JULES, a new film directed by Marc Turtletaub and written by Gavin Steckler, delivers uplifting, family-friendly entertainment. It’s a delightful story about three older residents of a small town in Western Pennsylvania who are brought together by an unexpected visitor.
Milton (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) is a widower who lives a quiet, almost reclusive life. His daughter (Zoe Winters) is his primary contact with the outside world, except for routine appearances at Town Council meetings to express opinions the council always ignores.
Milton’s life becomes much more exciting when a UFO and its extra-terrestrial passenger crash into his backyard one night. He attempts to inform the local police department about the UFO landing on his azaleas, but his calls are dismissed as crank calls. It doesn’t take long for Milton to develop a relationship with the alien (Jade Quon from Transformers), and he invites the extraterrestrial that he names Jules into his home.
Milton and Jules
He and Jules soon develop a great rapport, eating meals together (Jules only eats apple slices) and watching television. Their peaceful routine is interrupted by two curious neighbors, Sandy (Harriet Sansom Harris) and Joyce (Jane Curtin) who discover the alien’s presence. Sworn to secrecy, they take turns bringing various items of clothing for Jules to wear.
While the local law enforcement is unconcerned about reports of a UFO landing in a resident’s yard, the Federal government is closing in. They appear on television news programs asking for help in their search for an object they call a “weather balloon.” The trio are worried the government will harm Jules, since they’ve seen sci-fi movies that show what happens to captured extraterrestrials, all in the name of science.
Sending JULES Home
As the government pinpoints an approximate location of the UFO, the three neighbors try to help Jules repair the spaceship to return home. It’s a frantic race against time as they realize the bizarre elements Jules needs to complete repairs on the spaceship, but they’re devoted to doing whatever it takes to complete the spaceship repairs and save their new friend.
JULES opened wide this weekend in the DFW area, and it’s a great film to see with everyone in the family. It reminded me of Spielberg’s ET, although in that film it was the kids who helped ET go home. In this heartwarming film, it’s three lonely, older citizens who form new connections while helping save a new friend. Rated PG-13, JULES is a sweet, Sci-Fi comedy drama released by Big Beach Films. Directed by Marc Turtletaub, it runs 1 hour and 27 minutes.