ANDREW COLLINS:FILM OF THE DAY Paul★★★ 9.00-11.05pm E4
I rudely interrupted Simon Pegg in an office in 2009 when he should have been writing an American sci-fi road-trip comedy with pal Nick Frost, who was out getting coffees. Pinned on the wall for inspiration was the crude line-drawing of an alien giving the one-fingered salute. The resulting film, fashioned in the image of a lower-budget, lower-brow Men in Black and shot in New Mexico, was directed not by team-mate Edgar Wright but Superbad’s Greg Mottola. Pegg and Frost play two comics nerds in an RV visiting geeky landmarks (including an iconic corker which I won’t ruin) who find themselves accidentally harbouring a little green man called Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) from government agents. Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader; hip US co-stars abound, plus one actual superstar whose identity shall remain hidden. And though Wright’s inventive touch is occasionally missed, it’s hard not to be infected by the fun our boys are having.
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