It nearly defies belief that the highest grossing film of the 1980's could feel this intimate, this personal. While it's now a cliche to compare a movie to a roller coaster ride, the screenplay oscillates between a sense of hope and sadness in a way that mirrors the journey of our own lives. Clearly an autobiographical endeavor for Spielberg, at its core "E.T." is one of the greatest films ever made about loneliness.
It's undoubtedly simplistic and manipulative. And in my opinion it hasn't aged well at all. Once you know where the story is headed, the novelty quickly wears off and it doesn't quite have the same impact. Moreover the twist towards the end just feels contrived. But I'm still giving E.T. a 3/5 because I can vividly recall the effect it had on me when I first saw it. Perhaps some films are meant to be seen just once.
I finally watched this and found out that a girl back in year 7 (ages ago), a real sycophant, stole a scene from this film for a school essay. The teacher (an idiot) loved the essay. I wondered: this so good. Where did she get that idea from? WELL, I finally know ha. Or in short: It's a great family film.
Well, I do like the scene when the house is covered (contained) with plastic, or whatever that is. All the other stuff, when I was a kid, the finger, the fact that the alien looked like a sick old man all the time, made out of rubber made me not like the film. But I did like the other alien movie that Spielberg did, way cooler: Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
"Back to the river! Back to the forest!" Sublime hokum from the golden age of science fiction, otherwise known as my own childhood (maybe yours, too), E.T. overwhelms the wonder receptors in the brain, turning susceptible viewers into weeping, grinning, dopey miracles of the human spirit. Want a Coke? Don't ruin it.