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1988 Merchandise-Driven ripoff of E.T. Shortly after being picked up by an unmanned space probe and taken to Earth, a family of humanoid space aliens escapes from a research lab. They get split up, with the youngest entering a van belonging to the Cruise family (not that one): single mom Janet, 16-year-old Michael and 11-year-old wheelchair-bound boy Eric, who are moving from Illinois to California. Of course, it's the youngest kid who discovers the alien first -- Hilarity Ensues as the creature's attempts to reunite with his family cause Eric's family to think he's going insane.

This is to E.T. what Plan 9 from Outer Space is to The Day the Earth Stood Still. Both Something Awful and the AV Club provide detailed recaps of the film. It was also the subject of Phelous's very first review on That Guy With The Glasses. Interestingly, Mac and Me was Jennifer Aniston's screen debut. It has become recently notable for the scene where Eric falls down a cliff, which Paul Rudd has shown on his Late Night appearances when Conan O'Brien was the host, instead of the film he is expected to be promoting.

Tropes used in Mac and Me include:
  • Batman in My Basement
  • Character as Himself: Ronald McDonald is credited as this. He wound up winning the "Worst New Star" Razzie for '88.
  • Disney Death: Both the aliens and Eric; the attempted tearjerking before they are revived is milked for all its worth.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: The actor who plays Eric is Jade Calegory, who uses a wheelchair in real life himself. Prior to Mac and Me, Jade Calegory was a former spokesman for the Easter Seals charity for the disabled.
  • Disappeared Dad: We're not told why.
  • Enforced Plug: See above.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: The alien family, until they become American citizens at the end.
  • Follow the Leader: Besides being an E.T. ripoff, the title of Mac and Me is one word different from an early working title for E.T., which was E.T. and Me.
  • Handicapped Badass: Eric, for a given very adolescent definition of "badass" - Chuck Norris he ain't, but you gotta admit the wheelchair stunts are pretty impressive.
  • Love At First Sight: Michael and Courtney.
  • Plot Hole: Why would Eric think sucking MAC into a vacuum cleaner would work unless he saw what happened at the beginning of the film?
  • Product Placement: All-time record holder. The products in question are:
    • Coca-Cola -- This turns out to be the Earth analogue to the aliens' primary nourishment on their home planet, and thus vital to their survival!
    • McDonald's -- A character (Courtney) works there, and the kids go to a birthday party there at one point, hence Ronald's cameo. The trailer even played up the cameo. While Eric names the alien "Mac" based on his being a Mysterious Alien Creature, it's hard not to think of the restaurant's Big Mac sandwich, especially since it's name-dropped in the film. The aliens even come from the planet of "Quartus Poundus", which apparently refers to another Mc Donald's sandwich, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
    • Powerwheels -- Mac steals a Powerwheels car, and ends up getting chased by dogs while riding it.
    • Sears -- The mom gets a job here, and the government agents chase Eric and Mac through it.
    • Skittles -- Also important to survival.
    • Wickes Lumber -- Mac desires to go there[1], and it's also the location of a comic relief scene with the alien family and the final confrontation with the government.
      • All the furniture in their house is made with Wickes Lumber, as well.
  • Sequel Hook: "We'll be back!" Oh no, you won't! (The Current Trope Image)
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: The dance number at McDonald's. Would definitely qualify as a Big Lipped Alligator Moment if the entire movie wasn't this crazy.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: When Courtney makes the very good point that the government might actually have a good reason to catch MAC, like for instance him having a disease, Eric's only rebuttal is "He doesn't have any diseases." How can he know that for sure?

Notably averts:

  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Eric is in a wheelchair. Other than getting to do some really eye-popping stunts with it (car chase, anyone?), no big deal is made of it.
    • Also, no one seems to notice, as he's blamed for things he shouldn't be able to do by himself (rearranging a room).

Notes

  1. Not an actual Wickes location but rather one of their billboards on a desert highway
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