Without telling Shirley (Jane Harders) or husband Reg (John Llewellyn), Rita Thompson (Marion Johns) announces the engagement of Shirley and Harold in the newspaper classifieds. A furious Shirley storms out. Reg feels the same way and follows her.
Numbing suburban conformity gets a swift kick in the pants in Shirley Thompson versus the Aliens. Craving respectability at all costs, meddlesome mother Rita thinks she’s helping by announcing Shirley’s engagement to the respectable Harold, a man she does not love.
The scene shows a lively mix of influences. The setting recalls British kitchen sink realist dramas of the 1950s and ‘60s; Rita talking directly to camera echoes a technique employed by many French New Wave directors. A thick layer of melodrama and black humour is added, culminating in the symbolic act of Reg tossing the Mixmaster, an iconic domestic appliance, through the kitchen window.