With shades of ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The X-Files, Men in Black and a bunch of other classics old and new, the film is an unashamed adventure with a heavy helping of well- placed comedy. It even reminded me of stuff like Explorers and The Last Starfighter. More than just a love letter to the stuff that makes nerds like you and me tick, it is a hugely entertaining film that everyone can enjoy (as noted by a cinema full of people loving it).
It certainly helps you get on board if you can pick out the genre references and quotes (as I did throughout it, laughing out loud on repeated occasions), but it's more than just a greatest -hits-of-geekdom package. Everyone can enjoy it. That's why I mentioned who I went with earlier on up there- not everyone in our group was a complete geek, yet the film gets its message and its humour across perfectly well to everyone.
The humour is superb, a mix of UK style comedy and an almost View Askew strain of American laughs. The tropes of the genre are turned on their head, theories of old are debunked, and a small, foul-mouthed alien is naked far too often. Tightly directed by Greg Mottola and blessed with a hugely gifted cast alongside Simon, Nick and Seth, Paul is a good-natured film with plenty of thrills, lots of heart and the atmosphere of the sort of movie you remember from your childhood with warmth. To everyone involved- thank you so much for cheering us up.