Written by Mr. Mouseburger 21st Jan 2008
After a fun day trip to Earth is halted abruptly when the men in black turn up, loveable alien E.T. is left stranded on Earth. Still fortune is on his side, as it is not long before he has befriended oddball child, Elliott, and a symbiotic relationship between the two is formed. But, pining for the family who accidentally left him behind, E.T. wants to go back to his homeworld.
With Elliott's help, he manages to hook up a Speak 'n' Spell to an antenna and broadcast a message into the depths of space. NASA must have been kicking themselves having shelled out countless billions of dollars on the ambitious voyager space projects, which were supposed to communicate with any intelligent life out there, when all they really needed was an umbrella and a $20 children's toy made by Texas Instruments. Presumably though, the message E.T. sent was something a bit more sophisticated than "The correct way to spell because is B-E-C-A-U-S-E".
While E.T. was setting up the machine, Elliott falls asleep in the woods and, when he awakes, he discovers that E.T. is missing, and he can't find him anywhere. In a panic he rushes home and gets his brother to go out and search for him. Michael (Elliott's brother) manages to find E.T. by a river looking decidely worse for wear (suffering the alien equivalent of hypothermia), but manages to get him back to the house, where Elliott also seems to be suffering these effects too.
This is the least of the family's worries though as those intrusive busybodies at NASA have been monitoring the street for strange behaviour since the alien landing, and have worked out that the alien is in this house.
Before you can say "vivisection is wrong", E.T. is on a medical table wired up to all sorts of medical equipment with scores of scientists poring over him. In fairness, ther e is not a scalpel in sight, but you just know in your heart of hearts that it won't be long before he is sliced and diced in the name of science. Elliott realises this and is frantically struggling in the bed next to E.T. telling the scientists to "leave him alone" - pleas which go unanswered.
It is not long before the health of E.T. deteriorates and he dies, symbolised beautifully by the flower in the pot he always carried around fading and dying. The whole scene is made all the more tearjerking by the brilliant John Williams score, and I have to confess that even I was struggling not to shed a tear at this point. The scientific interest in E.T. appears to wane now that he is dead, and he is perfunctorily "bagged up" in preperation for starring in NASA's next dodgy alien autopsy video.
However, Elliott has other ideas....upon seeing the E.T.'s flower coming back to life, Elliott begins to suspect that E.T. is not quite dead. Sure enough when Elliott opens the casket, E.T. is back to life and excitedly mumbling "E.T. phone home". Suffice it to say, E.T. and Elliot escape, and he manages to get back to his spacecraft and heads off into the sunset.