For the last time, if you're a total idiot from a small, backwater town and you start to get inexplicably smart and powerful after seeing a bright light, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

Everybody's gonna make fun of you, they'll be scared of you, they're gonna persecute you, the whole deal. Just don't tell anyone, and you're home free.

So I saw Phenomenon, terrified that it might actually be a movie version of the failed sitcom Phenom.

My fears were unjustified.

Phenomenon (go ahead and sing the Sesame Street song a few times now and get it out of your head) is a delightful attempt to get John Travolta an Oscar. This time, instead of being a cold-hearted thug, he's a lighthearted mechanic struck smart by a very bright flashlight. Then he gets smart, then he moves things by asking them, then the townspeople build a lynch mob and stampede towards the Doctor's Laboratory. (Frankenstien reference.)

The movie proves what Hollywood has taught us all along, Rural America is afraid of change and will kill to protect their young. Poor John, he's a total sweetie, mega-hunk, saver of lives, and the object of fear and loathing for hundreds of small-minded people.

John-boy does a wonderful job, and his charm carries the movie. He's so charming and nice that I have no idea why Kyra Sedgwick spends most of the movie pretending not to want him. What's not to want? Hell, he's so cute, I'd do him. Well not right away, I mean he'd have to buy me dinner or something first.

As the movie began, I had to wonder, was this Powder but with a bigger star and no charges of child molestation? The answer, no. Powder is about a guy who's electrically charged, this baby is about a guy who just gets smart. And smart he gets. The anticipated effects which we've seen in the previews are about all he does. That's it. He moves a few pencils, breaks a mirror, but nothing to write home about.

So if it's not an effects movie, then what is it? My children, I shall tell you, brace yourselves.

It's a Chick Film.

I'm not saying this just to be nasty, but it's true. They sneak it up on you, but this comes down to a man getting a woman to fall in love with him, and that's a Chick Film.

Is it a good Chick Film? It's alright, it has a weepy scenes and loving scenes, some furry animals, and the most erotic haircut I've ever seen. I just sat there thinking, "I wish Supercuts was like this. "

The story is moving, and slightly unpredictable, yet it contains some major holes, many of which occur near the end so I can't say anything about them, which bums me out because I had some great jokes for 'em. I mean these babies were side-splitters. You'll just have to trust me on that.

One major question I can pose is this: The guy's missing. Everybody is looking everywhere for him, combing the streets, searching the dumpsters, yet they don't bother to go over to his girlfriends house for a day and a half? Talk about shoddy detective work.

"Sorry Captain, he's nowhere to be found. We've searched everywhere. "

"The Circus? "

"Searched it. "

"The Sewage System? "

"Searched it. "

"His Girlfriend's? "

"His Girlfriend's? Why would he go there? "

"Good point, carry on. "

I wanted to give this movie a good score, I like Johnny, and after Get Shorty and Pulp Fiction I'm afraid to say anything bad about him for fear of retribution, but the fact is this movie just didn't ever pull me in. It teased me, it interested me at times, but I was never sucked in, I never left the theater.

So, though it gets a schmaltz factor of 10, it only gets 2 3/4 Babylons. However, it is the first beneficiary of my new Chick Film Factor, which adds an entire Babylon if you're a chick, and you live for chick films, which would give this one a 3 3/4 rating. But only if you're a chick.

Otherwise it's a 2 3/4 Babylon performance.

Side Note:

Actually, the best thing about my movie-going experience was that I bought an ID4 sports bottle at the theater. Everyone at Self-Made Inc. loves it and is totally jealous. The woman behind the counter recognized me for who I was and offered to give me a box full of the bottles for my staff, but I turned her down. I like having the only one in the company.

Makes me feel special.