhead. And Burke, as their daughter, Connie, is as boring as any other Hollywood ingenue. (It's a shame that Laraine Newman, who played the part on SNL, is relegated to a small role as Curtin's sister.)

Coneheads' supporting cast of other SNL players, past and present, is much funnier: You have Jon Lovitz as a dentist, David Spade as an immigration investigator, Julia Sweeney as a high school principal, Chris Farley as Burke's earthling boyfriend and—quite wonderful, really—Jan Hooks as a somewhat tatterdemalion seductress with a yen for men with high foreheads. (PG)"

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