“E.T.” celebrates 25 years since phoning home


E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

turned 25 this year. OK, so this news immediately makes me want to do
three things. 1) Phone home. 2) Eat Reese’s Pieces. 3) Scream. Kind
of like this.

The phoning and eating are
because of the nostalgia, and the screaming, well, that’s because of
the oh-my-God E.T. is 25 years old. It’s hard not to freak
out when a beloved touchstone from your childhood hits the quarter-century
mark. The only thing keeping me from freaking out completely is
seeing how ridiculously adorable Drew Barrymore
looked in pigtails back then.

The movie milestone will be celebrated with
a special screening

of the film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today
in Los Angeles. The presentation will include an onstage cast-and-crew
reunion. I’m guessing it will look something like the cast-and-crew
reunion for the film’s 20th anniversary, but with a touch
more gray.

And just in case you weren’t
feeling old enough already, here is a then-and-now of the key cast and
crew. I think the ladies have fared better, but then I’m always
prone to go with the ladies.

Drew Barrymore
and Dee Wallace

Steven Spielberg
and Henry Thomas

So what is it about E.T.
that still stirs emotions? The story mixed heart and humor and had us
breaking out the hankies. Underneath all the special effects and sci-fi,
the movie was a simple yet universal fable about unconditional love
and the search for home. And even though he was essentially just a rib cage
with a periscope head, that little alien fella was cute. Plus, dude,
he made the bikes fly. Twenty-five years later, I still wish I could
do that.

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