Ian West’s review published on Letterboxd:
Starman means a lot to me, so I’ll get this out of the way first. I love Starman so much—the story, the cast, the pacing, the score, and Carpenter’s direction... especially since (at least on paper) he’s the last person I would ever suspect or choose to make this kind of picture. I don’t revisit this often and there’s a reason for that, which I’ll go into because I think it’s time to change that...
Jenny Hayden: Love is, um, it's when you care more for someone else than you do yourself.
In my late 20’s I lost someone. We were together for years until that fateful day, which happened to be my birthday. Just like that, she was gone. When we were first getting to know each other over late night disco fries and endless pots of coffee at our local diner we’d talk about music, books, hopes & aspirations, and movies. I told her my favorite movie was Halloween and gushed about how much I love The Fog and how In the Mouth of Madness is underrated (that movie was only a decade old back then) and that I adore John Carpenter... for like, five minutes while she sat there, waited for me to finish yapping, with a devious smile on her face as she made a pyramid out of those little milk cartons they always give you too many of. “Starman is my favorite movie” she said, and waited for my response, but she was shocked that (at that point) I’d never seen Starman before. The situation was rectified that night, which happened to be my birthday.
Every time I hear the theme song kick in during the movie or watch the scene in the beginning where Karen Allen is watching a film reel of her and her deceased husband singing this song, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry. Much like her character Jenny, my initial reaction is also “c’mon stop torturing yourself” but then the rest of the movie happens and it’s equal parts heartwarming, predictable, genuine, sad, sweet, gentle, and funny—just like life. She would quote things from this movie to me all the time, and every time I revisit Starman or someone says Dutch apple pie I go through just about every human emotion as some of the fondest memories of my life rush to my head like the best high you've ever had, and I smile.
Now look, I know what I said above is pretty somber, but I went through the very bad ‘haven’t shaved in weeks/crying every night while downing bottles of booze and smashing them against the wall while screaming this isn’t fair’ phase a long time ago and accepted everything, and believe it or not it’s never a somber experience revisiting this movie. It’s a happy one. I laugh, I cry, I want Dutch Apple pie, and it’s very therapeutic to get wrapped up in Starman.
I will say this though... when the new scream factory blu arrived the other day, I had a pretty emotional reaction because I knew I was going to save this for January 1st, which was her birthday. A new tradition I plan on keeping. Tonight I popped in the new disc, drank my drank, and blasted Starman. Friends often ask me how I’ve coped so well over the years, and the answer is simple: I put on headphones, close my eyes, and listen to the Starman Theme — and I smile 😌 R.I.P. <3
Jenny Hayden: Take me with you!
Starman: I cannot.
Jenny Hayden: Please!
Starman: You would die there.
Jenny Hayden: I don't care!
Starman: [pause] I care.
Sorry I got so deep and rambly here guys... I tried to talk about the movie first so anyone who wanted to abandon ship before My ramble could do so. I understand, but I dunno, it’s important to remember things like how movies impact/intertwine with your life... especially when everybody and everything is knee deep in the murky shitwater filled flooded basement of cynicism and pessimism. It’s a new year, and I’m excited for whatever comes next.
Happy New Year Letterboxd friends!