The plot of the movie goes even further into ripping off the Spielberg classic. Mac is a little alien who accidentally ends up on earth and separated from his family. He finds a young boy, Eric (Elliot is the kid from ET) who is an outcast and soon follows him into his house and surprises him. The two then spend the rest of the movie causing trouble with the alien's special powers and trying to contact Mac's family while being chased by government men. That is really the plot, not making this up. The makers of this film actually got away with this.
Its a horrible movie, but that is not what destroyed my humanity.
THE CHILD First, lets talk about Eric. Eric is virtually identical to Elliot in EVERYWAY but one. He is an outcast from the other kids in the neighborhood, has a cool older brother and his mother is single, but he is in a wheelchair. I can just see the meeting where the kings of film-making that created Mac and Me decided that one.
Mind you I think it is wonderful that they tried to break new ground and expand children's horizon's about those with a disability, but that would only be true if they made Eric totally capable in every way and didn't even mention the wheelchair. Instead, they mention the wheelchair at almost every opportunity and in the lines of making Eric totally capable you must view the most messed up scene in film history I dare not put it on my website, but the daring can click here to view. In it Eric helplessly rolls down a mountain in his wheelchair into a river. That is just plain scary and my young self did not know how to process this. The kid fell over fifty feet into water, that would have been like hitting a brick wall! It would take me years and years to realize that just because someone has a disability, they can still do everything anyone else can. I think it was Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump that taught me this. Movies giveth and taketh away. THE GOVERNMENT To this day, I have a hard time trusting the government. Sure in ET, the government steals ET from Elliot and chases them, but at the end they let ET and Elliot go. In Mac and Me, the same suited men in sunglasses chase the two heroes incessantly, but unlike the happy ending of ET, the Government men do not stop. Eric and his family has to flee their home into the desert.
There is a figure, a figure that has appeared in almost every nightmare I have ever had. Ladies and Gentlemen here is that figure....
Someone tried to make that thing look as lovable as possible. And failed. It looks like Calista Flokhart and a shaved spider monkey ended up in a horrible gene splicer accident. Let's look at some truly beloved aliens from the 80's.
These things were the total opposite. The movie starts with Mac and his family on their home planet and unlike ET's colorful spaceship of wonder, this planet is a desolate wasteland. They come across an earth space probe, which sucks them into it. That is right, these creatures must have had no internal skeleton, as a number of times in the film they are sucked into tubes in a mind-numbingly disturbing way. For a small child vacuums are scary enough as it is just from the loud sound, now add to that the fear of being sucked into them. Within the first five minutes of the movie, Mac and his family have escaped out of the space probe at NASA headquarters, maiming every scientist in their wake of destruction they blow a hole in a wall and flee. This is how the creatures we the viewers are supposed to feel for are introduced. While, ET soons learns to speak english and it is out right adorable, Mac's mouth is stuck in an "O-Face" and therefore he can only communicate in whistles. I guess the writer thought this would be cute. Instead this speech-problem makes it impossible to communicate any of the creatures feelings except for closing the glassy emotionless eyes the puppet featured. Finally, Mac has some of the special powers that made ET so enchanting and lovable. And by some, I only mean one. Once again I remind you that these creatures must not have had any kind of bone-structure, as Mac can stretch his long emaciated arms to reach out and grab things. Please tell me one thing that is more terrifying than that blank faced shriveled alien reaching ten feet across the room to drag you into the vacuum tube and devour your soul. That's right there is nothing, and I have lived that very turn of events over and over in my nightmares since I was four. THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT Only recently while researching for this article did I learn something very ominous about Mac and Me. Something down right evil. Mac and Me was made in partnership with McDonalds. They were so involved with this movie that their products pop up all over the place and Ronald McDonald in all his glory is in the cast. At one point in the movie, the heros visit the fast-food restaurant for one of the McBirthday parties that the chain started in the 80's to help get kids addicted. While there, a dance number breaks out spontaneously and totally unexplained. Thats right kids, not only is McDonalds food the food of choice of intergalactic travelers, but going there is so remarkably exciting but people break out into dance uncontrollably. watch only if you no longer care for the world. Once again I will not post such a clip on my website. So click here to view if you dare. The 80's is when McDonalds firmly established its empire and myself and my peers were their puppets. We were happy mealed into submission and I fell into the same child fatness that everyone else did and I am sure Mac and Me had a part in it. How could a small four year old resist a parachute pants filled dance number?Oh and did you make the connection of the alien being called MAC and me... Even just seeing the movie poster plants a seed of McDonalds into the viewer. That is pure evil. MY LIFE So there you have it. I only saw this movie once, when I was four yet I remember every detail of it vividly. I don't remember Kindergarten almost at all, but I remember Mac and Me like a Vietnam Vet remembers "the shit". I can only imagine what kind of person I would have become if I never saw Mac and Me, I could very well be a Yankee right now or an astronaut. From a young age I loved both baseball and space, but Mac and Me helped make me a fat, uncertain, space-phobic, sleep deprived child. I am still recovering. Thank you Mac and Me for ruining my life.