This pleasant sci-fi fantasy has a heart so big that it probably won’t fit your tv-screen. It is a shamelessly positive feel-good movie which refuses to make apologies for its pleasantness. Director Ron Howard comes off as the nicest guy in the business, as he directs his ageing stars with unconditional fascination; he follows them diligently in order to capture every sweet gesture and every semi-clever comment which their age elevates to clever. Not even mysterious aliens can make Howard falter. These are not only portrayed as the planet's greatest humanitarians, but they also have a complete respect and understand of the western way of life. It is remarkable that it all works, but it does, largely thanks to devoted performances from a set of actors who cherish the opportunity they are given just as much as their characters do. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the film’s lack of spite makes it shallow – there is more interesting existentialism in this simple fantasy story than in the heaviest sci-fi tales. Great supporting roles from Steve Guttenberg, Bryan Dennehy and the ever-wonderful Barret Oliver concludes a brilliant cast.