You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human

Writer-director Jeff Abugov's feature debut, "The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human," has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel--style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired.

With:
Billy Waterston - Mackenzie Astin
Jenny Smith - Carmen Electra
Narrator - David Hyde Pierce

Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs out of steam. “Mating Habits” is more suited to the small screen.

Billy (Mackenzie Astin) and Jenny (Carmen Electra) first lay eyes on each other at an L.A. nightclub, where the fairly nerdy Billy makes a fool of himself when they chat. Despite this, curvaceous Jenny gives him her phone number — which he promptly loses. Eventually they get together for a date, and begin running through the traditional mating trajectory, including latenight star-gazing in the Hollywood Hills, meeting dysfunctional parents, groping on the couch and, eventually, having sex.

There are hilarious moments reminiscent of early Woody Allen, notably a recurring sequence in which sprinters on a track are used as a metaphor for the movement of sperm during lovemaking. The couple tries various forms of contraception, but she ends up pregnant, which puts a big strain on their relationship.

One of the strong points here is David Hyde Pierce’s narration, which contains most of the funniest lines and is delivered in just the right crisp, droll style by the “Frasier” thesp. Weak link is the bland perfs by Astin and Electra. In the end, the nifty idea outlives its welcome, in part because Abugov is not able to infuse the central relationship with onscreen chemistry or intrigue, and the script’s wittiness is dampened by lack of strong, believable characters. Soundtrack makes use of cheesy tropical music that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Discovery Channel nature docu.

The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human

Production: An Earthbound Human Prods. production. (International sales: Columbia TriStar Home Video, Los Angeles.) Produced by Larry Estes. Co-producer, Victor Ho. Directed, written by Jeff Abugov.

Crew: Camera (color), Michael K. Bucher; editor, Stephen Myers; music, Michael McCarty; production designer, Helen Harwell; costumes, Kristin M. Burke; associate producer, Sam Irvin. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Sept. 3, 1999. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: Billy Waterston - Mackenzie Astin
Jenny Smith - Carmen Electra
Narrator - David Hyde Pierce
With: Markus Redmond, Lucy Liu, Lisa Rotondi, Sharon Wyatt, Jack Kehler, Leo Rossi.

More Film

  • Merger Mayhem

    Merger Mayhem: Media Companies Scramble to Bulk Up in Order to Survive

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

  • Bloom/Spiegel Partnership Unveils Participants of Second

    Bloom/Spiegel Partnership Unveils Participants of Second Edition (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

  • Bruce Springsteen and Patti SmithWorld Premiere

    Bruce Springsteen Joins Patti Smith on Stage at Tribeca 'Horses' Premiere

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

  • Claes Bang Joins Christopher Walken in

    Claes Bang Joins Christopher Walken, Elizabeth Debicki in ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

  • MINIMUM USAGE FEE £35. Please call

    Baby Boomers Show Low Interest in Premium Moviegoing: AARP Report

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

  • Cannes: Luxbox Acquires Un Certain Regard’s

    Cannes: Luxbox Acquires Un Certain Regard’s ‘The Dead and the Others’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

  • Cannes: European Film Promotion Unveils 2018

    Cannes: European Film Promotion Unveils 2018 Producers on the Move

    Writer-director Jeff Abugov’s feature debut, “The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human,” has a great premise. Pic is meant to be a Discovery Channel–style documentary chronicling the strange rituals surrounding the sexual dance among men and women, and the result is often funny and occasionally inspired. But the mockumentary, essentially a one-joke skit, eventually runs […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content